Chana (Chickpea) Masala

Chana (Chickpea) Masala
Source: Indian Cuisine Diabetes Cookbook. Recipe Credit: . Photo Credit: Renée Comet.

Chickpeas, or chana, are an ancient variety of legume that have been eaten in India for centuries. There are different varieties of chickpeas available, but the variety most often used are the pale, mild legumes also known as garbanzo beans. In Indian markets you’ll also find black chickpeas (or kala chana), which are darker and smaller than regular chickpeas. Chana masala is an extremely popular dish in both India and the U.S.

This recipe from Indian Cuisine Diabetes Cookbook, by May Abraham Fridel. To order directly from the American Diabetes Association, click here.

  • Prep time
    2 hr
  • Cook time
    40 min
  • Servings
    3 Servings
  • Serving size
    About 2/3 cup / 109 g
Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Facts

3 Servings

  • Serving Size
    About 2/3 cup / 109 g
  • Amount per serving Calories 220

  • Total Fat 11g
    • Saturated Fat 1g
    • Trans Fat 0g
  • Cholesterol 0mg
  • Sodium 250mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 26g
    • Dietary Fiber 6g
    • Total Sugars 7g
  • Protein 7g
  • Potassium 490mg
  • Phosphorus 135mg

Choices/Exchanges: 1 Starch, 2 Nonstarchy vegetable, 2 Fat



  • chickpeas (garbanzo beans) (dried)
  • 1 tea bag OR 1 tsp / 1 g tea leaves (tied in a muslin cloth)
  • sunflower oil
  • cumin seeds
    1 1/2
  • piece ginger (peeled and grated)
  • garlic (grated)
    2 clove
  • medium red onion (finely diced)
  • paprika (smoked)
  • amchoor (mango) powder
  • turmeric (ground)
    1 1/4
  • coriander (ground)
  • medium tomato (finely diced)
  • tomato paste
  • water
  • Juice of lemon
  • salt
    1 1/4
  • cilantro leaves (finely minced)


  1. Add chickpeas to a large bowl and cover with about 4 cups / 950 mL cold water. Soak for 2 hours, then drain and rinse thoroughly.

  2. Add chickpeas and tea bag to a pressure cooker and cook for 3 whistles, or until they are soft. Drain and discard the tea bag. Set chickpeas aside.

  3. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat and add the cumin seeds. When seeds start to splutter, add the ginger and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add onion and sauté until the onion is golden brown, about 2 minutes.

  4. Add the paprika, amchoor powder, turmeric, coriander, tomato, and tomato paste to the onion mixture. Reduce heat to medium and saute, stirring constantly, until the masala comes together, about 2 minutes.

  5. Add chickpeas and stir to coat in the masala. Add 1 cup / 240 mL water and mix well. Simmer for 20 minutes.

  6. Once the sauce thickens, remove from heat and add lemon juice, salt, and the cilantro. Serve hot.