Spicy Channa Masala: A Flavorful Indian Chickpea Curry

Authentic Indian Channa Masala Recipe - Delicious Chickpea Curry

Discover the rich flavors of India with this mouthwatering channa masala recipe. Tender chickpeas simmered in a vibrant, spice-infused tomato sauce create a comforting dish that’s both nutritious and delicious. Perfect for vegans and vegetarians alike, this aromatic curry will transport your taste buds straight to the streets of Mumbai.

The Secret to Perfectly Caramelized Onions

The foundation of any great channa masala lies in its aromatic base. We’ll show you a clever trick to achieve deeply browned onions in record time, lending a rich depth of flavor to your curry. By incorporating a pinch of baking soda and utilizing high heat, you’ll create a caramelized onion base that rivals even the most authentic Indian recipes.

Balancing Garlic’s Pungency

Learn a unique technique borrowed from Middle Eastern cuisine to tame garlic’s sharp bite while preserving its fresh flavor. By combining crushed garlic with lemon juice, we’ll create a perfectly balanced aromatic paste that elevates the entire dish without overpowering it.

Spice Magic: Simplifying the Spice Blend

Demystify the complex world of Indian spices with our streamlined approach. We’ll show you how to create a flavorful curry using readily available spices and a quality store-bought garam masala. You’ll learn the art of blooming spices in hot oil to release their full potential, resulting in a curry that’s bursting with authentic flavor.

Chickpea Perfection: Canned vs. Dried

Discover why canned chickpeas are the secret weapon in this quick and easy channa masala. We’ll explain how a brief simmer in the fragrant sauce transforms these humble legumes into flavor-packed morsels that rival their dried counterparts.

Channa Masala Recipe


  • 4 medium cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 (1-inch) knob ginger, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 1 to 6 green Thai chiles (to taste), roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) juice from 1 lemon, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) vegetable oil or ghee
  • 2 teaspoons (8g) black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) whole cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion, finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups; 300g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1g) baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons (8g) ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2g) freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2g) ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (6g) store-bought or homemade garam masala, divided
  • 1 (14-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped (1 ounce; 25g)


  1. Create an aromatic paste by combining garlic, ginger, chiles, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a mortar and pestle or food processor. Pound or process until smooth and set aside.
  2. Heat oil or ghee in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds and cumin, allowing them to sizzle for 15 seconds. Quickly add onion and baking soda, stirring frequently. Cook until onions develop a deep brown color, about 10 minutes, deglazing the pan with 1 tablespoon water as needed.
  3. Stir in the aromatic paste, followed by coriander, black pepper, turmeric, and 1 teaspoon garam masala. Cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add tomatoes, crushing them with a whisk or potato masher. Incorporate chickpeas, cilantro (reserving some for garnish), and 1/2 cup water.
  4. Bring the mixture to a simmer, cover partially, and reduce heat to maintain a gentle bubble. Cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced and the flavors have melded.
  5. Finish the dish by stirring in the remaining garam masala and lemon juice. Adjust seasoning with salt to taste. Serve hot with rice or naan, garnished with reserved cilantro.
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
229 Calories
8g Fat
34g Carbs
9g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 229
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 633mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 34g 12%
Dietary Fiber 9g 33%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 15mg 76%
Calcium 97mg 7%
Iron 4mg 21%
Potassium 536mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

You may also like: