Curried potatoes and chickpeas, more commonly known as aloo chana masala is a flavorful, comforting, and delicious curry recipe from India that's vegan and gluten-free. Serve it with some basmati rice, naan, or any Indian bread or rice dish to enjoy a satisfying Indian meal at home.
Chickpea potato curry is a dish that my nani (maternal grandmother) used to make a lot for us when we were kids. And, it's one of my favorite dishes cooked by her.
This dish is more commonly known as aloo chana masala in India. Aloo is the Hindi word for potato and chana for chickpeas. So, it's a curry that's made by cooking chickpeas and potatoes in a rich onion-tomato sauce flavored with Indian spices.
If you like Indian food and looking for some comforting curry recipes then this curried chickpea potato recipe is perfect for you.
It's a vegan and gluten-free curry.
What goes in chickpea potato curry?
- Dried chickpeas: I have cooked chickpeas from scratch, the way it's done in India. However, if you want you can also use canned chickpeas. Just rinse the canned chickpeas before using them in the curry.
- Potato: Any variety of potato is fine.
- Tomato: Always use a juicy red variety of tomato to make an Indian curry base.
- Whole spices: I have added bay leaf, cinnamon stick, black peppercorns, cloves, and cumin seeds. These spices are used in a lot of Indian recipes so, if you like Indian food and planning to cook Indian recipes at home then I would suggest keeping these basic spices in your pantry. If you don't have all of them, it's ok to skip 1 or 2.
- Coriander powder: Coriander powder is ground coriander seeds and you can find it easily in the spice section of any Indian grocery store.
- Garam masala: A very flavorful blend of Indian spices, garam masala is used in many savory Indian dishes. It has a very strong flavor so add in moderation otherwise, all your curries will taste the same.
- Cooking oil: Generally, mustard oil is used as a cooking medium in a lot of North Indian dishes including this one. But, you can use any cooking oil of choice to make this dish.
How to make (step-by-step instructions)?
Step 1: Wash and soak dried chickpeas in water overnight or at least for 7 hours.
Step 2: Put the soaked chickpeas, salt, and water in a pressure cooker. Put the lid on and cook till around 6 whistles on a medium flame or until the chickpeas are nicely cooked. The chickpeas should retain their shape but easily get pressed between two fingers.
Step 3: Put roughly chopped onion, garlic, and ginger in a grinding jar and make a paste. Take out the paste in a bowl and keep it aside.
Step 4: In the same bowl, put roughly chopped tomatoes and green chilies to make another paste. Keep that paste aside too.
Step 5: Heat oil in a cooking pot. Add bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, and cloves. Saute for a few seconds i.e. until the spices become fragrant.
Step 6: Add onion paste and cook until it turns golden brown. If the onion starts sticking to the bottom of the pot, add 1-2 tablespoons of water and cook further until the onion paste gets perfectly cooked.
Step 7: Add coriander powder, red chili powder, and turmeric powder. Saute for a few seconds.
Step 8: Add tomato paste and salt.
Step 9: Cook until the tomatoes change color from pink to bright red and are nicely cooked.
Step 10: Add potato cubes and saute for 2-3 minutes.
Step 11: Add around 2 cups of water
Step 12: Cover the pot with a lid. Cook for around 20 minutes or until the potatoes are nicely cooked.
Step 13: Add finely chopped ginger.
Step 14: Add cooked chickpeas. Mash some chickpeas and potatoes with the ladle.
Step 15: Next, add around 1.5 cups of water and cover the pot again. Cook for another 5 minutes and then switch off the stove.
Step 16: Finally, add garam masala, crushed kasoori methi, chopped cilantro, and lime juice. Mix everything.
Your delicious curried chickpeas and potatoes are ready to be served!
How to serve?
This chana aloo curry is served hot. It tastes the best with plain basmati rice or roti but you can enjoy it with any rice dish or any Indian flat bread like naan, puri, or paratha.
It can be served for lunch, dinner, as well as a filling breakfast. For breakfast, it's served with puri, paratha, or roti.
How to store?
To store, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for 2-3 days.
Can it be frozen?
