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Chhole/Chana Masala (Curried Chickpeas)

A spicy, tangy and delicious recipe from Alberta-based food blogger Michelle Peters-Jones and



  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) unscented oil (e.g. canola)
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1-inch (2.5 cm) piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 hot green chillies, chopped
  • 1 cup (250 mL) ripe red tomato purée (see tips)
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) hot water
  • 1 can (19 oz/540 mL) chickpeas, drained & rinsed (yields 2 cups/500 mL cooked)
  • Spice Mix

  • 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) garam masala
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) dried mango powder (amchur)
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) hot chilli powder (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cloves
  • Garnish

  • 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) chaat masala (MDH or Everest brand, or make your own)
  • large handful fresh cilantro, roughly chopped


In a heavy pot, heat the oil, then add the diced onions. Cook, stirring for about 7 – 8 minutes on a medium heat, until the onions soften and just start to colour.

Add the grated ginger, garlic and chopped chillies. Stir.

Add the spice mix to the above mixture, then cook on a gentle heat, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes.

Add the tomato puree and about 1/2 cup (125 mL) hot water. Add the rinsed chickpeas.

Stir together, then cook on a low heat for about 5 – 20 minutes, until you can no longer feel the rawness of the spices.

Take off the heat, and whisk in the chaat masala and sprinkle the chopped cilantro on top to serve.

This chhole masala goes well with rice, naan, pulao and aloo tikkis.


  • You can make tomato purée by blanching about 2 large, ripe tomatoes in hot water, then peeling the skins off and seeding them. Blend in a blender till puréed. The amount of purée depends on the size of your tomatoes, so you may have to add one more tomato, if necessary.
  • For convenience, you can substitute 1 cup (250 mL) strained tomatoes, available at Italian stores, or 1 cup (250 mL) plain tomato sauce instead of the fresh puréed tomatoes.
  • This recipe makes a lot of sauce, so you can increase the amount of chickpeas up to 800 mL (2 – 400 mL cans) if desired.


Recipe and photo courtesy of

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