Indian food, chana masala, chickpeas

Chana masala, chickpeas cooked in a sauce fragrant with spices, is a staple thought the whole of India and Pakistan.  It’s presented in Indian restaurants around the globe and a diurnal staple in every Indian household.  There are many variations but this is a solid recipe and topping them with the Aloo Tikki – Indian potato pancakes – makes for a successful and delightful fusion.   In my Hummus recipe, I commented it’s always better to boil the chickpeas from scratch.   However, this is a good quick version.

1 can of chickpeas – drained and rinsed

½ cup of chicken stock

3 medium tomatoes – skinned and seeded

½ TSP Kashmiri chili powder

1 small green chili – seeds removed

1 TSP ground cumin

½ TSP of turmeric

1 TSP garam masala

1 ½ TSP of mango powder – Amchoor

2 TBSP of fresh ginger

2 garlic cloves

1 Indian bay leaf

1 cup of chopped cilantro

1 ½ TSBP of ghee (clarified butter) or Vegetable oil

2 medium sized onions – grated or pureed

Juice of half a lemon

In a food processor puree the onion, garlic, fresh ginger, green chili, salt and pepper with some cilantro to make a smooth paste.  Melt the ghee in a large skillet with high sides add the dried spices to bring out their oils and toast them for about 40 seconds.  Add the onion puree and cook for about 9-10 minutes, with a small splash of water to prevent from sticking to the pan.  Add the tomatoes, the chickpeas, bay leaf and with a little bit more water and simmer for about 20 minutes till the flavors have married well.  Add the lemon juice and serve topped with Aloo Tikki.



2 large potatoes – peeled, cut into large chunks, boiled and mashed

½ TSP coriander powder

½ TSP cumin seeds

1 TBSP of finely chopped fresh ginger

1 medium onion – very finely chopped (reserve about 1 large TBSP of the raw onion)

1 Thai red chili – seeds removed and finely chopped

½ TSP of turmeric

1 TSP garam masala

½ TSP dried mango powder – Amchoor

1 TBS of chickpea flour (or APF – all purpose flour)

1 TSP lemon juice

1 pinch of salt

½ cup of defrosted peas

½ cup of chopped scallions – green and white parts

Indian Crema – (Mix some sour cream, 1 TSP of lime juice, 1/2 TSP garam masala, 1/2 TSP madras curry powder and a pinch of salt)


Mash the cooked potatoes in a bowl and set aside.  In a skillet add some ghee or veggie oil and add the cumin, turmeric and coriander and toast till the cumin seeds pop – being careful not to burn them, about 40 seconds.

Add the chopped onion and the scallions and sweat them with some salt ensuring that they don’t stick to the pan.  Add the ginger and the chili and cook for a further 5 minutes and add the peas, with a small splash of water to warm through – cool down.  Add to the mashed potatoes together with the garam masala, the TBSP of raw onion, mango powder, chickpea flour and salt and fresh cracked pepper.  Mix well with your hands and form round patties (the size of medium hamburgers).

Heat up some oil in a nonstick pan and fry the Aloo tikkis for about 4-5 minutes per side, being careful not to burn them.

Serve over the Chana Masala with some Indian Crema.

You Might Also Like

Pantry Rat