Chana aloo masala is a flavorful Indian curry made with chickpeas, potatoes, and spices. This recipe is easy to follow and can be made in under an hour. Serve with rice, chapathi or naan for a delicious and satisfying dinner. Learn the secret to making creamy chana aloo curry, without cream!
Why you’ll love this simple kabuli chana recipe
- It’s delicious. Chana aloo masala is a hearty curry that is perfect for a cold day. The combination of the chickpeas, potatoes, and spices is simply irresistible.
- It’s nutritious like the kadai vegetable recipe. Aloo chana masala is a good source of protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. It is also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including potassium, magnesium, and iron.
- It’s versatile. This Indian chickpea and potato curry can be served as a main course or a side dish. You can also make dry aloo chole (by adding less water) and use it as a filling for wraps or burritos. Or use it as curry for chapathi or naan.
- It’s easy to make. Aloo chole is a relatively easy dish to make. It is easier than the authentic chana masala recipe. The ingredients are simple and the cooking process is straightforward.
- It’s affordable. This kabuli chana recipe is a very affordable dish to make. The ingredients are all inexpensive, and the cooking time is relatively short.
- It’s vegan and gluten-free. Chana aloo masala is a vegan and gluten-free dish, making it a great option for those with dietary restrictions.
- It’s a crowd-pleaser. Aloo chana masala is a dish that is sure to please everyone at the table. It is a perfect choice for any occasion.
- It’s a great way to use up leftover chickpeas. If you’re wondering what to do with a can of chickpeas, chana aloo curry is the answer.
- It’s a great way to introduce your family to Indian cuisine. If your family is new to Indian cuisine, this chickpea and potato curry is a great dish to start with. The flavors are mild and approachable, making it a great introduction to the wide world of Indian food.
So let’s start right away:
(You can find the exact measurements and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this page.)
- Kabuli chana (chickpeas): When you buy dried chickpeas, ensure that they are fresh. The freshness will directly affect the flavor and cooking time.
- Potatoes: Starchy potatoes like Russet are more suitable for this recipe. The starch adds to the creamy texture of chana aloo masala.
- Olive oil: I’ve used olive oil for its health benefits and flavor. You can use any cooking oil of your preference.
- Ginger garlic paste: If you’re not used to making ginger-garlic paste at home, use grated ginger and garlic. (Grate 4 garlic cloves and a 1-inch piece of ginger for this recipe.)
- Green chilies: 1 or 2 for a mild flavor boost.
- Chili powder: I use 2 types, regular chili powder for the heat and Kashmiri chili powder for the color. You can use either one of them, depending on your preference. Or use both for color and flavor.
- Other spices are basic ones like coriander, cumin, turmeric and garam masala.
How to make aloo chana masala: step by step
1. Cook Chickpeas
Either canned ones or the dry variety can be used. If using canned chickpeas, skip this step. Canned chana can be rinsed and added to the gravy.
If using dry chickpeas, soak them for 8 hours or overnight. The quantity of water should be 2 cups for every cup of dry chickpeas.
If using a pressure cooker, cook for about 6 whistles on medium heat. If using an instant pot, pressure cook at high pressure for 15 minutes.
Wait for the pressure to release naturally.
2. Make onion tomato gravy
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a deep pan. Add a bay leaf and 1 or 2 horizontally slit green chilies.
Roughly chop 2 onions and blend into a smooth puree. Add to the pan and sauté for a couple of minutes.
Add 2 teaspoons of ginger garlic paste. Sauté on medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes until you get a nice aroma.
Roughly chop 2 tomatoes and puree them. Add to the pan and stir for 5 to 10 minutes until thick. To save time, you can use this hack to make homemade tomato paste.
3. Cook potatoes with spices
Peel a large potato (or 2 small ones) and dice them into 1-inch cubes. Drop into the pot and stir.
Add the spices: 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder, 1 teaspoon coriander powder, ½ teaspoon pepper, ½ teaspoon cumin, ¼ teaspoon garam masala, ¼ teaspoon turmeric and 1 teaspoon salt.
