Chana Masala
Indian Recipe

This spiced chickpea mixture is delicious served with plain rice or, better yet, perfectly cooked basmati rice. Like most Indian food, Chana Masala is even more flavorful when prepared a day or two in advance.


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1 medium onion
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
1–2 green chilies, seeded and minced*
1/4-1/2 teaspoon red chili powder**
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 cup water
2 cups chopped tomatoes, drained***
3 15.5-ounce cans garbanzo beans, drained
1 tablespoon amchur powder****
1 teaspoon garam masala


* Use Thai or Serrano chilies. The heat of chilies changes with the seasons, so use your judgment when adding them.

**Heat is a personal preference. Start with 1/4 teaspoon and add as desired.

***Use canned tomatoes from Modena, Italy or Pomi brand tomatoes found in fine grocery stores—their flavor is superb!

**** Amchur powder is made from dried green mangoes and is available online at ecommerce stores like, or at Indian grocery stores. You may delete it from the recipe if unavailable to you.




1. Peel and quarter the onion, place it in the food processor, and process until smooth. Pour off the extra liquid and set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a medium, heavy-bottomed skillet over a medium-high flame. When very hot, add the onion and cook until browned, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Adjust the heat as needed so that the onion does not burn.

3. Stir in the ginger and cook for 2 minutes; add the garlic and cook for another minute.

4. Add the green chilies, chili powder, coriander, cumin, and turmeric, and mix to blend.

5. Lower the heat to medium, add 1/2 cup of the water and the tomatoes. Continue cooking and stirring for two minutes.

6. Add the remaining water and mix well.

7. Stir in the garbanzo beans.

8. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes.

9. Add the amchur powder and garam masala and mix well. Cook for two minutes and remove from the heat.

Preparation Time: 
30 minutes.