Print Recipe

Chickpea Curry (Chana Masala)

Cook Time20 mins
Soak Dry Beans6 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Pulses
Servings: 2 people



  • 1 cup Chickpea/Garbanzo beans dry or 1 (15-ounce) can

Cook chickpeas with:

  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/4 tsp Asafetida usually not gluten-free, optional
  • 1 Onion finely chopped
  • 1 inch Ginger Root fresh, grated
  • 2 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 Tomato finely chopped
  • 1 Potato finely chopped, optional

Finish chickpeas with:

  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/4 tsp Rock Salt
  • 1/2 lemon Lemon Juice fresh
  • Cilantro leaves for garnish, optional


Rinse & Soak Dry Beans or Open Canned Beans

  • Dry Beans: Place beans in a large bowl and fill with plenty of water. Swish the beans in a scooping motion with your fingers. Drain off the water and refill with clean water. Swish the beans in the water, drain, and repeat at least 3 times to remove any dirt or undesired particles.
  • Rinse dry beans and place them in a large bowl. Cover with several inches of warm water. Soak the beans 6-8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse.
    Open a can of beans. Drain can water and rinse a few times with fresh water.


  • Add cumin seeds to a saucepan or pressure cooker and sauté for a few minutes using small amounts of water to ensure they do not burn.
  • After the cumin seeds become aromatic, add onion, followed by ginger and garlic. Sauté using small amounts of water till the strong aroma of ginger and garlic fade.
  • Add tomato, salt, garam masala, asafetida, and potato. Cover the pot for a few minutes to allow the tomato to soften.
  • Dry Beans:
    Pressure Cooker: Add water to ½ inch above the soaked and rinsed beans. Cook for 6-8 whistles (10-12 minutes) and allow pressure to release naturally. Cooking time reduces as quantity of beans increases.  
    Sauce Pan: Add 6 cups of hot water to the soaked and rinsed beans. Simmer gently with lid tilted until desired tenderness is reached, about 1½ to 2 hours.
    Canned Beans:
    Add the beans to the mixture of vegetables and spices and stir well. Add small amounts of water based on how much gravy you like.


  • Use the back of a ladle to crush several beans to thicken the gravy. If the gravy is too watery, let it boil for sometime to thicken. Add garam masala and salt to taste. Turn off the heat and squeeze half a lemon and garnish with cilantro.


Alternatives: Substitute ANY beans or peas for the chickpeas. 
Soaking is an efficient process to reduce heat-stable anti-nutritional compounds such as tannins, phytic acid, raffinose, stachyose, and verbascose. Therefore, soaking increases the nutritional benefits of pulses. Source: Health Benefits of Pulses, UNFAO
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