Chana Masala Recipe | PBS Food

This Indian chickpea dish is a beloved staple in my home. If you don’t have cooked chickpeas, you can use canned, but it will cost about $1 more. For a full meal, serve the chana masala over rice or with Roti. - Leanne Brown

This recipe is courtesy of Leanne Brown



  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne powder 1⁄2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste 1⁄2 tablespoon ghee (see box)
  • or 1⁄2 tablespoon butter plus a
  • splash of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1⁄2 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
  • (remove seeds for less heat) 1 cup pureed canned tomatoes
  • (see box, page 29)
  • 2 1⁄2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained
  • Garnishes
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • Raita or yogurt


  1. Combine the coriander, turmeric, cayenne, garam masala, smoked paprika, if using, and salt in a small bowl.
  2. Melt the ghee in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Once it begins to sizzle, add the cumin seeds and stir for about 5 seconds until you can smell them. Add the onion and sauté until it’s a little soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the ginger and jalapeño and cook for 1 minute longer. Add the spice mixture you made in Step 1, then the pureed tomatoes. Mix, then put a lid on the pan and let everything cook down, 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Once the tomato has reduced and the ghee starts to separate from the sauce, add the chickpeas and 1⁄2 cup of water. Stir, bring it to a boil, and then decrease the heat to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, and then squish a few chickpeas with the back of a spoon to thicken the sauce before serving. Garnish with cilantro and Raita.
Presented by:
Produced by: