Channa Masala No Oil (#WFPB)

Today I am posting a tried and tested recipe for channa masala without oil. If you have ever eaten channa masala in a restaurant you had to have seen the oil. You may then wonder how it is possible to make this dish without oil. The reality is oil does not add as much flavor. As long as the onion tomato mix is thoroughly cooked with the spices the channa masala turns out perfect. You will never miss the oil.

I made this channa masala after my daughter returned home for summer. She wanted some of her favorites and this dish places somewhere at the top of her list.

You will need
1 cup dry chickpeas or garbanzo beans (or 1 can)
1 small onion
1 medium tomato
1 tbsp. ginger garlic paste
1 tbsp. tamarind paste
1 tbsp. channa masala spice mix
1 tsp. turmeric powder
salt to taste

Soak the dry beans overnight. Next day pressure cook the beans under fork tender. For me it is 15 minutes under pressure or if using the instant pot then 17 minutes manual mode under pressure. If using a can rinse and drain the water. Keep aside.

Mince the onion. Add a 1/4 cup of water to a pan and bring it to a boil. Add the onion and let it cook on medium heat until it is pink and translucent. In the meantime dice the tomato.

Add all the other ingredients, a half cup of water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and let it simmer until it is cooked and the water is almost gone.

Add the reserved beans, salt to taste and a half cup of water. Bring to a boil and let it simmer on medium heat until the gravy reaches a consistency you like.

The channa masala with no oil is done.

Enjoy with a flatbread or rice!


  1. I love Chana masala variations and specially if without oil . The Chana sounds delicious , and I shall try it tomorrow itself !
    I too have a couple of recipes of this Chana which are without oil .

  2. Fantastic Varada, its amazing how you made chana masala without oil when most parts the butter is oozing out. Must try recipe!

  3. Awesome, channa masala without oil. You are right if the masala's are done correctly you really do not need oil. I too use just a teaspoon of oil in many of my dishes, but yes Loved your recipe without oil.

  4. Sometimes the restaurant version has a layer of oil on top! I use very less oil just to saute the onions and tomato. You version looks equally delicious Varada.

  5. Channa masala without oil looks amazing Varada. Even I have reduced my oil usage in kitchen. And we don't even see any difference in taste. Nice way to a healthier life.

  6. Sounds very interesting. I shall have to try the no oil version soon.

  7. I prefer little oil to make any curry and your no oil version chana sure sounds appealing to me.

  8. very healthy and nutritious one. Chana Masala looks so delicious without oil. Its just perception that food will taste good if we use more oil.


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