Chana masala

Chana masala
Alternative names Chole masala
Region or state Northern region of the Indian Subcontinent
Main ingredients Chickpeas, onion, tomatoes, coriander seed, garlic, chiles, ginger
Cookbook: Chana masala  Media: Chana masala
Chole kulcha is a famous food in northern India

Chana masala ([ˈtʃənaː məˈsaːlaː], literally "spiced chana"), also known as channay, as well as chole masala or chholay (plural) is a popular dish in Indian and Pakistani cuisine.[1] The main ingredient is a variety of chickpea called chana (चना) or kala chana, meaning black chana. They are much smaller (about half the diameter) with a stronger flavour, and firmer texture when cooked. Chole is the name for the larger and lighter coloured chickpea commonly found in the West. These are known as kabuli chana (काबुली चना) in Hindi-Urdu. Chana masala is fairly dry and spicy with a sour citrus note - usually served with coriander and onion. Chana are usually replaced with chole in most restaurants, and both are widely sold as snack food and street food in India and Pakistan.


Ingredients that go into making chana masala

Along with chickpeas, the ingredients typically include onion, chopped tomatoes, coriander seed, garlic, chillies, ginger, dried mango powder (amchur, sometimes spelled "amchoor"), crushed pomegranate seed (anardana) and garam masala.



It is popular mainly in northern India, and also notably in the region of Gujarat. In the Gujarat and Rajasthani areas, it is commonly cooked dry, with tangy spices.

In India, it is often eaten with a type of fried bread and is known as chole bhature. It is commonly sold by street vendors but also can be found in restaurants.

In Kerala, white appam and chana masala is one of the main dishes for breakfast. Chana masala is known as kadala curry among Keralites.


Aloo chole is a Pakistani variation of chana masala made with potatoes as well as chickpeas. In Lahore, a variation of the dish called murgh cholay is popular. The dish consists of chickpeas and chicken and is part of the traditional breakfast of Lahore.


  1. Bhagat, Rasheeda (Oct 7, 2005). "Cooking with Ees". The Hindu Business Line.
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