Best Occasion to Prepare this Recipe
I’ve been an ardent lover of Chana Masala since… I honestly don’t remember! But I can recall those school days when I know mom made Chole and I would literally countdown to lunch break to finish it up clean (when I was popularly known to take back half my lunch box home!). You don’t need an occasion to prepare this dish cause it’s easy to cook, healthy and believe me- it is ALWAYS a HIT!
Chole Masala otherwise a.k.a Chana (or Channa) Masala is a popular vegetarian North Indian gravy prepared using juicy ripe tomatoes, and Chickpeas together with its own unique combination of spices (they call it Chana Masala Powder- available in stores). Also, since Chickpeas are so delicious and versatile, the practically blend in well with a multitude of ingredients and help prepare multiple recipes. Some of the popular ones being Amritsari Chole, Methi Chole, Aaloo Chole, Saag Chana, Spicy Chana Masala, etc. Chickpeas are also used in some popular South Indian recipes like Sundal. In this post, I’ve covered some popular recipes for Chole + tips!
The prep time on this dish is about 6-12 hours and a total cook time of 45 minutes.
PS: The word Chole is mostly used with the word Bhature, cause they’re MFEO. Chole tastes best with Poori variations and also with Chapathi/Phulka. It pairs well with Jeera Rice, plain Basmati Rice and Pulao variations also.
My Top Recipe Recommendations
Chana Masala Recipes
- Tasty Appetite Chole Bhature Recipe
- Pickometer Score 4.6/5.0 Love this recipe’s texture, color and consistency. After cooking the onions, make a paste of one half of it and add it to the gravy. Try this and let me know!
- Indian Healthy Recipes Chana Masala Recipe
- Pickometer Score 4.50/5.0 Love how she adds generous pinch of Amchur powder for the khatta-meetha taste. The gravy consistency is perfect! I would use Chole Masala in place of Garam Masala as it is the important flavor maker
Punjabi Chole Recipes
- Ruchi’s Kitchen Chole Bhature Recipe
- Pickometer Score 4.5/5.0 Check out the Chana Masala Ingredients she has used!
- Sanjeev Kapoor’s Punjabi Chole Bhature Recipe
- Pickometer Score 4.4/5.0 Simple and Inspired. Black Tea Bags soaked with Chana works wonders!
- Sanjeev Kapoor’s Punjabi Chole – Jain Recipe
- Pickometer Score 4.4/5.0 This one without onion, garlic was finger licking good! My in-laws loved it.
Dry Variation of Chole to go with Bhature
The below recipes are both 4.3/5.0 – totally reminded me of galli ka khana, slurrrp!
Finally, the Dhaba style variation!
- Punjabi Chana Masala – Dhaba Style!
- Pickometer Score 4.25/5.0 What’s different you wonder? Dried Amla + Tea Bags + Amchur Powder + Yogurt
My Improv & Notes
I am a fan of all the above recipes and improvise based on the variation that I’d like to taste on a certain day. Here are some generic take-aways before you start cooking!
- Soak Chickpeas overnight for it to swell to the size of a mini lemon. Minimum of 6-8 hour soak time will help cook faster. Don’t let it squish out completely- give it 3-5 whistles and not more
- Use Chole Masala in place of Garam Masala. You don’t want your tomato gravies to all taste the same!
- Use Red Chili powder in place of green chilis for better color and taste
- Chana Masala gravies that go with Rotis taste better when dilute in consistency. Make sure the tomatoes are fresh and ripe and blend it with some amount (say 1 of 2 ) of oil cooked onion to increase the quantity of gravy
- Garnish and serve with chopped onions, coriander and cut lemon
Restaurants Serving Best Chana Masala in Bay Area
- Udipi Palace
- Flavor of India
- Aroma Cuisine of India
- Masala Cuisine
- Apna Dhaba
- Chaat Bhavan
- Vik’s Chaat
- Darbar Indian Cuisine
- Chaats and Currys
- Indian Street Cafe