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Chola (Chana Masala)

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Chole also known as Chana Masala is a chickpea dish cooked in a spicy tomato gravy.

Serves 2 to 4.

Chola Chana Masala Recipe by ManjulaIngredients:

  • 1 15 oz can of chickpeas (kable chana, Garbanzo beans)
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • Pinch of asafetida (Hing)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Besan (gram flour) (available in Indian grocery stores)
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon chopped green chilies
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro (hara dhania)
  • Thinly sliced tomatoes for garnish

Method

  1. Drain chickpeas and wash well.
  2. Blend the tomatoes, green chilies and ginger to make a puree.
  3. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Test the heat by adding one cumin seed to the oil; if seed cracks right away, oil is ready. Add the asafetida and cumin seeds. When cumin seeds crack, add the gram flour and stir-fry for a minute.
  4. Add the tomato puree, coriander powder, turmeric, and red chili powder. Cook about four minutes on medium heat. The tomato
    mixture will separate from the oil and reduce to about half in quantity.
  5. Add chickpeas, salt, and one cup of water. Cook, covered, for seven to eight minutes on medium heat.
  6. Press the chickpeas with a spatula to soften. Add more water as needed to keep the gravy consistency to your liking, and let it cook
    on low heat a few more minutes.
  7. Add the garam masala and cilantro. Let it cook for another minute.
  8. Garnish with thin tomato slices.

Serving Suggestions 

  1. Chana Masala goes well with any Indian flat bread, and can also be served with Western bread or pita bread.
  2. Chana Masala is also a delectable treat over plain rice.
  3. This is a healthy, nutritious dish for vegan and gluten-free diets.

178 thoughts on “Chola (Chana Masala)

  1. Hi Manjula
    Thank you very much . i have tried a few recipes from your website and all came out very well.

    1. Manjula doesn’t ever cook with garlic or onion, I think it could be related to her religious beliefs. The asafetida gives a similar flavor to both onion and garlic, or so I am told. I still can’t find any here in Israel.

  2. Manjula, I don’t feel like an outsider when I walk into an Indian grocery store anymore. No more boil-in-bag packets for me. I know what to buy and how to cook it thanks to you.
    You really are quite the ambassador for making cultural walls fall between the West and East.
    Thanks,
    Matt

  3. Hello Aunty

    Ur recipe sounds great. how many cups of dried chickpea will you need for this preparation? please let me know for me to try this recipe

  4. Thank you, Manjula!

    Chana Masala is one of my favorites! I just love you! It feels like mom teaching me in the kitchen

    Namaste

    Sandra

  5. For those who wish to soak the dried chana, you have to soak 1/2 a cup of dried chana for a can of garbanzos. I soak mine for about 10 hours and then cook in pressure cooker.

  6. I have made your chana masala(Chola) several times. Your web site is a blessing! I have always wanted to prepare delicious northern Indian dishes. Thank you Manjula for sharing your culinary talents.

  7. Now we have vacation in UAE and we ae watcting your recipes my mummy had made some resipies and we enjoy your delicious racipies everyday
    wish you good health

  8. Respected Auntie,

    I just cooked this Chola and it is absolutely divine!

    I love your website. I am trying to switch over to a more vegetarian diet since meat doesn’t seem to work well with my body. Thank you for your lovely website and your very very helpful videos!

    Have a lovely day!

  9. hi aunti

    i have a large family and i want to make more of this dish
    would i simply double the recipe? in all quantities or only some things?

    please let me know

    thanks so much!

  10. We are Indians based in Saudi Arabia and me and my wife enjoy looking at all your receipies. Although we do not make most of them specially the sweet/Oily ones, we still enjoy them very much.
    Tahnk you very much for all your lovely videos.!

    Regards,

    Saif

  11. Manjula–

    Thank you so much for the fantastic recipes! I have tried a few different lentil dishes from the site, and they have all turned really well. Your videos really make the cooking simple, too. I can’t wait to try this dish tonight!

    Amanda

  12. Manjula – My girlfriend threw away my besan flour! I’m using all-purpose wheat flour tonight, are there other substitutions you would recommend?

    WWMD?

  13. I have a year 14 month old son, who is getting bored with usual khichdi and cereal I have been giving him….
    Can you please include a baby-food section that can help out mothers like me….

  14. Hello Aunty Manjula!

    I’ve looked high and low for a chana masala recipe but I only found really mediocre recipes. Thats unitl I tried Your Chana Masala recipe. This chana masala is the most delicious chana masala I’ve ever tasted! I really appreciate all the hard work you put in into making this website and sharing your recipes. Every recipe I’ve tried is a winner.

    Thank You!

  15. Mmmmmh ! This is delicious!

    Manjula, thank you so much for sharing and making these wonderfull recipes so accessible.
    I still have to find my way around with some new spice and new ingredients… I am learning a lot. You’re a great chef and a great teacher!

  16. Hi Manjula, I need help. I try to make this recipe and each time I make it the chickpeas are never soft. I soak them for almost 24 hours and then cook in slow cooker. They are never soft like my mom makes them or when you est at an Indian restaurant. What am I doing wrong? Many thanks!

    1. Raj,
      I don’t know where you live, some time water can do that next time add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in the water you are soaking the chola and make sure add the salt to chola after you have boil them.

  17. What other dishes would you suggest I serve with the Chana Masala with to make a complete meal?

    Thanks for your videos, my boyfriend and I really enjoy them.

  18. Dear Manjula,
    Thank you for your recipes, they are easy and tasty. I am learning to cook good vegetarian Indian food.

    Keep it up!

  19. hello manjulaji, i am not jain but like to try many recipes without onion and garlic. but the problem is whenever i make only tomato gravy it turns really sour.. can you please tell me what could be the reason?

  20. HARE KRISHNA!
    Please accept my humble obeisances.

    Manjula-ji,
    Thank you for this delicious recipe and I simply love your website and videos.
    I have offered many of these dishes to Sri-Krishna and then tasted the prasadam….

    Thank you !!

    HARI BOL!!!

  21. what is the equivalent of one can of chickpeas to dried garbanzo beans? how many hours do i soak it and how long do i boil it if i don’t have a pressure cooker?

  22. Namaste Auntie Manjula,

    I just wanted to thank you for all your time and effort in sharing your wonderful cooking skills with the world. I’ve made other recipes of yours many times with great success. Tonight I tried this one for the first time, simply because I had a can of garbanzo beans that had been sitting in the cupboard for a while, haha. I also made naan and rice to go with it. My room mates asked me why I hadn’t opened a restaurant, they loved the recipe so much! Your videos have helped me become a much better cook, and to become more confident in cooking.

    Again, thank you.

  23. Really enjoyed the video. Thanks! Might sound like an odd question, but where did you get that wonderful pan? Looks like the perfect depth.

  24. Hi Manjula –

    Thank you for sharing your recipes and putting it on video. This makes a huge difference being able to see it on video. I made the Chana Masala and it was delicious! I am looking forward to making a lot of your other recipes. Keep up the great work!

    Love,
    Stella

  25. Hi manjula aunty,
    Am very fond of chole never tried it.
    Could you confirm once how to use chole when I dont have any canned and I do have only the chick peas.How long should I soak them in water?Before preparing this,do I need to boil the chole?

  26. Manjula, I totally adore your food! a really big hug from Spain adn a very merry chistmas from myselg and Happy Diwaly from my sikh husband.

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