Chana Paneer (Chickpea and Paneer Curry) – No Onion, No Garlic

This one-pan chana paneer recipe is a breeze to make! It is a perfect combination of simplicity and authentic flavors and makes a quick and delightful meal.

Chana paneer in a white bowl with a spoon in the side.

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What’s not to love about this dish? It is made with the perfect blend of convenience and flavor. The omission of onions and garlic caters to various dietary preferences, saves time in the kitchen, and the leftovers taste even better! The use of canned chickpeas adds a level of ease without compromising the rich, aromatic essence of traditional chana paneer.

Also called chole paneer, this flavorful and hearty dish can be paired with basmati rice, roti, or chapati for a wholesome meal. Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or equally fitting for a potluck, this recipe is a go-to if you are looking for simplicity, taste, and convenience.

Ingredients

Ingredients to make chana paneer placed on a white surface.

Chickpeas: We need cooked chickpeas for this dish. You can use canned chickpeas or cook dried chickpeas in an Instant Pot at home.

Paneer: Make sure the paneer is fresh for this dish. I am shallow frying the paneer before adding it to the curry; however, this step is optional and can be skipped.

Spices: I am using star anise, cumin seeds, hing, ground coriander, paprika, turmeric powder, and garam masala powder.

See the recipe card for the complete list of ingredients and quantities.

Substitutions and Variations

  • For a vegan version, replace paneer with extra firm tofu and skip the yogurt.
  • Chickpeas can be replaced with other canned beans like kidney beans, black beans, or pinto for a change in flavor and texture.
  • You can also make this dish with onion and garlic. Add them along with ginger and saute until the onions soften.

Step-by-step instructions

Fried paneer cubes in frying pan.

Step 1: Heat one tablespoon of oil and add the paneer cubes. Fry them until they are golden brown and set them aside.

Cooked tomatoes and spices in a frying pan.

Step 2: Next, add cumin seeds, star anise, hing, ginger and green chili. Saute for one minute. Next, add the diced tomatoes, spices, salt, and sugar. Mix well and simmer until the tomatoes and spices are cooked and the oil begins to ooze out.

Cooked yogurt and tomato curry sauce in frying pan.

Step 3: Whisk the yogurt well. Once the tomatoes are cooked, add the whisked yogurt. Mix well and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Boiled chickpea and fried paneer added to curry sauce in frying pan.

Step 4: Add the chickpeas, fried paneer cubes, and one cup of water.

Chana paneer curry simmering in pan.

Step 5: Bring it to a boil and simmer for 3-4 minutes. The curry will begin to thicken.

The finished dish garnished with fresh cilantro.

Step 6: Turn off the heat and add garam masala and cilantro. Mix well and serve.

Expert Tips

  • Sugar helps balance the tanginess of tomatoes and yogurt. Do not skip it.
  • If you are using frozen paneer, soak them in warm water for a few minutes to soften them.
  • Frying the paneer is optional and can be skipped.
  • Ensure the yogurt is whisked well and there are no lumps in it. You can also give it a quick blend.

What to serve with chana paneer

Accompanied with bread: Indian bread like roti, chapati, or paratha is a great choice to accompany chana paneer.

Serve with plain or flavored rice: This curry pairs well with plain steamed basmati rice. Saffron rice and jeera rice are some delicious side dish options for this dish.

Add a side of salad or raita: A side salad like kachumber or onion raita can add freshness and crunch to the meal.

Chana paneer served on a bed of rice.

Storage Tips

You can store chana paneer in the refrigerator for up to five days. It also freezes well and can be stored in the freezer for up to three months. Reheat on the stovetop or microwave, adding a splash of water if needed to maintain the desired consistency.

Recipe FAQs

How to use dry chickpeas in this recipe?

If using dry chickpeas, soak them in water overnight and cook them in an Instant Pot or stovetop until they are tender. The rest of the recipe remains the same.

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

Certainly! Chana paneer can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. It also freezes well for longer storage.

How do I prevent the paneer from becoming rubbery during cooking?

Soak paneer cubes in warm water before adding them to the dish, and avoid overcooking. Lightly pan-fry the paneer for a golden exterior and softer texture.

Can I add other vegetables to this dish?

Yes! Bell peppers, carrots, green beans, peas, or spinach are all great additions. Adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Chana paneer or chickpea spinach curry in a white bowl.

If you tried this Chana Paneer / Chickpea Paneer Curry Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below.

Chana paneer in a white bowl with another bowl of rice and chana paneer in the background.

Chana Paneer (Chickpea Paneer Curry)

This one-pan chana paneer recipe is a breeze to make! It is a perfect combination of simplicity and authentic flavors.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 6
Author: Shilpa Kerur

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 3 cups boiled chickpeas (2 cans)
  • 2 cups paneer cut into small cubes
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 inch ginger grated
  • 1-2 green chili chopped
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup yogurt whisked
  • 1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves kasoori methi
  • 1 tsp salt adjust as per taste
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp cilantro

Spices:

Instructions

  • Heat a frying pan and add one tablespoon of oil. Once it heats, add the paneer cubes. Fry them until they are golden brown and set them aside.
  • Heat a frying pan and add one tablespoon of oil. Once it heats, add cumin seeds, star anise, and hing. Saute for a few seconds.
  • Add ginger and green chili. Saute for one minute.
  • Next, add the diced tomatoes, ground coriander, chili powder, turmeric powder, salt, and sugar. Mix well and simmer until the tomatoes and spices are cooked and the oil begins to ooze out – about 5-6 minutes.
  • Whisk the yogurt well, making sure there are no lumps.
  • Once the tomatoes are cooked, add the whisked yogurt and kasoori methi. Mix well and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the chickpeas, fried paneer cubes, and one cup of water. Bring it to a boil and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add garam masala and cilantro. Mix well and serve.

Notes

  • If you are using frozen paneer, soak them in warm water for a few minutes to soften them.
  • Frying the paneer is optional and can be skipped.
  • Ensure the yogurt is whisked well and there are no lumps in it. You can also give it a quick blend.

Nutrition

Calories: 354kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 725mg | Potassium: 238mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 128IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 425mg | Iron: 2mg
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Chickpea paneer curry in a white bowl with rice bowl in the background.

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