Chana Masala for the Vegetarian’s Soul

11+ chana recipes that are sure to stir your soul!

LF Team

From a popular street-side snack to tangy sides and hearty mains, the classic (read ever-so-versatile) chana masala (or chole) always tops our list of tummy-filling, celebratory food. And why not? Whoever can pass a hearty serving of healthy pulses soaked in a tangy, irresistibly robust and fiery gravy, boasting a texture that may run from crunchy to velvety or creamy (depending on one’s preference)!

Typically, onions, garlic, ginger, green chillies and tomatoes are what form the base of every chana masala. However, some recipes call for the addition of a few spoonfuls of yoghurt to further thicken the curry and give it a sour-y element. That being said, it’s the addition of garam masala along with a blend of other spices that make the actual difference. Usually mopped clean with some flaky and oil-soaked bhatures, they also pair perfectly well with some hot puris or kulchas. For a complete homey meal, you can bathe your plate of plain steamed rice in this tangy chickpea curry.    

Chana Masala Recipe

If you’re a kitchen first-timer or are looking for a quick-fix meal solution, Gurdip Kohli Punj’s easy chana masala recipe is here to save the day. A sure-shot way to give your taste buds a spicy and delicious treat, this dish can reach your dinner table in less than 30 minutes, and from the table into your tummy in hardly a few seconds! Follow the simple instructions in this Hindi recipe video to make the chana masala recipe at home.

Chana Masala for the Vegetarian’s Soul

How to Turn Your Chana Masala into a Restaurant-Approved Dish

Have you ever noticed that any time you order some chana masala at a restaurant, it has a way of tasting a little more special than the one you usually make at home? There's something about the gravy, the perfectly cooked chanas and the burst of flavours that comes along with each and every bite. But each time you attempt recreating it at home, with almost the same ingredients, it just doesn’t happen to match? Fret not. If you’ve mastered the basic chana masala recipe and think it’s time to up your cooking game by whipping up some restaurant-worthy chana masala at home, we’ve got you covered. These tips will have you making restaurant-quality chana masala at home in no time. Chef Ranveer Brar and chef Anjali Pathak of Flavour Diaries help you make a better version of the all-time favourite chana masala at home. Read this to find out how.

More Ways With Leftover Chana Masala

Got a little too excited and went on to prepare more chana masala than you can stomach (though that’d be a rare possibility)? Or your chana masala didn’t turn out the way you’d expected it to be? Worry not. We’re here to save the day. No, you don’t have to bin it away or force it down your throat. Instead, you could simply turn your chana masala into a dry mix and use it as a filling for your wraps and sandwiches. A pizza with a some spicy chana masala topping too makes for a delicious way to recycle other leftovers in the kitchen. You could use a chapati or naan as the base, slather on a generous serving of chana masala, garnish with seasonings of your choice, and finally top with loads of cheese. For more such exciting ways to make the most of your chana masala, click here.

Chickpeas Beyond Chana Masala

Chickpeas pair beautifully with almost anything – from sweet to savoury, and everything in between. They are so versatile and yet so inexpensive, that they can be worth your buck – toast them into a crunchy snack, boil, puree and enjoy them in as many ways possible. Skip those store-bought dips, sauces and chutneys, and instead prepare your own. This hummus and chutney recipe make for the perfect crowd-pleasers.

Must try: Hummus recipe by Gurdip Kohli Punj

Chana Masala for the Vegetarian’s Soul

Chickpeas also make a great base for any salads and are a wonderful way to sneak in health other than just veggies alone. No easy way to give your meal-time an instant protein update than this easy-peasy Olive and Chickpea salad. Besides, this crispy roasted chickpeas recipe not only makes for a quick snack, but also a great, crunchy swap for potato chips. If not, simply go all out on your diet and dig straight into this Corn and Chickpea Burger.

Here's a step-by-step guide to making Corn and Chickpea Burger

Chana Masala for the Vegetarian’s Soul

But if you’re looking for something more comforting, pair this Lauki Chana Dal Recipe with a plain bowl of steamed rice, and relish alongside some homey Chana Dal Sabzi. For your sweet tooth, simply bake your way to health with these warm Broccoli and Chickpeas Muffins.

Here's a step-by-step guide to making Broccoli and Chickpea Muffins

Chana Masala for the Vegetarian’s Soul

More Punjabi Recipes for The Win

Now that you’ve got your hands on the authentic chana masala recipe, you could further get experimental by taking a food trip to Punjab. We all know - nobody celebrates food better than the Punjabis. Think of Punjabi cuisine, think of heart meals.

If meal-in-a-bowl is your idea of comfort food, this easy Punjabi Dal Recipe could be just what you’re looking for. Besides, this Punjabi sabzi pulao could be an easy way out to prepare a meal for yourself on lazy days. And don’t forget that tall glass of the ever-so-famous Amritsari lassi or kanji, a fermented beverage made from carrots to chase it all down. 



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