Traveling the world through cuisine

Chana Masala

A captivating blend of chickpeas flavored with a myriad of seasonings to give it a little bit of spice with a sour citrus note. It’s mainly known to the Punjab Region of India and Pakistan, and is a regular on most Indian menus.

Chana Masala


  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1/2 of a yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 can (15 oz) of chickpeas in water
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp of curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp of coriander
  • 1/2 tsp of cumin
  • 1/4 tsp of cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp of nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp of cloves
  • 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
  • 2 handfuls of spinach, rinsed
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a skillet or frying pan, heat up the olive oil on medium heat.
  2. Add in the garlic and onion, sauteeing until the onion is soft.
  3. Place the chickpeas with water into the pan with the onion and garlic.
  4. Stir well and allow the mixture to get hot.
  5. Add in all the seasonings and lemon juice.  Mix thoroughly.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.
  7. Reduce your heat to low.
  8. Place the spinach into the pan and stir around until the spinach is coated and softening.
  9. Cover the pan and allow the Chana Masala to cook for 2-5 more minutes before serving.

Quick Notes

Chickpeas are also known as garbanzo beans, in case you can't find anything in the store labeled "chickpeas".

I personally prefer canned chickpeas for this recipe, but if you would rather used dried ones, then soak and cook 1 1/2 cups of dried chickpeas as you normally would, and put them into the recipe with 1/2 cup of water.


If you wish to make the Pakistani version with potatoes, I would peel two potatoes and cut them into small chunks.  Put them in the oil first before the onion and garlic.  Cook them until they are soft and have a light golden color.  Then add in the onion and garlic and carry on as I described.

If you would like to try this recipe with chicken, then simply cut your chicken into strips or small pieces, and sautée in the oil until they are almost fully cooked.  From there you would add in the garlic and onion and proceed as described.

Some also like to add in tomatoes to this recipe for color and variety.

Serving Suggestions

Traditionally Chana Masala is served with rice and yogart, but I personally like it alone.  You can also serve it with naan bread.

Tags: Indian, Middle East, vegetable, chickpeas, Chana Masala

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