Chole bhature vs chana masala

The Great Indian Dish Showdown: Chole Bhature vs Chana Masala

Chole bhature and chanala masala are both go-to comfort foods. They’re easy to make and are the perfect snack on chilly or breezy days. Chole bhature vs chana masala; this article will tell you everything you need to know. 

Chloe Bhature Vs Chana Masala

Chana masala is prepared by cooking chickpeas in an Indian curry paste. Chole bhature is prepared by serving chana masala with fried bread called bhature. Both dishes are vegan, healthy, and high in protein which makes them a healthy snack to munch on. Chole bhature vs chana masala; let’s look at which one is better.

What is chole bhature?

Chole bhature is a Northern Indian breakfast dish that combines chana masala and bhatura. The latter is fried bread made with maida. It is best served with lassi or any other cold breakfast drink.

What is chana masala?

Chana masala is an Indian dish made primarily with a specific type of chickpeas called chanae. You can also use kalae channae. Channae are sometimes replaced by chole in restaurants which leads to people confusing one for the other. 

It’s why we decided to write this chole bhature vs chana masala article. 


Chana masala originated in the northern parts of India where it is still a staple dish. 

Some sources claim that chole bhature, a variation of chana masala, later originated in Delhi where the dish is popular to this date. While others say it comes from Uttar Pradesh. Either way, it also comes from the Northern regions of the Indian subcontinent. 

Taste and smell

Chana masala is a relatively dry and spicy dish. It stands out because of its sour citrus note. The flavor usually comes from onion and coriander. 

Chole bhature is also a spicy dish since it is basically just chana masala mixed with bhature in most places. So it has the same sour citrus note and spice levels. 

Traditional recipes, especially Punjabi dishes in Indian cooking always have such spice levels. So this shouldn’t be a surprise. 


A chole bhature vs chana masala comparison would not be complete without looking at both dishes’ popularity. 

Chana masala is a popular dish in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Morocco. It is served hot and usually as a snack. However, it can also be served as a proper main course meal in restaurants with couscous, puri, or rice puffs. 

Chole bhature is a popular dish in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Trinidad, and Guyana. 

These dishes have recently gained popularity because they’re vegan, rich in protein, and simple to make. 


According to Archita Vohra (M.S. in Nutrition Sciences), chana masala is a “protein and flavor packed recipe that pairs perfectly with brown rice or basmati rice for a healthy, nutritious meal”. Logically then, chole bhature and chana masala have the same nutrients. These dishes also have high fiber content. 

The chickpeas or chana used in both dishes are a good source of Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and loads of antioxidants. No oil versions of these dishes are low on calories, low on fat, and quite healthy. 

You can add paneer and veggies to your dish to further increase the nutritious value of your meal. 

Canned chickpeas will have lower nutrition levels since they have preservatives added. 

Health benefits

Chana is good for weight loss and improves several health conditions including:

  • Maintaining healthy and strong bones
  • Controlling diabetes and sugar levels
  • Boosting immunity 
  • Maintaining a healthy heart
  • Lowering cholesterol
  • Stabilizing blood pressure

Also don’t miss our article on chana masala vs chole!

About the recipes


Chana MasalaChole Bhature
Onion Kabuli Chana/boiled chana/garbanzo beans
Chopped tomatoesAjwain
Tea Tea
Cumin seeds or cumin powderRefined flour
Coriander powder, coriander seeds, or coriander leavesCoriander powder, coriander seeds, or coriander leaves
Garlic Garlic
Chillies or chilli powderChillies or chili powder
Lemon juiceBaking powder
Garam masalaGaram masala
Dry mango powderAnardana powder
 Pomegranate seeds
 Fenugreek leaves
 Bay leaf

Instead of combining the spices in the ingredient list above, you can always buy chana masala powder. Using a chana masala spice mix will save you a lot of time and effort. 

Methods of preparation 

Chole bhature is easy to make. You have to make your masala separately from the chole. Then make your bhatura. Once you’re done, all three components are served together. Watch this video to see Chef Sanjyot Keer make chole bhature. 

Video recipes on YouTube typically have a recipe card in the description. This one does too. Scroll down on the video to find it so you can follow along easily. 

For chana masala, add all your ingredients to a pan and stir in 2 cups of water on medium heat. Then transfer to a pressure cooker to cook for 15 minutes while preparing your masala in another pan. Once you’re done, you can combine the two and serve.


Chole are larger and lighter coloured than chana. This is the primary difference between the textures of the two dishes. 

The total time you pressure cook your chickpeas will impact their texture. So keep a close eye on the time recommended by the recipe you’re following and only pressure cook for that long. 

Note: Saute the onions in your masala till they’re golden brown. Any further will negatively affect the dish’s texture. 

Serving suggestions

Chana masala can be served with puri, rice puffs, or flavored couscous. Alternatively, it can be served as a snack or appetizer without any sides. 

Chole bhature is often served as a breakfast dish accompanied by lassi. But it can also be a complete meal by itself. If you want to add some sides then consider onions, pickled carrots, green chutney, or achaar. 

Preservation techniques

Both dishes are best served hot. This is a common ground in the chole bhature vs chana masala comparison. 

You can refrigerate the dishes for 3 days at maximum and then heat them before serving. You can also freeze the dishes for up to a month before it starts going bad. 

What Does Chana Masala Mean In English?

Chana masala roughly translates to mix-spiced small chickpeas.


  • Chole bhature is a north Indian dish that combines chana masala and bhatura.
  • Chana masala is prepared by cooking chickpeas in an Indian curry paste.
  • Both dishes originate in India but the specific place is unknown – some sources say they come from Uttar Pradesh while others argue they originated in Delhi.
  • Both dishes are spicy and have a sour citrus note. 
  • Chole bhature are popular in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Morocco while chana masala is commonly eaten in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Trinidad, and Guyana. 
  • Chole bhature and chana masala are rich in protein, fiber, vitamin E, vitamin C, and many antioxidants. 
  • Both dishes are good for weight loss, controlling diabetes, lowering cholesterol, stabilizing blood pressure, and for helping improve several other health conditions. 
  • The ingredient list for both dishes depends on the cook and the kinds of spices they like to use so you’re likely to see a variation in spices used and the ingredients used to make bhature when comparing. 
  • The chickpeas and masalas are cooked separately before combined together.
  • Chole bhature are made with larger chickpeas than the ones used in chana masala.
  • Serve each dish with lassi or vegetables of your choice.
  • These dishes can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and freezed for up to a month. 

If you’re interested in learning more about Indian cuisine, you will enjoy our article on kulcha vs naan which explores different types of naan you can have with Indian salans/ curries. Naan vs paneer naan adds further content to this topic. 

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