Channa Panner Masala | Paneer Garbanzo Gravy

Channa Panner masala is popular Punjabi dish that pairs two not so common  ingredients channa and paneer.

IMG_7124This dish is fairly simple and easy to make and tastes amazing  with just few basic ingredients. Well, these days I always have panner stocked up in my fridge. Kids love anything paneer  and so do I. So when I had some soaked brown channa that I got during the visit to a friends place for a festival, I decided to use it for making the tasty Channa Panner Masala the following weekend for a quick lunch.IMG_7127I must confess, I was not sure about the taste as I was using the brown channa instead of the regular white because the brown channa’s skin tends to be bit more fibery and has more texture than its white counterpart. Bit it turned out really good.


I paired it with another very simple and flavorful dis -Peas Pulav for this meal. This dish also pairs well with  rotis, parathas and stuffed parathas.

Channa Panner Masala | Paneer Garbanzo Gravy

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: medium
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For Channa

Kala Channa – 1 cup soaked and cooked
Cinnamon –  small piece
Garlic – 2 pods
Bay Leaf – 1

For Gravy: 

Onion – 1 big
Tomato – 2 medium
Garlic – 2-3 pods
Cashews – 3 nos

Rest of the Ingredients:

Paneer – 1 – 1 1/2 cup
Cream cheese – 1 tbs (optional)
Sunff/fennel seeds – 1 tsp
Cardamom – 2 pods
Cinnamon –  small piece
Bayleaf- 1-2 small
Red chili powder – 1- 2 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
Amchoor Powder – 1 tsp.
Salt to taste
Oil – 3 tbs

For Garnish:

Fresh coriander leaves – 2 tsp chopped
Ginger – 1 tsp julienne
Fried green chilis (optional)


For Channa:

  • Soak the channa or garbanzo beans for about 6-8 hrs or overnight.
  • Cook it in pressure cooker with some salt, Cinnamon, gralic and bay leaf until soft and done. ( takes up to 1-2 whistles)

For Gravy: 

  • Chop Onions/Tomatos and 2 garlic pods.
  • Grind it with the cashews into a course paste. ( i like the course texture. you can grind it smooth if that is  your preference)

Making Channa masala: 

    1. In a think bottom pan add 3 tbs of oil and when it is hot add the dry spices – fennel seeds, cardamom, cinnamon and bay leaf. Let it crackle.
    2. Now add in the dry masala powders except garam masala and fry it for a quick few seconds. Make sure not to burn the masala as this will make the dish bitter.
    3. Now quickly add the ground paste to the kadai and cook it in low to med flame till the raw onion/garlic flavor is gone.
    4. Also the oil starts seeping out form the sides of the pan when the masala is cooked.
    5. At this point add salt. Remember the dal was cooked with salt so adjust it accordingly.
    6. Now add in the cooked channa and let it simmer in the mix for 5 mins.
    7. Then add the cubed paneer and cook it for 5-7 mins for it to absorb all the flavor
    8. Add water to get the desired consistency. i added about a 1 cup of water.
    9. Now dissolve the cream cheese  in the hot gravy and add it to the mix.
    10. Add the Garam masala and give a  quick stair and 2 more minutes to cook.
    11. Turn off the gas and garnish with fresh coriander leaves and julienne ginger.
    12. Serve it hot with peas pulav/Mutter pulav for a satisfying meal.


  • Adding Cream cheese is  totally optional and can be skipped if you don’t prefer it.
  • Replace cream cheese with heavy cream to get the richness.
  • This gravy pairs very well with any kind of roti and rice.

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