Paneer Chana Masala (Chick Peas with Indian Cottage Cheese)

Chana Masala with paneer is like two recipes in one place. Paneer usually is sufficient in itself as a curry but sometimes when you don’t have a lot of paneer in hand this is a good way of using it with another ingredient to make a new combo. The paneer here is not fried at all but just added towards the end. This keeps it soft and fresh. Store bought paneer can definitely be used but if doing chenna fresh, see the notes below @sarchakra 

COOK TIME: 50 mins 

PREP TIME: 10 mins 


  • Chana (chick peas) 1 cup 
  • Paneer 1 cup, cubed (see notes) 
  • Tomatoes 2, puréed
  • Ginger 1 tbsp 
  • Garlic paste 2 tsp 
  • Carrot 1, thinly chopped 
  • Dried mint 2 tsp 
  • Carom seeds 1 tsp 
  • Salt
  • Black salt 2 tsp 
  • Turmeric 1 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds 1 tsp 
  • Red chili powder 1 tbsp 
  • Dry mango powder 2 tsp
  • Coriander powder 1 tbsp
  • Cumin powder 2 tsp 
  • Cooking oil 2 tbsp
  • Onions 2 medium, chopped 
  • Green chilies 2, chopped


  • Soak Chana overnight in a bowl. Make sure the Chana is completely submerged in water. 
  • Rinse the Chana in the morning and put in fresh water to cover it. Boil till soft. I used a pressure cooker but you can also cook it in a deep bottomed pan. 
  • Heat oil, add cumin seeds and carom seeds. Let it sizzle and then sauté onions and carrot till slightly golden. Add and cook chopped green chili. Add ginger paste and garlic paste. Sauté for a couple of minutes.
  • Add tomato puree, turmeric, coriander powder, cumin powder, red chili powder, dry mango, black salt and mint leaves. Add salt to taste. Add 1 cup of water and add paneer cubes. Simmer for 5 minutes till most of the water has soaked in and there is a saucy consistency. Serve with basmati rice. 

Notes: you can use store bought paneer for the recipe. For Paneer/ Chenna from scratch see below. 


Heat 1 liter of milk. When it starts boiling, put in 1 tbsp lemon juice (or vinegar). Let it boil for a few seconds, stir and cook till the milk curdles. Turn the gas off. Let it sit for 10 mins. Strain the mixture on a chess cloth. Twist the cheese cloth with the paneer inside to squeeze out all the water. Leave it for 10-15 mins. Take the mixture out, shape into a block and cut into cubes for the recipe. Store any leftovers in the fridge and use within 2-3 days. Uncooked china does not last very long. You can certainly freeze it wrapped in cling wrap and put it in the freezer. It stays very well in this manner.

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