Chana masala, which is also often referred to as chole masala or Punjabi-style chole, is essentially a spicy chickpea curry which is a very popular dish worldwide.
You will often find this on many menus in Indian restaurants and also in Punjabi wedding functions which can be considered as a starter to share or mains.
In our opinion, this does taste best when it is authentically made at home which the dried chickpeas are pressured cooked and then are slow-cooked into a spicy gravy.
In many Punjabi households, this is often consumed with a puri, which is a deep-fried light bread that is one of the best combinations you can experience.
However, to keep this healthy you can eat this with rice or flatbread, and considering portion control can help you keep this entire meal under 400 calories per serving easily.
In fact, if you are a vegan or vegetarian, the recipe for chana masala can be ideal because it contains so much flavor and it is a great source of plant protein.
In this post, here is a chana masala recipe that finds the balance of making it easy, healthy, authentic, and tasty. Also, this could be the best recipe if you are looking to save time during the week because it is perfect for meal prep.
- 1.05 lb chickpeas drain and rinse
Spices and Gravy
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 2 cup onion finely, chopped
- 2 tsp garlic paste
- 2 tsp ginger paste
- 400 g chopped tomatoes
- 2 tsp tomato puree
- 2 bay leaf optional
- 2 pods green cardamons optional
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp red chili powder
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 3 tsp garam masala powder
- 1 Cup water
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- 1 tsp black pepper or to taste
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1 tbsp frozen peas drain and rinse
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds optional
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 cup water
- Add vegetable oil to your pre-heated pan. Add the onions and sauté for three minutes.
- Add the garlic paste, ginger paste, bay leaves, and green cardamons. Sauté until golden.
- Add the canned tomatoes. Followed by salt, black pepper, ground cumin, ground coriander, red chilli powder, ground turmeric and garam masala. Stir to combine.
- Add the chickpeas, and cup of water. Cover and simmer on low heat for 20-25 minutes.
- Remove cover and stir to combine. Allow to stand for 5 minutes and it will be ready to serve with rice.
- Wash the rice.
- Bring the water to boil in a medium saucepan. Add the salt and vegetable oil.
- Stir in the rice. Reduce to low heat and cover for around 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove cover and add the peas and cumin seeds.
- Stir and cover for another 3 minutes.
- Remove cover, turn off heat and stir.
- For meal prep purposes, refrigerate up to 4 days.
- The measurement for the canned chickpeas are once it has been drained.
How many calories in chana masala?
This recipe makes around 4 servings and that works at around 242 calories each per servings. This is based on the ingredients we purchased, which means your calculation may slightly differ.
The calories may sound low but once you serve it with rice or a flatbread, each serving can be around 400 calories which is why portion control can help make this recipe macro-friendly.
Is chana masala healthy?
Chana masala is a healthy recipe that is high in fiber and is a great source of plant protein. As it is low in calories, this dish can be included in a healthy meal plan and you can still enjoy it with a bowl of rice.
Is chana masala vegan?
This chana masala recipe is vegan-friendly which you can also meal prep and freeze. As it is a spicy chickpea curry, it will taste fresh and tasty even after you reheat it.
How to make chana masala powder?
We recommend buying a chana masala powder if this is going to be a regular dish that you will cook because it can certainty save time when you add the spice mix. If you want to make it from scratch, this is the best recipe.
Is chana masala keto friendly?
This is not a good recipe if you are on a keto diet as each serving is approximately around 33.9 grams of carbohydrates (around 23 grams net carbs).
Meal Prep FAQ
Chana masala is a great recipe to prepare in advance because it will last up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator and it will still taste fresh after you reheat it due to the spicy gravy.
This can be served with rice, naan, or flatbread such as a roti.
You can also freeze chana masala and it does keep really well in the freezer which can be ideal for batch cooking a bulk serving up to two months.
It can be reheated in the microwave for 2-3 minutes or on a stovetop over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
Meal Plan Weekly is a resource for busy people and home cooks around the world. What started as a solo blog has now turned into a website of healthy recipes and home cooking tips written by home cooks, chefs and nutritionists around the world. Our mission is to make healthy cooking easy, with realistic recipes that you will actually cook and balanced meals that you can fit into your meal plan.