Chana Masala

The chana bean, or chickpea, is a staple of the Maharashtrian diet, used in a variety of forms and variations. This Chana Masala is considered by many to be the most popular curry in India. In fact, this is one of the dishes that the women in the Masala Mamas collective make for the children in the Love2Learn school in Kalwa every week. The recipe is fairly straightforward to make, though you have to remember to soak the beans overnight. This recipe is full of aromatic Maharashtrian flavors and has a nice spicy kick. Serve with chapattis or over rice, the way the children love to eat it.

This recipe is by Ranjana Ramchandra Gaiakwad and is from the cookbook Masala Mamas.

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Serves 4


  • 1 ¼ cup/ 250 gr dry chickpeas, soaked overnight in a generous amount of water
  • ½ tsp/ 2.5 ml baking soda
  • ½ tsp/ 2.5 ml turmeric
  • 2 Tbsp. / 30 ml neutral oil
  • 2 tsp/ 10 ml whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp/ 5 ml mustard seeds
  • 4 fresh green chili peppers, chopped
  • 2 tsp/ 10 ml fresh curry leaves
  • 1 tsp/ 5 ml asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 tsp/ 5 ml finely chopped ginger
  • 2 tsp/ 10 ml garam masala
  • 2 tsp/ 10 ml ground coriander
  • 1 tsp/ 5 ml turmeric
  • 1 tsp/ 5 ml cumin
  • 1 tsp/ 5 ml red chili powder
  • Salt to taste


Drain the soaked chickpeas and rinse well in a colander. Fill  a  medium  or  large  saucepan  with  6  cups  of  water,  along  with  baking  soda  and  and  turmeric.  Bring to a boil, and add the soaked chickpeas.  Cook  for  1  ½  hours,  or  until  chickpeas  are  thoroughly  cooked.

When the  chickpeas  are  done,  heat  oil  in  a  frying  pan  over  medium    Add cumin,  mustard,  chili  peppers,  curry  leaves,  hing,  and  ginger,  and  cook  until  fragrant,  around  3-4  minutes.

Add the cooked chickpeas. Stir until the chickpeas are coated with spices.  Add  garam  masala,  coriander,  turmeric,  cumin  and  red  chili  powder  and  mix    Sauté  over  medium  heat  for  a  minute  and  add  salt  to  taste.

Serve over rice or with chapattis.

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Nutrition Information

Chana Masala

Servings per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving

Calories:  328

Calories from Fat:  108g

Total Fat:  12g

Saturated Fat:  2g

Cholesterol:  0mg

Sodium:  77mg

Potassium:  784mg

Carbohydrates:  48g

Dietary Fiber:  13g

Protein:  14g

Sugars:  9g

Vitamin A:  14%

Vitamin C:  187%

Calcium:  8%

Iron:  32%

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