Chana Paneer Recipe

Updated: May 5, 2024, By Swasthi

This Chana Paneer features chickpeas and Indian cheese cubes simmered in an aromatic onion tomato masala. It is simple, quick and easy to make if you have precooked chana (or canned chickpeas). This side dish tastes good on its own or serve like an Indian over hot Basmati rice or with roti. If you keep the consistency of the gravy thicker this Chana Paneer also goes well in a French baguette (make a sandwich).

Chana Paneer

About Chana Paneer

We have Chana Masala and we have the Paneer Masala then why a Chana Paneer, I know you are going to say that. You can always add paneer in your chickpea masala but this recipe is simpler, makes a small batch, uses lesser spices and has a smooth sauce so it is fussy kids’ friendly. I have been making this for many years for my husband’s office and kids’ school lunch (smooth sauce, no fuss).

You can also make this dish with other kind of legumes like black chickpeas (kala chana), butter beans, kidney beans or even black eyed peas. I often have some excess precooked legumes in the refrigerator which comes handy in this recipe. But if you don’t have a pressure cooker and want to make this dish faster, simply use canned beans because soaking and cooking them in a pot takes much longer.

I have pureed yellow onion and tomatoes to get a smoother sauce. But feel free to use chopped onions and chopped tomatoes for a chunky sauce (I know not everyone likes smooth gravy). If you want to puree the onions always use yellow onions and avoid red or other kinds because they can impart bitter tones after pureeing.

Pureed tomatoes cook faster than chopped tomatoes so puree them while sautéing the onion paste. A good aromatic garam masala and kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) are very essential to make this North Indian dish. For simplicity I don’t fry the paneer but if you want you may fry the diced paneer on a pan with 1 tsp oil or ghee until golden. Add the fried paneer immediately to the hot gravy, this way it will remain soft without getting chewy.

More Paneer Recipes
Aloo Chana
Methi Paneer
Kadai Paneer
Paneer Makhani

Photo Guide

Step by step Instructions

1. Wash chana few times and soak them overnight. Cook them turmeric & water. Pressure cook for 3 whistles on a medium heat or in the instant pot for 16 mins.

cooking chickpeas in pressure cooker

2. While the chana cooks, chop or make a fine paste of onions and tomatoes separately. Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds.

sauteing cumin

3. When they begin to sizzle, add the ginger garlic and saute for a minute, until a nice aroma comes out. Do not burn it.

frying ginger garlic paste

4. Add chopped onions or paste.

sauteing onion paste

5. Saute until golden, stirring constantly.

sauteed onion paste to golden

6. Add chopped tomatoes or puree. Saute for 4 to 5 mins until the raw smell is gone.

tomato puree for chana paneer recipe

7. Add garam masala powder, red chili powder, coriander powder (optional) and salt.

sauteing tomato puree

8. Saute until the mixture begins to smell really good and aromatic.

addition of garam masala chili powder to make chana paneer recipe

9. Add cooked chana along with the stock (chana cooked water). If using canned chickpeas drain them and rinse well, use fresh water here.

Onion tomato masala for chana paneer masala

10. If required add more water to make a slightly runny gravy.

addition of chickpeas

11. Simmer with the pan covered on a low flame for 8 to 10 mins.

cooking paneer chana

12. When the gravy turns thick, add paneer and kasuri methi. If you prefer to make a semi dry curry, evaporate the water by cooking further on a slightly high flame.

simmering gravy

14. Simmer just for a minute and turn off. Taste test and adjust salt or add more garam masala if you want. Add chopped coriander leaves.

addition of paneer

Serve Chana Paneer with rice, roti or bread.

Chana Paneer Recipe

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

Chana Paneer Recipe

Chana Paneer

5 from 12 votes
A side dish of chickpeas and paneer simmered in a spicy and aromatic onion tomato masala. Serve it over basmati rice or with roti.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time6 hours
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time6 hours 35 minutes

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • ½ cup chickpeas (chana or 1½ cups soaked chana or 15 oz canned chickpeas)
  • 1 cup water cook chana
  • teaspoon turmeric (haldi)
  • 1 cup paneer about 150 grams (or crumbled)
  • ¾ cup (1 medium) yellow onions finely chopped or pureed
  • 1¼ cup (2 medium) tomatoes fine chopped or pureed
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste (or ½ tsp each grated)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala or ( ½ tsp garam masala + 1 coriander powder)
  • ¾ teaspoon red chili powder (Kashmiri or use paprika)
  • 1 green chili slit (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt (adjust to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon kasuri methi crushed, dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tablespoon coriander leaves – to garnish


  • Wash and soak chickpeas overnight. Pressure cook them with water and turmeric, until you hear 3 whistles. If using a Instant pot pressure cook for 16 mins on high pressure. When the pressure drops, open the lid.
  • Chickpeas should be soft enough, when you press down in between your fingers, they should get mashed.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds, when they sizzle, add the ginger garlic and sauce for a minute until aromatic.
  • Add onions and green chili. Saute on a medium heat until they turn golden. Stir in the tomatoes and cook until the raw flavor is gone for 4 to 5 mins. Stir in the chili powder, garam masala and salt.
  • Saute until the masala smells aromatic. Add the cooked chana and the stock. Mix well and add more water if required to bring to a consistency. Bring to a rolling boil and simmer for 8 to 10 mins.
  • Add paneer and kasuri methi. Stir and cook just for a minute. Taste test and adjust salt or garam masala if you want. Garnish with coriander leaves.
  • Serve chana paneer with roti or rice and a salad.


  • If using canned chickpeas, rinse them well and use lesser water to cook the gravy.

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Chana Paneer
Amount Per Serving
Calories 272 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Cholesterol 37mg12%
Sodium 165mg7%
Potassium 350mg10%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 335IU7%
Vitamin C 13.2mg16%
Calcium 318mg32%
Iron 2.1mg12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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Thank you! I have tried a few of your recipes and we love them! For this recipe, perhaps you could say “cumin seeds”? I was in a rush getting my ingredients together and wasn’t really thinking and at the last minute I realized that the spice would burn if I used the cumin powder instead ? Much gratitude to you for assembling these wonderful recipes and the details and pictures are so very helpful ❤️

5 stars
I see a green chili listed in the ingredients but I’m not seeing where it gets used. Looks delicious – can’t wait to try this.

5 stars
Hi Swasti,

Can I replace tomato purée with anything?

Thank you

Does 1/2 cumin mean 1/2 tsp cumin?

5 stars
Thanks for sharing. kids loved this