Bihari Hara Chana Masala

This recipe for Hara Chana Masala is an incredibly simple Bihari recipe. Green Chana grows in abundance in the winter and during those months, Biharis have the luxury of cooking and eating fresh Green Chana that don’t even need to be soaked. We envy them that. In most other cities, we rely on dried green or red chana and this recipe works beautifully for either.

This weather calls for some earthy comforting chana masala, eaten with some rice, maybe a little pickle and some papad, to remember the beauty of seasons gone past.

Hara Chana Masala


50 g Dried Green Chana, soaked for 8-10 hours (if using fresh chana, no need to soak)
3 medium Onions, chopped

1 Tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp Garlic paste
1/4 tsp Red Chili powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1 tbs Mustard oil
1 – 2 cups Water, depending on how thick you want the gravy


In a pressure cooker, heat the mustard oil and add the onions. Stir till translucent and add the chopped tomatoes. Let the tomatoes cook till you see a little oil separate from the tomatoes.

Stir in the garlic and let that cook till fragrant, around 30 seconds to a minute. Add the turmeric, chili powder and garam masala and salt and cook the masala for a  minute or so.

Stir in the chana, add water and place the lid on the pressure cooker and cook for 2 – 3 whistles or about 15 – 20 minutes on medium flame.

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