Are you a fan of Punjabi channa masala? Well then, you have to try this recipe. This is not a regular channa masala. This is super special: no garlic, no tomatoes, and cooked with tamarind, it is one of those curries which will definitely stand out in the lot. This recipe for Punjabi channa masala has been passed over for generations and will continue to do so. It is so flavorful and filling––the perfect cozy meal after a long day.

Punjabi Channa Masala [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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Spice Mix:

  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 5 red chilis
  • black pepper, as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

Channa Masala:

  • 1/2 cup dry chickpeas, soaked overnight with 3 cloves, 1 black cardamom, and 2 dry chilis
  • 1 finely chopped large red onion
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 1/2 teaspoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 inch piece ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoon tamarind, tightly packed soaked in 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • Chili powder, if needed
  • 1/2 tablespoon and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • A handful of coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • Juice from 1 lemon and finely chopped onions for garnish


  1. In a pressure cooker/stock pot, boil chickpeas (with salt and turmeric-use 1/2 tsp here) until soft in 2 cups water. Drain and store this stock (you can use some in this curry [or] in any other soups)
  2. After they are done, take 1/4 cup chickpeas out-mash it well[or[chuck them in food processor-this is what adds a creamy texture to your curry. Add it back to your pressure cooker. Place this aside.
  3. Roast Spice Mix in 1 tsp of oil and then grind in a spice mill
  4. Get your hands dirty and massage, squeeze the tamarind pulp, take the juices out and keep the pulp aside. You will need this for your second extract. Use 1/2 cup of drained water and add it to the pulp. Massage again and extract more juices. Discard the pulp.
  5. To a sauce pan, add a tbsp of oil, once hot, add onions and fry until golden brown.
  6. Add the spice mix fry for a minute until this awesome aroma fills the house :)
  7. Add tamarind extract, salt, rest of turmeric and let it boil for 12 mins on a medium heat.
  8. Do a taste check if you need more heat, throw some chili powder in.
  9. Add it to the stockpot/pressure cooker, cover and let it simmer for 8 mins on medium heat.
  10. If it is too thick, you can add the drained water and make it watery.
  11. Remove off heat and add coriander leaves
  12. Serve with finely chopped raw onions and lemon juice with any rice/flatbreads

Nutritional Information

Total Calories: 612 | Total Carbs: 109 g | Total Fat: 24 g | Total Protein: 22 g | Total Sodium: 78 g | Total Sugar: 27 g Calculation not including spices labeled to taste and the onion used for garnish. Note: The information shown is based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.


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