Chhole Masala/Channa Masala

Namaskara !

Thoda Punjabi ho jaaye ! Chhole Masala or Channa Masala; an authentic Punjabi dish. Perfect for a Sunday lunch/brunch with pooris or bhaturas. There are variations too. Rasse waale channe, a dry version of chhole etc (With different names of course ! )

Ingredients: Serves for 4

  1. Chickpeas- Kabuli Channe – Safed Channe – Soaked for 8 hours – 1 Cup
  2. Cinnamon stick – Dalchini – 1/2″ piece
  3. Black cardamom – Moti Elaichi – 2
  4. Tea Bags –  (Or Tea leaves tied in a clean white cloth) –  1 or 2
  5. Salt – 1 Tsp

For the Masala:

  1. Onions – Chopped Finely – 2
  2. Tomatoes – Chopped Finely – 3
  3. Ginger – Chopped Finely – 1″ piece
  4. Green Chilli  – Chopped Finely – 1
  5. Amchur Powder – 1  1/4 Tsp
  6. Coriander seed powder – Dhania Powder –  1 Tsp
  7. Garam Masala – 1/2 Tsp
  8. Red Chilli powder-  1/2 Tsp
  9. Channa/ Chhole Masala* – 2 Tsp
  10. Oil –  3Tbsp
  11. Salt – To Taste


  1. Discard the water in which the channas are soaked.
  2. Put the cinnamon stick, cardamom, salt and tea bag into the channa.
  3. Pour water over the channas just to cover them.
  4. Pressure cook the channas  for 3-4 whistles.
  5. Keep on low flame for 5 minutes and then keep aside.
  6. Heat oil. Add onions and saute till transparent.
  7. Add amchur powder and saute till onions turn slightly brown.
  8. Add tomatoes, ginger, and green chilli. Stir fry for 5 minutes.
  9. Add dhania powder, garam masala and red chilli powder.
  10. Mash the tomatoes and stir fry for 8-10 minutes or till the oil separates.
  11. Remove the tea bags, cinnamon stick and cardamom from channas.
  12. Strain the channas and keep the water aside.
  13. Add the channas to the tomato-onion  masala.
  14. Add channa masala. Mix well.
  15. Mash some channas so that the masala mixes well.
  16. Add the channa liquid from step 12. Add salt.
  17. Cook for 15-20 minutes and mix well till you get a saucy consistency.

To serve:

  1. Serve hot with onion rings, green chillies and tomato wedges.

Culinary secrets:

  1. To enhance the sour taste add a little (1/2 Tsp)  pomegranate seed powder (Anaardana powder).  Available in the supermarket.
  2. You could make channa masala at home. Recipe in masala category.
  3. Tea bag is added to give a nice colour to the channas.
  4. The water in which channas are soaked must be discarded. Adding this water to cook further, will cause indigestion.


  1. If the channas are hard even after soaking and cooking. Add 1/4 Tsp of baking soda (Sodium bi-carbonate/mitha soda) and pressure cook the channas again. But make sure they are not  swollen too much.
  2. Black cardamom can be avoided if you do not like the smell of it.
Published in: on April 25, 2010 at 11:49 AM  Leave a Comment  

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