Chana Masala Powder – Indian Spice Blend

5 from 7 votes

Chana masala powder is a traditional Indian spice blend, for seasoning chickpea dishes. For the best flavor, use this recipe to make it fresh at home!

fresh whole spices on wooden platter to make chana masala spice blend

Sometimes known as chole masala powder, chana masala literally translates to “chickpea spice.”

Indian cuisine relies heavily upon a wide variety of spices, and it’s very common for there to be different spice blends based on the main ingredient used.

The combination of sweet, spicy, sour, and savory notes blend well with the earthy flavor of chickpeas. Plus, this chana masala spice recipe tastes better than store bought and is made in small batches to stay fresh.

Difference between chana masala and garam masala

These spice blends are very similar and make great substitutes for one another when necessary. In fact, many chana masala recipes use garam masala instead of a separate chana masala spice mix.

First, this blend contains dried chilis, making it a bit spicier than garam masala. It also has a hint of sour, fruity flavor from the dry mango powder.

Also, garam masala is made with star anise, which adds notes of licorice that this blend doesn’t have.

whole spices and dried chili peppers to make a chana masala spice recipe

Note: This is just a partial list of ingredients. For the full ingredient list, see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  • Kashmari chiles – Substitute with a blend of cayenne and paprika, or use another dried red pepper like Guajillo chiles.
  • Asafoetida – This is a staple spice used in Indian cooking. It can sometimes be hard to find, so replace with equal parts onion powder and garlic powder if needed.
  • Fenugreek leaves – Can be replaced with fenugreek seeds instead.
  • Green cardamom – This is different from ground cardamom, which is made from black cardamom, because it includes both the pods and the seeds. The flavor is more intense but doesn’t have the hot, smoky flavor that black cardamom does.
  • Dry mango powder – While completely optional, this adds a sour and fruity flavor to the spice blend.

How to make chana masala powder

Simply combine all of the different spices together for a delicious homemade blend. It comes together in under 10 minutes!
Use this chana masala spice mix in my Vegan Chickpea Curry recipe or another other chickpea-based dishes.


  1. Toast: Add the whole spices and leaves to a dry pan over low heat, shaking the pan constantly so they don’t burn. This brings out their essential oils and intensifies their flavors.
  2. Grind: Let the toasted spices to cool completely, or the heat will cause it to form a paste. Then pulse with the remaining spices to make a fine powder.
Indian seasoned chickpeas in copper serving bowl

Recipe notes

  • Storage – Keep this chana masala spice mix in an airtight container in a cool pantry. Use within 2 months, or the flavor and quality will start to diminish. Storing in the refrigerator may prolong the life of the spices as well.
  • More uses – This blend can easily be used on vegetables, potatoes, and bread as well as in other stews.
  • Health benefits – Not only is this spice mix delicious, but it also contains a variety of vitamins and minerals. It can aid in digestion, contains antioxidants, and many of the spices included have anti-inflammatory properties.

It’s easy to make homemade versions of many popular spice blends, and the flavors are often bolder and more intense.

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fresh whole spices on a platter for making chana masala powder

Chana Masala Powder

5 from 7 votes
Chana masala powder is a traditional Indian seasoning used for chickpea dishes. For the best flavor, use this recipe to make it fresh at home!
Makes 1/3 cup total.
Servings: 6
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 3 minutes
Total: 8 minutes


  • 4 cloves (laung)
  • 2 Kashmiri chiles dried red chilis (See Note 1)
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick (3-inch stick) (dal chini or 2 tsp ground cinnamon)
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds (dhania seeds, or 3 3/4 tsp ground coriander)
  • 3 tsp cumin seeds (jeera seeds, or 3 3/4 tsp ground cumin)
  • 2 tsp dry Fenugreek leaves (Kasturi methi or 1 tsp fenugreek seeds)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns (kali mirch dane, or 1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper)
  • 1/4 tsp ground asafoetida (hing) (See Note 2)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom (elaichi powder, or 6 pods ground)
  • 1/2 tsp dry mango powder (amchur, optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • In a sauté pan dry toast the first 9 ingredients on low heat until you can smell their aroma and the seeds start to pop. Shake the pan constantly so as not to burn for 3 minutes.
  • Allow spice mixture to cool and then grind with the other ingredients to a powder.
  • Store spice mixture in an airtight container for 2 months.



  1. As a substitute for Kashmiri chiles you may mix cayenne and paprika. The best ratio for this would be 3 parts paprika to 1 part cayenne. I often times also use Guajillo chiles as well.
  2. A substitute for asafoetida can be 1/8 teaspoon onion powder plus 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder.


Calories: 11kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 196mg | Potassium: 28mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 57IU | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: Spice Blend
Cuisine: Indian
Author: Kevin
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
spices for chana masala


I was bitten by the cooking bug as a kid cooking and baking along side my mom. After an ROP restaurant course in high school, I went to work in restaurants and catering. My love of travel and food has led me across the world and I love to share those foods with family and friends.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Hi Kevin good morning and Happy Memorial day. I don’t know if you in USA or overseas. But just wanted to let you know I received the email and am very happy to for the Asian and the channa masala as you may not know but in my home I cook fresh everyday , I tried to cook the best meals for my kids I am so happy I came across this seasoning mix as it is much needed in my cooking. I had bought store brand a few times but very salty , I just made that Asian sezhuan power seasoning and it is fantastic. Thank you Kevin, by the way my older son name is Kevin and the little one name Even I really thank you for helping me to make fresh home made recipes. God Bless thanks again

    1. Yes, I am up in the Portland, Oregon area! So glad you’re enjoying the recipes Bibi and appreciate your kind words. 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Made this Chana Masala Powder today and would love to know a good recipe to try it out. I know and have some Chick Peas that are starting to sprout so I guess won’t need much cooking?
    P.S. We love your website!

  3. 5 stars
    Brought back memories of my nana’s cholay from the early 90s. This recipe means the world to me.

    Thank you Kevin.

  4. 5 stars
    This another recipe I really want to make. I have cardamom pods, so in making the chana masala spice blend, wouldn’t I want to toast them also? I have a pretty good size bottle of garam masala, so Not sure if which way to go, although I know fresh is best.

  5. 5 stars
    I just came across this recipe and I am heading straight to the store to get things to make this! I cannot wait to try a new spice!