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Chana Masala

Chana Masala (also known as chole) is a spicy chickpea curry which comes from the north of India. For something with such humble ingredients, this curry really punches above its weight in terms of flavour. I think it might be one of my all time favourite currys! It goes really well with flatbreads and is even better when combined with a cool and refreshing yoghurt raita.


3 Tablespoons Ghee (use rapeseed or vegetable oil if you want to make it vegan)

2 Black Cardamom Pods

3 Green Cardamom Pods

5 Cloves

1 Cinnamon Stick

2 Bay Leaves

2 Large onions, finely chopped

4 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped

1 Thumb sized piece of ginger, finely chopped

2 Ripe Tomatoes, finely chopped

1/2 Teaspoon of salt

1/2 Teaspoon ground black pepper

1 Teaspoon turmeric

1 Teaspoon chilli powder (use half a teaspoon if you don't like it too spicy)

1 Teaspoon amchoor (dried mango powder)

2 Teaspoons ground coriander

2 Teaspoons garam masala

2x 400g cans of chickpeas (don't drain)

Onion and fresh coriander to garnish (optional)

Flatbreads to serve (naan or roti go well with this)

A cool refreshing raita to serve

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Serves: Enough for 4 People


  1. Heat a large heavy bottomed pot over a medium heat and add the ghee, cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon sticks and bay leaves, cook for about 30 seconds until you start getting a nice fragrant aroma

  2. Add the onions and fry until golden brown (but not burned)

  3. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for about a minute

  4. Add the tomatoes and 100ml water and cook, stirring regularly until the tomatoes have reduced down and have a sauce like consistency, about 10 to 15 minutes

  5. Add the salt, pepper, turmeric, chilli powder, amchoor, ground coriander and garam masala to the pot. I usually mix them all in a bowl first and add them all at once. Cook, stirring regularly for about a minute

  6. Add the 2 cans of chickpeas to the pot along with the water from the cans along with another 100ml water and simmer for around 20 minutes, until the chickpeas are a little soft and the sauce has a nice consistency

  7. Use a potato masher to break up some of the chickpeas (only a few as this improves the consistency of the curry, you want most of them to remain whole)

  8. Serve garnished with some finely sliced onion, chopped coriander and the flat bread of your choice

  9. Enjoy!

The fried onion and whole spices

Cooking the tomatoes down

Adding the ground spices

Cooking the chickpeas and thickening the sauce

The finished curry

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