Add ½ cup of water (from cooked chana if you had soaked and cooked dry chickpeas or just plain water if you used canned ones).
Mix the curry well and bring it to a boil on high flame. Reduce the flame to medium and cook covered for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.
4. Make chickpea puree
Take ¼ cup of the cooked chickpeas. Blend them with ½ cup of water (you can use the water from cooking the chickpeas, if you have).
Blend until you get a smooth puree.
5. Add chana to the curry
Add the rest of the chickpeas and the chana puree to the simmering curry.
Mix until you get a smooth curry without lumps. Turn off the flame and drizzle 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
Your chana aloo masala is ready to be devoured with rice or chapathi.
Tips to make the best chana aloo curry
- Cooking onions, ginger-garlic and tomatoes: Sauté each one of them (patiently) until the raw smell disappears. This is the key to making the best aloo chole.
- Avoid lumps in the curry: When you add the chickpea puree to the curry, ensure that it is not too thick. You can thin it down with water before adding to the curry. This will prevent lumps of blended chickpeas in the curry.
- Storing: Chana aloo masala can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It can also be frozen for up to 2 months. To reheat, thaw the aloo chana masala overnight in the refrigerator. Then, heat it in a pot or in the microwave until heated through.
Common questions about aloo chole
How can I soften chana quickly?
If you forget to soak dry chickpeas for chana aloo curry, there’s a way to soften chana quickly.
For 1 cup of chana, boil 4 cups of water and soak chana in it for 1 hour in a closed container. It softens quicker if soaked in a sealed container, pressure cooker or instant pot.
Cook the soaked chickpeas according to the recipe. However, the texture of chickpeas cooked this way may not turn out as creamy and soft as when you soak for 8 hours or longer.
Can you freeze chana aloo masala?
This aloo chole can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. If you want to use it beyond 3 days, it can be frozen. It freezes well and stays fresh up to a couple of months in the freezer.
Is chana aloo masala good for weight loss?
Chana (chickpeas) are rich in protein and fibre, which helps keep you full longer. They have no cholesterol. These factors make chickpeas one of the foods that help in weight loss.
This recipe for chole masala is healthy since it does not use saturated fats like butter, cream or coconut milk to thicken the gravy.
How do you reduce the bloating effects of chickpeas?
Here are some tips on how to reduce the bloating effects of chickpeas:
Soak and rinse the chickpeas: Soaking chickpeas overnight and rinsing them thoroughly before cooking can help to reduce the amount of gas-causing compounds in the legume.
Cook the chickpeas thoroughly: Chickpeas should be cooked until they are soft and tender. Undercooked chickpeas can be harder to digest and lead to bloating and gas.
Add digestive aids: Increase the quantity of ginger, garlic, cumin, and fennel seeds in your chickpea curry to reduce bloating and improve digestion.
Increase water intake: Drinking plenty of water can help to prevent constipation and promote regular bowel movements, which can help to reduce bloating.
Eat small portions: Eating smaller portions of chickpeas throughout the day can help to prevent bloating and gas by giving your body time to digest the food more easily.
Health benefits of chickpeas
- A cup of chickpeas provides almost one-third of an adult’s daily protein requirements.
- Chickpeas contain no cholesterol. They’re also rich in B-vitamins, iron, potassium, magnesium and selenium- all these factors support heart health.
- Chickpeas are rich sources of fibre that can help people with diabetes and those trying to lose weight.
- The iron, calcium and other nutrients in chickpeas contribute to healthy bone structure.
- Chickpeas have high levels of potassium that can help manage high blood pressure.
Printable Curry Paste Recipe
Grab a printable copy of the curry paste that helps home cooks like you cook different curries in 30 minutes or less:
More chana recipes
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Hi! I’m Sheeba, welcome to Go Healthy ever after!
I have a passion for cooking delicious nourishing food that’s easy to cook with fresh natural ingredients free from additives or preservatives. The easy healthy recipes you find here will inspire you to cook with creativity.