South Indian Style Channa Masala

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We all know Saravana Bhavan Hotel chain is popular world-wide. This article from NY times made it very popular especially among my colleagues. We have two branches in Bay Area, one in Sunnyvale and other in Fremont. My colleagues wanted to try food here and so we all decided to go for dinner. Believe it or not, they all fell in love with dosai and Bhatura right away :-) I have tried Saravana bhavan in Anna Nagar, Vadapalani and in Singapore and of course in Bay area. I don’t know how they maintain the same taste in all their branches.

My favorite food in Saravana Bhavan is Channa bhatura, Onion Rava Dosa and their puli kuzhambu. If you notice the side dish for the bhatura, it will be typical South Indian flavored gravy. I love it with the bhatura. I thought why not try the same at home. I tried replicating, but I won’t say I got it 100%. But here is what I tried,

[recipe  title=”South Indian Style Channa Masala”   Time=”Soak Time 5 hrs + Prep Time 40 mts”   difficulty=“Medium”]

Prep Work:

Soak 1/2 cup of garbanzo beans for unto 5 hrs and pressure cook for 3-4 whistles.


  • Medium Sized Onion – 1 (chopped)
  • Green chillies – 2 (adjust according to your taste)
  • Elaichi/Cardamom – 2
  • Cloves – 3
  • Poppy seeds – 2 tsps
  • Cinnamon – 2 inch piece
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Salt – 2 tsp (adjust according to your taste)
  • Chopped cilantro – 2 tbsp
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Saanf (Big jeera) – 2 tsps


  • Heat the kadai and add 1 tsp of oil.
  • Fry the chopped onions till turn translucent.
  • Remove it and let it cool. And in the same kadai fry the green chillies, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and poppy seeds.

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  • Fry them for couple of minutes and let it cool and grind them along with onions.
  • Heat the kadai and add the remaining oil.
  • Once the oil is hot add the saanf. As they start to splutter, add the grinded masala.

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  • Add salt and turmeric powder and cook till the oil gets separated.
  • Now add the cooked garbanzo beans and 1 cup of water.
  • Let it boil till the gravy becomes thick.Add the chopped cilantro and let it simmer for a minute and that’s it.

Serve hot with Roti or Bhatoora.


17 thoughts on “South Indian Style Channa Masala

  1. Pingback: Bhatoora | Vidhya's Vegetarian Kitchen

  2. I love this Chana Masala. Your post reminded me of a funny incident that happened yesterday. In the week, I have a lady named Kavita who helps me cook. She is new to my home, and yesterday while making chole she asked me “should I add coconut?” :-) I was like “no no, i want PURE chole” :-D :-D

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