Channa Masala

channa masala

Years ago we would get together with another family almost every Sunday for breakfast. One time I prepared channa masala with chapatti(flatbread) before tennis & heard the words ‘I played a great tennis today, felt so strong & fortified. I was hitting those volleys like never before’. Channa masala does that with its high protein. There are as many ways to make channa masala as there are people in India 🙂  I hope you like my delicious, low fat way which will have you mindfully use just a few spices.

 ½ cup chickpeas
Water to soak chickpeas
Salt to tasteGarnish
Onion rings
Sliced tomatoes
1 tsp chopped cilantro leaves
Spice Mix
½ tsp tamarind paste
¾ tsp coriander seeds
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp fresh ginger
1 tsp fresh garlic
1 tsp coconut oil
¼ tsp turmeric
4 cumin grains
pinch hing
Serves 4Pots n pans
Wok or Fry pan



  1. Wash chickpeas in water using a fork not hands to stir water. Soak overnight or for 8 hours completely immersed in water. SOS  I’ve never used canned chickpeas, but can use canned if in a rush, but be sure to thoroughly rinse out water, there’s a lot of talk about BPA in aluminium cans.
  2. RInse out the water and add fresh water. Pressure cook chickpeas till soft. Crush some of the chickpeas to a paste and leave most of them whole. SOS The paste is what’s going to give your channa masala its oomph! Set aside.
  3. Dry roast coriander seeds. When you smell the aroma, remove from stove. Grind to powder when cool in food processor or coffee/spice mill. Set aside. SOS I typically prepare my spice powder once a week so its still fresh when I use in my daily cooking.
  4. Heat oil in frypan. Quickly add hing and cumin. Add ginger, garlic, sauté quickly. Then add turmeric, cayenne and roasted coriander powder and toss everything together.
  5. Add cooked chickpeas to the pan and the tamarind paste. Let everything come to a boil & raw smell of tamarind is nicely mingled with the chickpeas and spices. Add salt to taste and remove from stove.
  6. Serve garnished with chopped cilantro, onion rings, chopped green chili and even sliced tomatoes.

Health benefits
High in fibre and protein, chickpeas fill you up and stave hunger. They’re good for your heart too. Including 3/4 cup (175 mL) of chickpeas in your diet each day can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, which reduces the risk of heart disease.

Fun facts
The spice for today is tamarind. Its a pity that its not used enough since there isn’t much awareness about usage.. Its rich in minerals. Once you begin to play with tamarind, its sweet and sour taste will definitely have you hooked and balance out and nicely complement all the hot and spicy foods you’re reading about in my blogs.

Suggested Pairing
Channa masala is typically served with deep fried bread called bhatura. But I’ve had equally tasty roadside vendors in delhi serve it with kulcha(a baked bread popular in Punjab and Pakistan). You can even serve it with store bought nan, ligthly toasted in the oven. I’ll often serve it with chapatti(flatbread) –here’s a nice pix of my chapatti puffing up on the griddle. But my best memories of channa masala is a pairing with rice that I once ate in Sarojini nagar market in delhi after a long day of shopping and bargaining. The rice and protein kick energised me so much that I was able to get back on my feet for a second shopping round! This is why I highly recommend the rice pairing –use any rice, short or long grain, just as long as its not sticky rice for this recipe.

I hope you enjoyed my recipe. I’d love to hear what you use in place of tamarind for sweet and sour tastes!

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Looks wonderful. Can you please do a post on how to make chappati bread! 😉

    1. soulofspice says:

      I promise I will soon 🙂 thanks for your comment..

  2. Alenka says:

    Dear Charu. I am very happy to see how enjoyable you share your culinary talent. I love your stories, the way you describe each dish. Great job Charu and look forward for more spicy creations from India. Coulld you share recipe for naan. Do you use rice flower to make bread or you use only wheat flower? Best regards, Alenka from Slovenia

    1. soulofspice says:

      Alenka, thanks so much for your appreciative comment. How’s Slovenia? I’d love to visit some day..I’ll share indian bread recipes soon, sometimes I make bread with wheat & sometimes with rice flour.. keep visiting my blog posts & I look forward to hearing from you! charu

      1. Alenka says:

        You are welcome at my home in Slovenia any time you with to visit us. I will keep checking your blog for some more delicious posts.

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