Chickpeas in a scrumptious and piquant sauce.  This is my mother-in-law’s secret recipe for authentic Punjabi chickpeas, cooked with tea and whole spices and flavored with a blend of aromatic spices and pomegranate seeds.


With the Chana Masala All-Natural Simmer Sauce you can use dried chickpeas instead of canned. Substitute 1 cup or 250 gms of dried chickpeas for the the 2 cans of chickpeas, and use either of the methods below. Then follow the recipe on the label (for the simmer sauce) or recipe card (for the spice kit).

  • Method 1 (overnight soak):  Soak the chickpeas overnight. Strain/drain the chickpeas. In a large pot put the drained chickpeas, add about 2 inches of fresh water, a tiny pinch of baking soda, salt, Spice Sachet 1 and boil or pressure cook till done.
  • Method 2 (quick soak):  Rinse chickpeas in cold water. Put them in a large pot and cover with about 3 inches of cold water. Bring to a boil, shut the heat, cover and let it soak for 1 hour. Drain the water, put the chickpeas back in the pot, add about 2 inches of fresh water, a tiny pinch of baking soda, salt, Spice Sachet 1 and boil or pressure cook till done.

I also love using Pedrosillano chickpeas instead of the regular chickpeas. They are much smaller in size and are very popular in Spain. They have a very thin soft skin that doesn’t peel after being cooked.  I am fortunate that my local Food Coop carries it, but if you Google it you can find many online shops that can mail it to you.


For use with the Chana Masala Organic Spice Kit.


2 cans (15 oz each)
¾ tsp
3 tbsp
1 cup (8 oz)
1 small bunch

Chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
Salt (or to taste)
Vegetable oil
Canned whole peeled tomatoes, hand crushed
Fresh cilantro finely chopped (about ½ cup)
(optional but recommended)
Chana Masala Fresh Ingredients

Combine in food processor and finely chop in pulse mode:
1” cube
Large onion
Fresh ginger
Medium cloves garlic
Hot green chili or ½ jalapeño
(optional, for additional heat)


1.  In a medium-sized saucepan combine chickpeas with:
    • Spice Sachet 1 (including unopened tea bag)
    • ¼ tsp salt
    • 2 cups water

Bring to boil, then partially cover and reduce heat to a gentle boil for about 15 minutes.

Chana Masala - end of Step 1
2.  Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion-ginger-garlic mixture and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Chana Masala - end of Step 2
3.  Lower the heat to medium, add Spice Sachet 2, ½ tsp salt and 2 tbsp water and cook, stirring often, until the spices are fragrant and well cooked, 4-5 minutes. Keep some water nearby and add 1-2 tbsp at a time if it’s sticking to the pan. Chana Masala - end of Step 3
4.  Add the crushed tomatoes, increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up the tomatoes further while cooking, until the sauce thickens, about 7 minutes. Chana Masala - end of Step 4
5.  Discard the tea bag from the saucepan and add the onion-tomato sauce to the chickpeas. 
6.  Add Spice Sachet 3 and most of the chopped cilantro (saving some for garnish) and cook uncovered on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the flavors meld and the sauce is reduced to a thick gravy, about 5 minutes. Add some water if it’s too dry.


Taste for salt—I invariably add a dash more.  Garnish with the reserved cilantro and serve hot!

Chana Masala