Yes, this chickpea potato curry freezes well. To freeze, allow the curry to reach room temperature then transfer it to a freezer-safe container with a lid. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Recipe tips and tricks
- Don't discard the water in which chickpeas are cooked. Use it in the gravy instead of water.
- Spices get burned very fast so don't leave them unattended while cooking and also don't overcook them otherwise, the curry will turn bitter.
- Indians don't remove the whole spices from their curries and just move them to a side on their plate while eating. However, if you are not habitual of that and don't want whole spices in your gravy, remove them before serving. You can also tie the whole spices in a small muslin cloth and then use them in the recipe. Removing the spices becomes easier when tied together.
- For a thicker and creamier gravy, mash some chickpeas and potatoes in the curry and then cook for a few minutes. The starch released will give a nice consistency to the dish.
- The number of whistles required to cook chickpeas in a pressure cooker may vary depending upon the capacity of the pressure cooker, the quality of chickpeas, and even the altitude of the place where you live. So start with 6 whistles on a medium flame and then if required, cook more.
- Instead of chickpeas, other beans can also be used to make a similar dish.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can use canned chickpeas but the curry will taste better if the chickpeas are cooked from scratch. Also, make sure to nicely rinse the canned chickpeas before adding them to the curry to get rid of their metallic taste.
Yes, dried chickpeas can be cooked without a pressure cooker too. However, the cooking time will increase to more than an hour if you cook it in a regular pot. Also, add more water to cook them in a pot.
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Curried potatoes and chickpeas (aloo chana masala)
- Pressure cooker
- Chutney grinding jar/ food processor
- ½ cup dried chickpeas
- 2 medium-sized potatoes peeled and cut into bite size cubes
- 1 medium-sized onion
- 1 large tomato
- 2-3 large garlic cloves
- 1 small piece of ginger finely chopped
- 1-2 hot green chilies adjust to taste
- A handful of fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons lime juice adjust to taste
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 small stick of cinnamon
- 2-3 black peppercorns
- 2 cloves
- ½ tablespoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder adjust to taste
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon kasoori methi
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil of choice
- 3-4 cups water
- Rinse chickpeas and soak in water for at least 7 hours or overnight.
- After 7 hours, put the soaked chickpeas in a pressure cooker. Add 2 cups of water and salt. Put the lid on and cook chickpeas till around 6 whistles or until the chickpeas are nicely cooked.
- While the chickpeas are getting cooked, roughly chop onion and garlic. Put them in a chutney grinding jar or food processor and make a paste. Take the paste out in a bowl and keep it aside.
- In the same jar, put roughly chopped tomatoes and green chilies. Make another paste. Keep it aside too.
- Heat oil in a cooking pot. Add all the whole spices and saute for a few seconds.
- Add the onion-garlic paste and cook until it turns golden brown. Keep stirring in between and if the paste starts sticking to the pot, add a few tablespoons of water and continue cooking.
- Once the onion gets cooked, add red chili powder, turmeric powder, and coriander powder. Saute for a few seconds.
- Add tomato-green chili paste and salt. Cook until the tomatoes get nicely cooked.
- Add potato cubes and saute for 2-3 minutes.
- Add around 2 cups of water and cover the pot with a lid. Cook for around 20 minutes or until the potatoes are nicely cooked.
- Add chopped ginger and cooked chickpeas. Mix everything. Mash some chickpeas and potatoes with the ladle.
- Add around 1.5 cups of water and cover the pot again. Cook for another 5 minutes and then switch off the stove.
- Finally, add kasoori methi, garam masala, chopped cilantro, and lime juice. Mix everything and enjoy with rice or any Indian bread.
- Don't discard the water in which chickpeas are cooked and use it along with water to make gravy.
- You can also use canned chickpeas to make this curry. However, if using canned chickpeas rinse them properly to get rid of the metallic taste.
- Instead of chickpeas, you can also use whole Bengal gram (kala chana) also known as black chickpeas.
- The number of whistles required to cook chickpeas in a pressure cooker may vary depending upon the capacity of chickpeas, the quality of chickpeas, and even the altitude of the place where you live. So start with 6 whistles on medium and then if required, cook more.
- More recipe tips and tricks are given within the post above, please follow them to make this dish.