Channa Masala - Chole - Stewed Spiced Chickpeas

Channa Masala sometimes known as chole is a classic Indian stewed chickpea dish. This recipe is very straight forward and easy to make on a weekend or in bulk on a Sunday night.

Time: 1 hour


  • 4 medium/large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 (1-inch) knob ginger, peeled, chopped
  • 1 to 3 Serrano chilies (to taste), seeds in and chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely diced (yields about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 14-oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 lemon, juiced and divided
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) vegetable oil or ghee
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped


(* included in our 7 Spice Starter Kit)


Special Tools: 

  • Food processor or mortar and pestle


  1. In a mortar and pestle, or a food processor combine garlic, ginger, chilies, 1/2 tsp of salt, and half lemon juice. Pound/process until you have a fine paste. Set aside. (Alternatively, you can use a mircoplane or box grater to create a paste or buy premade paste from the store).
  2. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat the oil/ghee until shimmering. Add mustard seed and whole cumin seed to hot oil. You want them to sputter and dance together. They will quickly become aromatic (about 20-30seconds), add the onion, and baking soda. 
  3. Cook onions down. Stir frequently. The onions will start to leave a brown coating on the bottom of the pan after 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon water, scrape up browned bits from the pan, and continue cooking. Repeat this process until onions are a deep brown, about 10 minutes total.
  4. After onions are browned, add garlic/ginger/chili paste. Stir to combine. 
  5. Add coriander powder, black pepper, turmeric, red chili powder, and half the garam masala. Stir for about 30 seconds until fragrant. 
  6. Add tomatoes and crush them until you have chunks. 
  7. Add drained, rinsed chickpeas and cilantro, reserving a little cilantro for garnish. Add 1/2 cup water.
  8. Bring to a simmer, cover with lid slightly cracked, and reduce heat to maintain a gentle bubbling. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has reduced into a thick stew and spices have melded about 30 minutes.
  9. Stir in remaining garam masala and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt. Serve with rice and/or naan, sprinkling additional cilantro on top.



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