Another Indian Spice Blend ❊ Chana Masala

Some of the Indian recipes I’m planning to make call for a spice blend called Chana Masala, so I decided to make a batch for myself instead of buying it ready-made. There really is pleasure in opening my treasure trove of Indian spices and measuring out all the ingredients, in this case eleven different items. It’s interesting to note the differences in aroma, colour and texture among them. Finally the moment arrives when it’s time to stir everything together, with the anticipation of what the final result will look and taste like.

Chana Masala is fragrant, and mildly spicy to the taste (less heat than Garam Masala) with a tang imparted by the dried mango (amchur) and pomegranate (anardana) powders.

This spice mixture was very easy to make, as I used all pre-ground spices, and made for a pleasant pastime one evening after work last week. I’ve been looking forward to using it in a chickpea recipe all week, but in the meantime was happy to know that the Chana Masala is stored in my spice box, ready to use when a recipe calls for it.

Chana Masala

Recipe from Everyday Indian by Bal Arneson.

  • 3 tbsp ground coriander
  • 3 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp mango powder
  • 1 tsp pomegranate powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp fenugreek leaves, crumbled
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground dried ginger
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Combine all the ingredients and mix well. Store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to three months.

Top: ground coriander, ground cumin, pomegranate powder
Middle: mango powder, ground turmeric, fenugreek leaves, red chile powder
Bottom: ground ginger, garlic powder, ground cardamom, salt


  1. Now you’re just showing off, Mar. 🙂

    This is one mixture I’ll hold off making until I need it. I’ve actually used garam masala before but I don’t recall ever seeing a recipe that required chana masala. I’ve a feeling, though, that I may be seeing a few in the weeks ahead if I hang around here. And again, I’ll be sending this to my curry-loving friends who, by the way, liked your garam masala recipe.

    • That’s me, insufferable when I get on a new cooking kick! I’d never heard of Chana Masala until I bought Bal Arneson’s book. And yes, there’s a chickpea recipe that uses this spice blend coming up shortly. No sense making these things if I’m not going to use them, right?! Thanks for passing the recipes along to your friends who like this kind of thing.

    • Thanks Jo-Ann! I believe you can buy Chana masala pre-made at specialty stores, Asian markets. You definitely can get garam masala that way, so why not this one?! 🙂 It’s fun to make your own, but there isn’t always time or the inclination to keep all the ingredients on hand.

      Let me know how the soup goes!

    • I hope you enjoy this masala. I recommend you check out the book Everyday Indian by Bal Arneson. There’s so many good recipes in it! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  2. Looking to make chana masala more often this Lent season.
    I have all the ingredients to make the spice mix but always use a store bought one.
    Excited to try this and see how it works out !!!

  3. Hi,

    I just compared and this recipe has almost the same ingredients as the MTR Chana Masala Spice packets do. I have been looking for a recipe since I want to use organic spices and the pre-made are seldom organic.

    I much prefer the Chana Masala as the Gram Masala is too hot for my taste.

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