Pindi Chana Masala
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Pindi Chana Masala-Cultural dish of Indian subcontinent

Pindi Chana Masala is a popular Indian subcontinent dish made from gram pea (also known as chana) cooked in a spicy and tangy tomato-based gravy. It’s typically seasoned with a blend of many spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, and chili powder.
Pindi Chana Masala is most famous as a veg main course meal of the area of North India (Punjab, Jammu&Kashmir, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar) and Pakistani Punjabi area.

Origin of Pindi Chana Masala

To be honest, the exact origin of Pindi Chana Masala is not definitively known, but it has been said that the origin of Pindi Chana Masala is the region of Punjab, which was part of both India and Pakistan. Basically, the dish is often linked with the city of Rawalpindi in Pakistan, So its name is “Pindi Chana Masala”.

Pindi Chana Masala
                                                      Pindi Chana Masala

Why Pindi Chana Masal dish is originated in Punjab Because Punjab is the land of its rich agricultural and cultivational heritage. Grampea, a key player ingredient in the Pindi Chana Masala dish, has been cultivated from centuries ago to now.

Over time, this recipe Pindi Chana Masala has one of the vectors of cultural exchanges and regional variations, and that become a popular and delicious dish of Indian and Pakistani veg main course meal traditions.

Cultural Significance

Culinary Heritage:

  • Pindi Chana Masala is a veg food dish that passed down through several generations, pleased for its timeless and countless flavors with traditional preparation methods.
  • It is deeply rooted in the food heritage of Punjab and Punjabi, where meals are not just sustenance but it is a way of life, reflecting the region’s rich agricultural abundance and vibrant culture.

Festive Celebrations:

  • Pindi Chana Masala plays a major role in festival celebrations like Diwali, Eid, and Baisakhi and weddings.
  • It is always served as part of lavish veg meals and celebratory meals, where families and friends come together to share laughter, and stories and spend quality time with each other.

Community Bonding:

  • In Indian culture, foods play a central role in making social bonds and strengthening community ties effectively.
  •  Pindi Chana Masala is often prepared in huge quantities and shared with neighbors, relatives, and guests. It is perfect hospitality and goodwill food.
  • It brings people together, without barriers of caste, creed, and religion, and creates a sense of bond of unity.

Traditional Cooking Methods:

  • In the traditional Cooking method, Pindi Chana Masala is cooked at low flame during its making time. This process is also called a slow cooking process.
  • All spices have grinned by hand and it shows you the major root connection between Panjab and Punjabi.

Regional Variations:

  • The origin root of Pindi Chana Masala is Punjab, but it has also spread out all over India with different types of regional preferences and its making methods and techniques.
  • All states and communities have their own variations of the dish, each adding its own cooking unique twist while staying original to its core flavors and ingredients.
  • The diversification of cooking methods shows you the cultural richness and recipe diversity of India.

Symbol of hospitality:

  • Serving Pindi Chana Masala dish to your guests is considered as an act of hospitality in the culture of India.
  • All almost every part of India, this food has a strong present.
  • It is always served with rice, bread, Naan, Paratha etc to the guest.

Ingredients of Pindi Chana Masala

There are several ingredients used in Pindi Chana Masala. They are as follows as-

  • Gram pea (Chana): Gram peas are the primary ingredient in Pindi Chana Masala. It provides a healthy and nutritious element such as protein and fiber. Use dried gram peas and soak them overnight.
  • Onions: Onions give the gravy base of many Indian dishes, including Pindi Chana Masala. They are typically finely chopped and sauteed until golden brown, imparting a sweet and savory flavor to the Pindi Chana Masala dish.
  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes have added a tangy flavor to Pindi Chana Masala and it balances the richness of the spices and gram peas. It is used in different forms, including fresh tomatoes, tomato puree, or canned tomatoes, depending on your own preference.
  • Garlic: Garlic gives a pungent and aromatic type of flavor to Pindi Chana Masala, enhancing the overall taste of the Pindi Chana Masala dish. It is usually cut into small and fine chopped added to the cooking oil along with other ingredients.
  • Ginger: Fresh ginger gives a spiciness taste to Pindi Chana Masala, complementing the other spices and ingredients. It is grated, minced, or thinly sliced before being added to the dish.
  • Green Chilies: Depending on your personal preference, they can be used more or less. It gives a Spicy texture to Pindi Chana Masala. It can be chopped or minced and added to the dish to add a hint of spiciness.
  • Cooking Oil: Cooking oil is used to saute the onions, garlic, ginger, and spices, making richness and depth of the flavor of Pindi Chana Masala. Commonly used vegetable oil, mustard oil, or ghee (clarified butter), adds a unique taste to the dish.


  • Coriander seeds (Dhania): For citrus and sweet aroma.
  • Turmeric powder (Haldi): Provide color and mild earthy flavor.
  • Garam Masala: Blend of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and other needy spices.


  • Salt enhances the flavors of the ingredients and balances the taste of Pindi Chana
  • Fresh Coriander leaves (Cilantro): Fresh and chopped coriander leaves are sprinkled at the top of Pindi Chana Masala as garnishing materials

Cooking Method of Pindi Chana Masala

  • Soak and Cook the Gram Peas
  • Use dried gram peas, use water to clean the dirt under water, and then soak them in a bowl with enough water to cover them completely.
  • Soak the gram peas to overnight (At least 8-10 hours). This has softened them and reduced cooking time.
  • After soaking, drain the gram peas and keep them in a pressure cooker or large pot.
  • Add fresh water to cover the gram peas and cook them until they become tender. If you using a pressure cooker, the cook time would be about 15-20 minutes after the first whistle of the pressure cooker. If you using a pot, it can take about 1 to 1.5 hours.
  • Prepare the Spice Paste.
  • Heat the cooking oil (vegetable oil, mustard oil, or ghee) in a pan over medium heat. Use Cooking oil as per dish size. It completely depends on you.
  • Add some cumin seeds to a pan.
  • Add finely chopped onions and saute until they become golden brown.
  • Stir minced garlic cloves, grated ginger, and finely chopped green chilies. Saute for a couple of minutes until fragrant.
  • Add some crushed coriander seeds, turmeric powder, and garam masala to the pan.
  • Mix well, toast the spices, and release their flavors.
  • Pour pureed tomatoes and cook until the mixture or gravy get thickens slightly, and the oil starts to separate from the sides of the pan. This may take around 5-8 minutes.
  • Add the cooked gram peas to the pan, and move well with the spice mixture.
  • Allow the flavors to meld together over low heat for another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Taste the Pindi Chana Masala and adjust the salt and spices according to your choice.
  • If you prefer a thicker gravy, you can mash some of the gram peas with the help of a spoon to thicken the gravy.
  • Garnish fresh coriander leaves over the Pindi Chana Masala with dried pomegranate seeds
  • Serve hot with steamed rice, jeera rice, peas pulao, vegetable pulao, tandoori plain and butter roti, and naan.

You can watch the YouTube Channel: Hebbars Kitchen

Health Benefits

In Pindi chana Masala, we use Gram peas which are a huge source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. That gives a variety of health benefits, such as improving digestion, giving fullness, providing slow-releasing carbohydrates gaining weight, and controlling sugar levels.


In conclusion, Pindi Chole Masala is not just a food dish; it is a symbol of culture and a wholesome meal. It has a richer heritage, unique preparation methods, and lots of health benefits making it a must-try dish for everyone with the flavors of Indian sub-continent cuisine. In Brief, it is the meal of the masses. The flavors of pindi chana masala show you the cultural and regional foundation across.

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