March 15, 2013

Chana Masala Recipe (Chole Masala Recipe) for Batura, Poori, Chapati, Roti

This easy Chana Masala Recipe is a recent addition to amma's often-cooked chana recipes. While I was growing up, she hardly made anything beyond the Kadala Curry which was served with puttu, chapati, batura, and even dosa. While I love the Kerala Kadala Curry recipe with a gorgeous roasted coconut base, this Chole Masala is lovely in its simplicity. Onions and tomatoes are fried and ground to a paste for the gravy and very minimum spices are added. It goes with pretty much everything you can think of serving it with.

Chana Masala Recipe - Chole Masala Recipe for Batura, Poori, Chapati
Chana Masala and Batura

Remember the Chettinad Vegetable Curry Recipe I posted a while back? The base of this Chana Masala gravy is quite similar and amma makes it often with just Kalpasi and no other spices. Since Kalpasi is probably not easily available everywhere, I have given a few substitutions - one being saunf or fennel seeds and the other being garam masala, although amma is generally of the opinion that garam masala is not the best flavour combo with a tomato-onion gravy. She generally prefers adding only one masala to any curry and we rarely use any masala in our curries.

Chana Masala Recipe - Chole Masala Recipe for Batura, Poori, Chapati
Chana Batura - The Perfect Match!

While amma was visiting me last May, we made Batura for me to blog the recipe but I forgot to take a picture of them after they were made! So I made Batura again a couple of months back and needless to say, Chana Batura is a lovely combination. Although Chana Batura is a tad weird for lunch, TH definitely didn't seem to mind.

Chana Masala Recipe - Chole Masala Recipe for Batura, Poori, Chapati
Delicious Chana Masala Recipe

The base of this Chana Masala Recipe is highly customisable so you can adjust the proportion of masala and spices according to your preference.

{Also check out the Punjabi Chana Masala Recipe}


Preparation time: 2 hours
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves 4
Recipe source: Amma

  • 1.5 cups of cooked chana / white chickpeas (soak overnight and pressure cook 3 whistles)
  • 2 large onions
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 tsp of chana masala / garam masala / fennel seeds / kalpasi (take your pick)
  • 1 tsp of minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp of minced ginger
  • 1 small bunch of coriander leaves / cilantro
  • 1 tsp of red chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • 1 tsp of salt (adjust to taste)

How to Make Chana Masala:
  • Heat oil and add the onions.
  • Saute until golden brown and add the ginger and garlic.
  • Fry for another 30 seconds and add the kalpasi or fennel seeds (if using garam masala or chana masala, you can add it later)
  • Add the tomatoes next and cook until they are mushy and soft
  • Cool and blend to a fine paste
  • Return to the same pan and add the cooked chana, chilli powder, salt and some water. Bring to boil and simmer for a few mins
  • Add the garam masala or chana masala (if using) and top off with chopped coriander leaves

Step by Step Pictures to Make Chole Masala

1. Heat oil and add the onions. When they turn a golden brown, add the ginger and garlic along with kalpasi or fennel seeds if using them
chana masala-chole masala-pindi chana

2. Fry for a few seconds and add tomatoes.
chana masala-chole masala-pindi chana

3. Cook until mixture turns mushy
chana masala-chole masala-pindi chana

4. Cool, blend, and return to the same pan along with the cooked chana or chole.
chana masala-chole masala-pindi chana

5. Add chilli powder and salt and some water. Bring to boil and simmer for a few mins.
chana masala-chole masala-pindi chana

6, I used garam masala in this batch of chana masala so if you choose to use the same, add it now and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
chana masala-chole masala-pindi chana

Serve Chole Masala warm with some minced raw onions sprinkled on top and Batura, Poori, Chapati, Appam etc.

  1. As mentioned, you can take a pick of what type of masala you want to add. The best options are Kalpasi, Fennel seeds, garam masala or chole masala. Use only one, not all.
  2. You can temper the Chana Masala if you wish. Just heat some oil, add mustard seeds and when they pop, add it to the cooked curry. Amma and I avoid this since there's already enough oil used to fry the onion-tomato paste.
  3. If the gravy gets thick, add boiling water to thin it down.

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