Chana masala

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Chana masala
Made with the larger chickpeas
Alternative names Chole masala
Place of origin India, Pakistan
Region or state Northern region of the Indian Subcontinent
Main ingredients Chickpeas, onion, tomatoes, coriander, garlic, chiles, ginger, oil, spices
Variations Aloo chole, murgh cholay, chole bhature
Cookbook: Chana masala  Media: Chana masala
The raw ingredients of chana masala
Chole kulcha (chickpea served with flatbread) is a popular dish in northern India

Chana masala ([ˈtʃənaː məˈsaːlaː], literally "mix-spiced small-chickpeas"), also known as channay or chole masala or chole or chholay (plural), is a popular dish from the Indian subcontinent and notable in Indian food 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 than typical chickpeas (about half the diameter) with a stronger flavour and firmer texture even after being 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 (the flavor usually comes from coriander and onion). Chana are usually replaced by chole in most restaurants,[clarification needed] and both versions are widely sold as snack food and street food in India and Pakistan.


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

Regional dishes[edit]


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 can also be found in restaurants.

It is popular mainly in northern India, and also in the region of Gujarat. In the Gujarat and Rajasthani areas, it is commonly cooked dry, with tangy spices. In Kerala, white appam served with 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 has added chicken and is part of the traditional breakfast of the Pakistani city.


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