Apr 4, 2008

Recipe - Chana masala (Chole /Senagala kura)

Chick peas/Garbanzo beans cooked with spices.


Chick peas, very rich in nutritional value, have high protein and dietary fiber. Chana masala can be eaten with rice or roti/paratha/puri. Chana masala is not only popular in north India but also in south India.

For busy people, slow cooker can also be used for cooking. Preparation of chana masala should be planned adequately for slow cooking which takes 12 - 15 hours before the meal time. Chole/Chick peas have to be pre-soaked for cooking in a slow cooker. For pressure cooking, pre-soaking chick peas reduces the cooking time.

This recipe is from aunt Swadesh. Chana masala is her signature dish, she adds chana dal to chick peas, chana dal serves as gravy and give a nice flavor and consistency to Chana masala/Chole. She uses fewer spices and yet the dish turns out yummy.


  • Chick peas/Garbanzo beans - 3 cups
  • Chana dal (bengal gram) - 1/4 cup (optional)
  • Onion - 1 big ( 1 and 1/2 cups chopped lengthwise)
  • Tomato - 1 medium (1 cup chopped lengthwise)
  • Green Chillies - 2 -3 (according to taste)
  • Tamarind (paste ) - 1 teaspoon ( 2 - 3 tamarind pods pulp)
  • Coriander powder - 1 teaspoon (heaping)
  • Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon stick - 2 inches
  • Bay leaf - 1
  • Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
  • Salt - 1/2 teaspoon (according to taste)
  • Turmeric - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Roasted cumin powder - 1 and 1/2 teaspoon
  • Water - 7 cups (to cook Chick peas)
  • Oil - 1 tablespoon
  • Hing (asafoetida) - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Cilantro - 2 table spoons (garnish)


Wash and soak Chick peas overnight. If you decide on cooking without soaking, you will have to pressure cook it for more time.
Pressure cook Chick peas with chana dal with 7 cups of water (at least 8 - whistles) with 2 teaspoons of salt.


Heat oil in a skillet or pan at medium high temperature. Add bay leaf, cinnamon stick. After one minute, add cumin seeds, allow the seeds to splutter add hing. Add chopped onions, red chilli powder and turmeric. Cook till onions are slightly brown in color.

Add boiled chickpeas,roasted cumin powder, tamarind pulp/paste, mix well. Let it cook for 5 minutes at medium high temperature. Add 1/2 a cup of water for the desired consistency.

Add chopped tomatoes, cilantro and 1/2 teaspoon salt and mix well. Cook Chana masala on simmer for 10 minutes and turn off the stove.

Garnish with tomatoes, onions, green chilles and coriander leaves before serving.

Preparation time - 45 minutes
# Servings 6
Recipe by : Swadesh


For slow cooking, after 8 - 10 hours of slow cooking, add the prepared gravy to the boiled/cooked chole in the slow cooker and let it cook for 4 hours. Add tamarind and let it cook for one more hour.

To cut down few steps, add tomato, along with onion and combine all the spices expect tamarind, prepare the gravy. Add tamarind, chickpeas and let it simmer. Garnish with cilantro, tomatoes and onions before serving.

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Some of the recipes presented here are originally inspired by others. Credit is given to the original postings. I have listed recipes here for my own reference as well as pictures are my addition to the whole cooking experience. Enjoy.