chickpea curry recipe with step by step photos. this is a super easy and delicious indian chickpea curry recipe and one you must try. you do not need any chana masala powder and you do not need to make any chana masala powder before making this recipe. simplicity is the key to this easy and vegan chickpea curry and this recipe is for keeps.
there are so many ways of making indian chickpea curry. i have shared many variations like.
- chana masala – authentic punjabi style. you need to make chana masala powder in the recipe.
- pindi chole – made with chana masala powder.
- amritsari chole – tastes similar to the chole masala one gets in the punjabi joints on the streets of delhi.
both punjabi chole masala and punjabi chana masala mean the same. however, the chickpea recipe can be a dry dish or one with gravy or curry. this vegan chana masala has a little gravy and is not totally dry.
i have adapted this chickpea curry recipe from the cookbook “1000 great indian recipes” by neeta datta and master chefs of india . this book has many age old indian recipes and is worth to buy. it is good for a beginner or for a housewive who is new to cooking and wants to try to out recipes from different parts of india. i have tried a few recipes from this book and all of them were good.
this recipe of chickpea curry is different in the sense that no onions are used in it. hence the curry or gravy is not strong on your senses and the flavors and taste of tomatoes, ginger-garlic, coriander seeds and red chillies blend in beautifully to create an awesome chana masala.
you can serve chickpea curry with slices of onion, lemon wedges and ginger julienne. this indian chickpea curry goes well with naan or poori or phulka or tandoori roti or bhatura or paratha or kulcha.
how to make chickpea curry
a) soaking and pressure cooking chickpeas
1. rinse 1 cup white chickpeas (chana or chole) thoroughly in water.
2. then soak them in enough water overnight or for 8 to 9 hours. below is the photo of soaked chickpeas.
3. drain all the water from the soaked chickpeas. rinse the chickpeas a couple of times with fresh water. drain well. add the soaked chickpeas in a pressure cooker. also add 2.5 cups water.
4. next add 1 teaspoon salt.
5. pressure cook chickpeas for 10 to 12 whistles or for about 15 to 20 minutes or till the chickpeas is tender and cooked well. if cooking chickpeas in a pan then it can take about an hour or more. cooking time may vary as per the quality of chickpeas, size of cooker and intensity of the flame. but make sure that the chickpeas are cooked well.
6. drain all the water from boiled chickpeas. keep the boiled chickpeas aside.
making masala paste
7. rinse 5 medium sized tomatoes and then roughly chop them.
8. peel 7 to 8 medium sized garlic cloves and 2 inch ginger. rinse and chop them too. measure all the ingredients and keep ready for making ground masala paste.
9. in a mixer, add 5 medium sized tomatoes (roughly chopped), 2 inch ginger (roughly chopped) and 7 to 8 garlic cloves (roughly chopped).
10. next add 5 dry red kashmiri chilies and 2 tablespoons coriander seeds.
11. grind to a smooth paste. don’t add any water while grinding. this paste is looking so red as i have used kashmiri red chillies and they are known to impart a bright red color to the food. they are also not spicy like the other variety of red chilies available in india.
making chickpea curry
12. measure and keep all the ingredients ready.
13. heat 3 tablespoon oil in a pan or kadai. keep the flame to a low.
14. add the ground masala paste. be careful as the paste can splutter.
15. stir and mix well.
16. keep stirring often.
17. saute the masala paste for 7 to 8 minutes till the raw smell of the tomatoes, ginger and garlic disappears and the oil starts to float on the top. the oil will also start to release from the sides.
18. now add around ½ to 1 cup of water and 2 to 3 slit green chillies. for a thicker consistency in the chickpea curry you can add ½ cup water.
19. mix well and simmer gravy for 3 to 4 minutes on low flame. you should see oil floating on top of the gravy.
20. then add the boiled chickpeas.
21. mix the chickpeas with the rest of the masala. at this step, you can add more water if required.
22. let the chickpea curry simmer for 10 to 15 minutes on a low flame. mash a few chickpeas with the back of a spoon. this helps in thickening the gravy.
23. keep on stirring in between.
24. once done, then add ½ teaspoon garam masala powder and salt as required. mix well with the rest of the chickpea curry.
25. simmer for 2 to 3 minutes more.
26. then switch off the flame. lastly add some chopped coriander leaves (cilantro leaves).
27. while serving chickpea curry, garnish with ginger julienne and coriander leaves. serve vegan chickpea curry with slices of onion, lemon wedges and ginger julienne. it goes well with plain paratha or butter naan or poori or roti or lachha paratha or bhatura.
few more punjabi recipes for you!
- dal fry – restaurant style recipe.
- dal tadka – restaurant style recipe.
- kala chana – punjabi style black chickpeas curry.
- rajma recipe – punjabi style curry made with red kidney beans.
- dal makhani – restaurant style recipe.
main ingredients for chickpea curry
- 1 cup white chickpeas (kabuli chana or chole or garbanzo beans)
- 2.5 cups water for pressure cooking the chana
- 1 teaspoon salt
for the ground masala paste
- 5 kashmiri red chillies - use red chilies which have a low to medium heat quotient
- 5 medium sized tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 2 inches ginger - chopped
- 7 to 8 medium sized garlic cloves - chopped
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
other ingredients for chickpea curry
- 3 tablespoon oil
- 2 to 3 green chilies, slit
- ½ to 1 cup water or add as required
- salt as required
- ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
- 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro leaves)
- 1 inch ginger, julienne
- 1 small to medium onion, thinly sliced in rounds
- 1 small lemon or lime chopped in wedges
- rinse the chickpeas (chana) thoroughly in water and then soak them overnight or for 8 to 9 hours. later drain all the water and rinse the chickpeas in fresh water.
- then boil the chickpeas with 2.5 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt in a pressure cooker or a covered pan with enough water.
- in a pressure cooker chickpeas can take about 15-20 minutes and in a pan about an hour or more. the chickpeas have to be cooked very well.
- once the chickpeas are cooked, then drain all the water from the chickpeas. keep the cooked chickpeas aside.
making ground masala paste
- rinse the tomatoes and then chop them.
- peel the garlic and ginger and chop them roughly.
- in a mixer or blender, add the tomatoes, ginger, garlic, dry red chilies and coriander seeds. no need to add water.
- grind or blend to a smooth paste.
making chickpeas curry
- heat oil in a pan and add the ground paste.
- fry the masala paste for 7 to 8 minutes till the raw aroma of the tomatoes, ginger and garlic goes away and the oil leaves the sides of the masala.
- now add the green chillies and ½ to 1 cup water. mix very well.
- cook for 3 to 4 minutes on a low to medium flame. add the boiled chickpeas.
- mix the chickpeas with the rest of the masala.
- let the chickpea curry simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes on a low flame. keep on stirring in between.
- then add the garam masala powder and salt and mix with the rest of the curry.
- simmer chickpea curry for 2 to 3 minutes more.
- lastly add chopped coriander leaves.
- serve the chickpea curry with slices of onion, lemon wedges and ginger julienne along with pooris, naan, bhature, bread or steamed rice.
- do not add water while making the 'ground masala paste' as the tomatoes have enough water content in them for this paste. however there are exceptions and if the tomatoes are not juicy enough then you might have to add some water. but do not make it watery as it will be difficult to fry this paste later. it will start spluttering when you will be frying it.
- if you want the chole masala to have some more gravy, add some more water to liquefy it.
- you can use any variety of dry red chilies, but keep in mind the pungency of the red chili, whether its hot or less hot.