Chana Masala Recipe

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Chana Masala Recipe: It’s really difficult and exhausting, and I have to continuously control my expectations before we ever get there. Particularly when I get sick after we arrive (like when we get in Croatia and it’s chilly, windy, and noisy).

That sounded unfavorable. No, it’s sincerity. If you haven’t noticed, we love to travel, do it frequently, and are grateful for the chance to do so even though it can be challenging at times. We actually plan to travel more this year, and I’m really excited about it.

Traveling inspires me, which is a significant benefit despite its challenges. Almost every meal we eat provides an opportunity to discover a different culture. How lovely.


Chana Masala Recipe


Instant Pot Chana Masala (Chole Masala Recipe in Pressure Cooker)


  • 3 Tbsp. grapeseed, coconut, or avocado oil (or other neutral oil)
  • 1 medium white or yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt (divided, plus more to taste)
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced (6 cloves yield ~3 Tbsp)
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2-3 fresh green chilies*, sliced with seeds (I used serrano peppers // reduce amount if you prefer less heat)
  • 1 Tbsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 (28-ounce) can puréed*, crushed, or finely diced tomatoes (if unsalted, you’ll add more salt to the dish)
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, slightly drained
  • 1 tsp garam masala* (see instructions for DIY blend)
  • 2-3 tsp. coconut sugar (or other sweetener of choice)
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice (plus more to taste // optional)



A large pot should be heated at medium heat. When heated, add the oil, onion, cumin, and one-third of the salt (replace 1/4 tsp with your own amount if your batch size changes).


To make a rough paste, add the garlic, ginger, cilantro, and green chilies to a mortar and pestle. Alternatively, pulse the ingredients into a mixture using a small food processor. (Alternatively, simply chop finely.) Add to the pan after that.


Stir to coat after adding the turmeric, chili powder, and powdered coriander. If the pan appears to be getting dry at this stage, add a bit additional oil.


Add the pureed tomatoes, chickpeas, and the remaining salt (1/2 tsp, according to the original recipe) after that. If the mixture seems a bit too thick, add up to 1 cup (240 ml) of water (I added about 1/2 cup, or 120 ml); follow the recipe’s original amount; adjust if the batch size changes). At this stage, the soup should have a semi-thick consistency because it will cook down to more of a stew.


After turning up the heat to medium-high and bringing it to a rolling simmer, lower the heat to medium-low or low and continue to simmer, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the mixture becomes thick and stew-like. Stir from time to time.


If you don’t already have garam masala seasoning, create some in the interim by adding (amounts as written in the original recipe // modify if altering batch size) Place in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and grind/mix into a powder 2 small dried red chilies, 1 tsp black peppercorns (or 1/2 tsp ground black pepper), 1 tsp cumin seeds (or 1/2 tsp ground cumin), 1 tsp cardamom pods (or 1/2 tsp ground cardamom), 1/2 tsp cloves (or 1/4 tsp ground cloves), and 1/8 tsp nutmeg. Put aside.


Taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary, adding more salt for saltiness, chili powder for heat, or a little amount of coconut sugar for sweetness and to balance the heat from the chilies, once the chana masala has thickened and become bubbling.


Take off the heat and mix in the garam masala and lemon juice. Mix well, then allow to cool a little bit before serving. A zesty garnish of lemon juice and fresh cilantro is delicious. You may eat chana masala as a stew on its own, or it tastes great served over cauliflower rice, white rice, or brown rice (see out my favorite recipe here). Last but not least, try it over roasted broccoli and sweet potatoes (follow the directions in the notes).



Best Instant Pot Cabbage Roll Soup Recipe



Some readers have reported it turned out too acidic when using puréed tomatoes, however, it’s our favorite choice in this recipe for a rich flavor. We’ve noticed some brands of tomatoes have a more acidic taste than others (we suspect it’s due to additives). We recommend choosing a brand without citric acid (we like Cento) and if it still tastes too acidic, skip the lemon juice.


Though not traditional, if you don’t have fresh chiles, you can use ~1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes for heat. DIY Garam Masala adapted from The Kitchn.


To roast sweet potatoes and broccoli, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C), and chop broccoli into chunks and sweet potatoes into 1/4-inch rounds. Add to a bare or foil-lined baking sheet and top with 1 Tbsp grape seed oil and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Toss to combine, making sure sweet.


potatoes are evenly coated with oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes total, flipping/tossing near the halfway point to ensure even baking. Broccoli may cook faster than the sweet potatoes. Recipe adapted from The Guardian


  • Serving: 1 serving
  • Calories: 275
  • Carbohydrates: 41.1 g
  • Protein: 9 g
  • Fat: 8.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.6 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 496 mg
  • Fiber: 5.3 g
  • Sugar: 14.8 g

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