Chana Masala

6 servings



total time


1 , small red onion, quartered, divided

10 sprigs fresh, cilantro, stems and leaves separated

1 (1½-inch) piece, ginger, peeled and chopped coarse

2 , garlic cloves, chopped coarse

2 , serrano chiles, stemmed, halved, seeded, and sliced thin crosswise, divided

3 tablespoons, vegetable oil

1 (14.5-ounce) can, whole peeled tomatoes

1 teaspoon, Kashmiri chile powder

1 teaspoon, ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon, ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon, fennel seeds

2 (15-ounce) cans, chickpeas, undrained

1 1/2 teaspoons, garam masala

1/2 teaspoon, table salt

, Lime wedge


Recipe Instructions

Because the sodium contents of canned chickpeas and tomatoes vary, we include only a small amount of salt in this recipe; season with additional salt at the end of cooking if needed. If you prefer a spicier chana masala, leave the seeds in the serrano chiles. Kashmiri chile powder should have a brilliant red hue, a fruity flavor, and a slightly tannic edge, but very little heat. If you can’t find it, substitute 1 teaspoon paprika. This dish is often paired with bhature, deep-fried breads that puff up as they cook; alternatively, serve it with rice or naan.

Chop three-quarters of onion coarse; reserve remaining quarter for garnish. Cut cilantro stems into 1-inch lengths. Process chopped onion, cilantro stems, ginger, garlic, and half of serranos in food processor until finely chopped, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary, about 20 seconds. Combine onion mixture and oil in large saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until onion is fully softened and beginning to stick to saucepan, 5 to 7 minutes.

While onion mixture cooks, process tomatoes and their juice in now-empty food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add chile powder, cumin, turmeric, and fennel seeds to onion mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in chickpeas and their liquid and processed tomatoes and bring to boil. Adjust heat to maintain simmer, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. While mixture cooks, chop reserved onion fine.

Stir garam masala and salt into chickpea mixture and continue to cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until chickpeas are softened and sauce is thickened, 8 to 12 minutes longer. Season with salt to taste. Transfer to wide, shallow serving bowl. Sprinkle with chopped onion, remaining serranos, and cilantro leaves and serve, passing lime wedges separately.

Test Kitchen Techniques


Serving Size




Total Fat

11 g

Saturated Fat

1 g

Unsaturated Fat

6 g

Trans Fat

0 g


0 miligrams


576 miligrams

Total Carbohydrate

27 g

Dietary Fiber


Total Sugars

8 g


11 g

6 servings



total time
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