How To Make Restaurant-Style Chana Masala At Home

Expert tips to help you master your chana masala recipe

Shraddha Varma

Also known as chole masala and Punjabi Chole, Chana Masala is a traditional Punjabi recipe made using boiled chickpeas, tomatoes, garam masala and a few other basic Indian spices. With lip-smacking flavours packed in a Chana Masala Recipe, you're sure to get a hint of spicy, tangy and mildly sweet from your bowl of chana masala.

This vegetarian recipe, a popular North Indian dish, is generally served with jeera rice or a variety of Indian breads like naan, bhatura or puri. To complete the Chana Masala meal, many people even accompany this vegetarian main course dish with a glass of chilled sweet lassi, raita and pickle.

If all this yummy chole talk has got you salivating for some warm chana masala, check out this recipe video in which Chef Ranveer Brar shows you easy steps to make the Chana Masala Recipe at home. Meanwhile, these expert tips from chef Anjali Pathak of Flavour Diaries and celebrity chef Ranveer Brar will help you make your own restaurant-style chana masala at home.


Chickpeas form the most important element of the chana masala recipe. The texture of the chickpeas plays in an important role in determining whether the chickpeas will turn out raw or over-cooked. To make sure the texture of the chickpeas is just right, chef Pathak and Brar suggest, you soak the chickpeas overnight in water with a tea bag. The next morning, boil the chickpeas with the tea bag. Once the chickpeas are boiled, do not throw away the stock – that’s where most of the flavour lies. Strain it in a separate vessel and set it aside, it can be used to enhance the overall flavour and texture of the final dish.

Chef Pathak suggests adding a whole black cardamom pod with the chickpeas and tea bag to enhance the flavour of your chana masala recipe further. According to the expert, the cardamom lends a rich smoky flavour to the chana masala.


1. To begin making the chana masala recipe, heat ghee (or oil, as per your preference) in a saucepan and add black cumin seeds, ginger garlic paste, and chopped green chillies, onions, and tomatoes. For those who aren’t fans of the regular red onion, chef Pathak suggests using spring onions. They have a sweeter and mellower flavour than the regular onions.

2. Mix well and sauté all the ingredients for about a minute. To keep the spices and veggies from burning, chef Pathak suggests sprinkling some water over them.

3. If you prefer less masala or spiciness in your meals, you can finish seasoning the chana masala at this stage. All you need to do is add the drained chickpeas and 200 ml of water. Once that is done, mix all the ingredients well, cover the saucepan, and simmer the chana masala for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Before taking the chana masala off the flame, taste it and adjust the seasoning. Garnish it with some chopped coriander and serve with your favourite accompaniment. Bhatura goes great with chana masala! Check out
chef Ripudaman Handa’s bhatura recipe.

4. Those who are all about chatpata and masaledaar khana, you can go for chef Brar’s version of chana masala. After the ginger-garlic and chopped veggies mixture are sautéed, he adds red chilli powder, turmeric powder and garam masala to it.

5. Once that is mixed well and the spices start cooking, add the chickpeas, some tomato paste and water. Combine all the ingredients of the chana masala recipe well and place a lid over the saucepan. Allow the mixture to cook for about 5 to 7 minutes.

6. Garnish your dish of chana masala by sprinkling roasted and crushed coriander seeds, chopped coriander leaves and a hint of lemon juice.

7. To make the chana masala recipe even more interesting, chef Brar tops it off with a delicious tamarind chutney, chopped onions, chopped tomatoes (de-seeded), salt, red chilli powder and chopped coriander leaves.


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