Mrs Balbir Singh's | Amritsari Chana Masala

Mrs Balbir Singh's | Amritsari Chana Masala Recipe

Amritsari Chana Masala 

Also known as chole masala, this is one of Punjab’s true soul foods. There are of course many versions of chickpea curries across India, but this sumptuous version hails from the city of Amritsar, home to the beautiful Golden Temple. It is a signature dish of the region which is commonly served with the fluffy deep-fried leavened bread, Bhatura.

Category: Curries 

Recipe: 126


  • 2-3 tbsp Sunflower Oil

  • 1 Large Onion, grated (or finely chopped)

  • 1 Green Chilli, split lengthwise and deseeded (add 1 more if hotter is preferred)

  • 1½ tsp Salt (or to taste)

  • 4 tsp Ginger Paste (or 30g of peeled ginger, finely chopped)

  • 10 tsp Garlic Paste (or 10 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped)

  • 4 tsp (9g) Mrs Balbir Singh Amritsari Chana Masala Blend*

  • 2 tbsp Water

  • 1½ cups Passata (or Tinned Chopped Tomatoes) 

  • 2 tins Chickpeas (480g), drained

  • ½ tsp Tamarind paste, or 1 tsp lime juice mixed with 1 tsp light brown sugar (optional)

  • ¾ cup Water

  • ½ tsp Mrs Balbir Singh Original Garam Masala*

  • 1 tbsp Fresh Coriander Leaves, chopped for garnishing Fresh Ginger, julienned for garnish

*Measurements refer to level measuring spoons

Step 1:  

Heat the oil, fry the onions, green chilli, and salt for 3-4 minutes or until the onions are a slightly brown. Then add the garlic, ginger, Mrs Balbir Singh’s Amritsari Chana Masala and 2 tablespoons of water. Fry for a further 5-6 minutes on medium heat, or until the ghee separates from the masala paste.

Step 2:  

Add the tomatoes, and stir for 3 minutes until they are fully blended in with the masala paste. Add the chickpeas and cook on a low heat for 8 minutes whilst adding the ¾ cup of water, a little at a time.

Step 3: 

For the slightly sour signature taste of this dish add the tamarind (or lime juice and brown sugar mixture), and simmer for a further 10 minutes and then add half a teaspoon of Mrs Balbir Singh Original Garam Masala. Stir well, and simmer with the lid on for a final 5 minutes.

To Serve:

Sprinkle with finely chopped fresh coriander leaves. Perfect with steamed Basmati rice or your favourite Indian bread.



Mrs Balbir Singh 
Award-winning godmother of Indian home cooking, and author of Mrs Balbir Singh's Indian Cookery, as featured in "The Best Indian Cookbooks Ever, as Judged by the Experts" - The Telegraph (UK)