Chana masala recipe

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This mildly spicy Chana masala is an Indian classic full of traditional flavour. It’s the perfect vegetarian option or tasty side dish served with Naan

Preparation Time5 mins
Cooking Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Cost RangeCheap

This is a mildly curried side dish to serve alongside a meat or chicken curry, or can be served as a light vegetarian supper on it's own. Take care to use a mild chilli powder and add sparingly - you can always add more later, but you can't take it away! If you like hot food add a little chopped fresh red chilli or chilli flakes when frying off the spices. A little fresh coriander is delicious sprinkled over this Chana Masala just before serving.


  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2tbsp sunflower oil
  • 3cm piece root ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1tsp garam masala
  • 1/2tsp mild chilli powder
  • 400g can tomatoes
  • 2x 400g can chick peas, drained
  • 1 lime
  • Warmed Nann bread or chapattis to serve




  1. Fry the onions in the sunflower oil over a low heat for 5 mins until softened. Add the ginger, garlic, garam masala and chilli powder and fry for just 1 minute to release the flavours.
  2. Add the tomatoes and chick peas and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 10 mins. Season with salt, black pepper and a squeeze of lime juice, to taste
  3. Slice the remaining lime and serve alongside the Chana masala.
Top Tip for making Chana masala

If you wish to use dried chick peas you will need to soak them overnight in cold water then drain and place in a large pan, cover with water, bring to the boil, boil for 15 mins then reduce the heat and simmer until tender. Do not add salt until the end of cooking time as this will toughen the skins.