Channa (Chole) Masala

This Channa Masala recipe is sure to steal your heart! Garbanzo beans, Chick peas or Channas (in Hindi) are one of the most sought after and loved dishes in India but the flavor varies by regions and spices native to that area. Lovingly known by a lot of different names, such as Chole, Punjabi Chole, Khatte Channe! The color, texture and the flavors are just phenomenal. Served with some Puris or Bhaturas, they have now become synonymous with Indian cuisine.

Prep time: 5 min + overnight soaking
Cook time: 60 min
Serves: 6-8


Kabuli Channas /Garbanzo Beans – 2 Cups
Water – 8 cups
Tea bags – 2
Black Cardamom – 1
Bay Leaf – 1
Cinnamon Stick – 1″ pc
Salt – to taste
Oil – 1.5 tbsp
Hing/Asafoetida – 1/8 tsp
Crushed Tomatoes – 14.5 oz can/400 gms
Channa/Chole Masala – 1 tbsp
Anardana – 1/2 tsp
Red Chili Powder – 1/2 tsp
Chaat Masala – 1/2 tsp
Amchur/Dry Mango Powder – 1/2 tsp
Onions & Green Chilles – for garnishing


1. Soak the Channas overnight.
2. Transfer the Channas and the Water it has been soaking in into the pressure cooker.
3. Add in Cinnamon Stick, Bay Leaf, Black Cardamom, Teabags & Salt. Mix
4. Close pressure cooker and allow it to whistle thrice, lower heat and cook for another 20 min.
5. Once done, allow the pressure to go down and then open.
6. Seperate the water and the Channas, do not discard the water.
7. In a pan, heat Oil on medium heat.
8. Once hot, add in the Asafoetida and right after that add in the Crushed Tomatoes.
9. Cook till the Tomatoes seperate from the Oil.
10. Add in the Channa Masala, Chaat Masala, Red Chilli Powder, Dry Mango Powder & Anardana Powder.
11. Mix well.
12. Add in the Channas/Chole and mix again.
13. Add in the Water that had been set aside, little at a time.
14. Mix occasionaly and cover and allow the channas to cook.
15. Repeat the process till the water is all consumed and the consistency of the gravy looks good.
16. Garnish with Onions and Green Chillies.
17. Serve hot with Puris, Bhaturas, Bread, Chapati, Parathas or Naan.

1. Serve the Channa Masala with tikkis or Samosas.
2. If the dish is too sour, add a tsp of sugar to balance out the flavor.

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How to make Pindi Chole, how to make Indian style Chick peas, Garbanzo beans like Indian restaurants

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123 thoughts on “Channa (Chole) Masala

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  2. I am very pleased to have found your web site through this particular recipe. I have tried it and the results were delicious. I think I have a solution for those that question the absence of garlic and onion in the recipe. I decided to stay true to the recipe and did not change anything. I found that the result was to bring out the natural flavor in the chickpeas which were complimented by the spices you recommend. Before we consumed all of the channa masala, I did try a slight change by serving some onion chutney with it. Both my wife and I found it complimentary. Thanks for all of your recipes which I look forward to exploring. I have really enjoyed my excursion into understanding and preparing Indian cuisine. It will be made all the better with your web site as a source.

  3. Hi Anuja and Hetal,

    Thanks for this wonderful recipe. I really like your recipes and have tried a lot of them. I have one question, which “channa masala” powder are you using. Is it homemade, MDH or any other brand?

    Thank you so much for your help.

  4. Hi,
    I made the chole. Turned out good. But by adding tomato, red chilli and the masala the color came out dark red and not dark brown though I added 2 tea bags. While they were boiled the color was dark brownish.

    Any Advise.

    1. Hi Sang,

      Personally, I prefer red over brown (just my opinion) as it looks more appetizing. Sometimes, chana (chole) masala is red because they use food coloring.

  5. OMG, ladies! I usually make chole in my slow cooker so it’s ready by the time I get home in the evening, but decided on your version today. So glad I did! I made it with the bhaturas and it was wonderful – perfect flavors. Can’t wait to have it again in a day or two – I’m sure it’ll be even better after the flavors have had a chance to mingle. One more of your recipes that I’ll eventually “steal” for my food cart! 🙂

  6. I have made this recipe again for another party and this time, I used 3 onions and green chillies after its ready, added in the required anardana masala and made a paste of it…let it cooked for few minutes before adding in the ginger and garlic paste…also let it cooked for few minutes then added in the tomato puree…rest was your recipe … it turned out awesome…the gravy was well worth the extra work… also for garnishing also made Jillian of ginger, green chilly without seeds …made a tadka with ghee and ajmo, ginger and green chilly jillians….turned out very nice presentation ..of course added the onions as topping ..

  7. Tried it…A different& unique taste that was far much better than the Hotel made one..For the first time my hubby told that a veg curry made by me is fantastic…

    Thanks Girlies!!!

  8. Hi again !!! Girls!
    This is an awesome receipe! Everyone loved it!!!
    I want to make a request , I want a genuine receipe of PINDI Chana /PESHAWRI chana , as per my knowledge they prepare it without onions and tomatoes….please help!!!

    1. Hi Gk,

      Asafoetida or hing has a really unique flavor that is not easily substituted. If you just cannot find it, you can leave it out. You may want to check at an Indian grocery store in your area.

  9. Hetal and Anuja,
    Thanks for wonderful recipes. This is yet another awesome recipe from you guys which I tried out today. This recipe is so simple and so delicious.

    Thanks and Regards,

  10. Hi hetal and anuja,
    Beautiful recipe…thank you.
    One suggestion ….I always take some cooked chana with the spices and run it in the mixer and sub sequently add the same to the dish and cook for few more minutes….it thickens it & enhances its flavour!

  11. Hi Hetal and Anuja,
    I am a follower of your website and I must admit, it is godsend. Being an Indian abroad who learnt all her cooking while being abroad its websites like yours which make all the diffrence in the world. I was wondering if u could tell me how long pre-prepared curry masala’s last for (you know the one with tomatoes and spices and onions etc which has been reduced and is a base for most meat dishes) I am very busy with work and by the time I get home the thought of rustling up a dish from scratch is like a nightmare for me and I was thinking of making the masala in bulk so that I can use it whenever I like and I am sure a rough idea of how long this lasts will come in handy for all busy folk out there.
    Thanks very much!!

  12. Hi Hetal & Anuja,

    I have made this fantastic recipe a number of times. Now I would like to bring it to my kids house for Christmas. Do you think this could be frozen?
    Thanks again for all your wonderful recipes.

    1. Hi Mark,

      There are a lot of ingredients that go into chaat masala, especially different types of salts that are not always easily available. Our chaat masala comes from India (homemade), but if it didn’t, we’d just buy it from the store :).

  13. Hi Hetal & Anuja,

    Love how easy you have made Indian cooking!
    I have a pressure cooker but it does not have a whistle. About how many minutes equals three whistles as per you instructions in #4

    1. Hi Jan,

      This is a tricky question since every pressure is different. Your best bet is to experiment with your pressure cooker. You can start with 1 minute per whistle and go from there. Good luck.

  14. Hi Hetal and Anuja,
    u ppl r doing a wonderful job by sharing us ur kitchen secrets and letting us also do a wonderful cooking…. thanks a lot for all ur videos..

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