Best Chana Masala Powder Brands in India – Mishry (Nov 2023)
Why are the chana masalas by Goldiee and MDH our Top Picks? Let’s find out.
Our reviews are research-based, and all trials and testings are conducted in-house over days and weeks. We have a strict no-free-sample policy to ensure our reviews are fair and impartial.
Ask any true-blue Punjabi about their favorite chole, and they will give you a different recipe. But there will always be one thing in common – they are all masaledaar.
Be it a simple ghee-masala tadka or the one with onions and tomatoes, channas are loved around the country and can be paired with rice, kulchas, stuffed aloo kulchas, pooris and even samosas.
But what gives channas their characteristic flavor? The chana masala, ofcourse! Which one to choose from the massive choices, you ask? We tested nine chana masala powder brands in India and chose Goldiee and MDH as our Top Picks. They were the tastiest, most masaledar chana masalas with the best potency.
Here’s how we did it.
Table of Contents
Watch – Best Chana Masala Powder Brands Review
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Quick Comparison of Chana Masala Powder Brands
A quick glance at the brands we reviewed along with their rating and buy now option –
|Brand||Mishry Rating||Buy Now|
|Goldiee||4||Add to cart|
|MDH||4||Add to cart|
|Eastern||3.5||Add to cart|
|Badshah||3.5||Add to cart|
|Orika||3||Add to cart|
|Everest||3||Add to cart|
|Tata Sampann||3||Add to cart|
|Catch||2||Add to cart|
|Keya||2||Add to cart|
Our Review Factors
What were we looking for? A bowl of masaledar chole with a well-rounded heat. The balance of spices played a crucial role as well.
To test chana masala powder brands, we set the following parameters –
Our factor in focus for the chana masala review is flavor. What to expect from a standard chole masala? Dry mango sourness, some heat and a whole lot of balance from all the spices added.
There should not be any artificial aftertaste or stale flavors.
Higher the potency, the lower the amount of masala you need. This would eventually impact how value for money this proves to be.
Sour, spicy, masaledaar – how robust or feeble is the aroma of the masala?
How does the masala change the color of the final dish?
Typically a channa masala has coriander seeds, amchoor, anardana, peppercorns, and a mix of khada masalas like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and more. Are the list of ingredients in sync with what an authentic Punjabi chole masala should have?
Price and shelf life were also supporting factors.
Our Review Process
After our product inspection was over, here’s how we tested them –
- We soaked Kabuli channa for 8 hours before cooking.
- In a large 5 liter cooker we cooked the chana with light salt for 5 whistles and then for 2-3 minutes on low heat.
- We made a large batch of onion-tomato masala which had 4 grated onions and a puree of 7 tomatoes. We used Suhana ginger garlic paste (our Top Pick).
- Once the oil was heated, we dunked in the onions and cooked till the onions started to brown. We then added the ginger-garlic paste and further sauteed it. Now we added the tomatoes and some salt and cooked till the tomatoes were done.
- This large onion-tomato masala was divided into 9 parts of 31 gms each.
- We used 100 gm boiled chana, 10 gms of chana masala powder, 2 ladles of chana water and cooked again in a small pressure cooker for 1 whistle to amalgamate the channas. These measurements were the same for all brands.
- Before tasting, we ensured our samples had cooled down properly.
Don’t want to cook? Here’s an RTE Chana Masala that is very homestyle.
Chana Masala Powder Brands – Detailed Review
A detailed review of all the chana masala brands we tested in our kitchen, what worked for them, what didn’t and which is the best.
1. Goldiee Chana Masala – Mishry Top Pick (Spicy)
Goldiee’s Chana Masala is spicy and masaledaar. We liked that the heat is not coming from red chilli powder, but this has warming notes of cloves and garam masala. The amchoor is added in correct proportions making this sour (khatta) appropriately. The salt and sourness is on point.
This chana masala has the highest potency, i.e, even though we added 10 gms of the masala to standardize the procedure, we feel even 5 grams would have sufficed.
- A 50 gm pack is priced at Rs 29/-.
- Shelf life – 12 months.
- The main ingredients used are coriander, dry mango powder, cumin, black pepper, turmeric, red chilli, pomegranate seed, cinnamon, big cardamom, nutmeg, mace and cloves.
This is a semi-coarse powder and is mustard in color. The aroma is meaty with undertones of nutmeg and cumin.
- This is the most masaledar chole masala.
- Has apt sourness.
- For those who want spicy chole, this has the best well-rounded spiciness.
- Maximum potency, which would then further prove to be value for money as a small amount is required to flavor a bowl of chickpeas.
This is best suited for those who like their chole spicy and masaledaar. The chole made using Goldiee’s Chana Masala are best when served with kulchas and bhaturas.
2. MDH Chana Masala – Mishry Top Pick (Medium Spice)
Keeping in mind different preferences and tolerance for spiciness, we also chose MDH as our winner. MDH’s Chana Masala has a very well balanced spiciness (medium) and sourness. Just like Goldiee, this gives the correct amount of khattas to our bowl of Punjabi cholas. The potency is also upto the mark. This is a semi-coarse powder with sour aroma.
- A 100 gm pack is priced at Rs 78/-.
- Shelf life – 12 months.
- The ingredients include coriander seeds, unripe dry mango, iodized salt, cumin, red chilli, kachri, pomegranate seeds, black salt, seedless tamarind, black pepper, dried ginger, cassia, mint leaves, fenugreek leaves, cardamom, amomum, nutmeg, cloves, yellow chillies, mace, green cardamom, and bishop’s weed.
- The sourness is apt.
- Heat is perfect for those looking for medium spicy chole.
- Superb potency.
Need a chole masala with moderate spice levels but no compromise on the flavors and masala? MDH does the job beautifully.
3. Eastern Chhole Masala
We loved Eastern’s Chole Masala for- the balanced flavor of masala, mild heat loved by reviewers with a low chilli tolerance, and the fact that this let the flavor of ghee and chole shine.
Ideally, any masala should not mask the innate flavor of the hero ingredient (in this case it’s chickpeas). But chole masala is supposed to make a bowl of tarty-spicy channas. So while there is nothing wrong with this masala, it would be perfect for a non-spicy category, and not for someone who wants the characteristic flavors of desi, Punjabi chole.
- A 100 gm pack is priced at Rs 67/-.
- Shelf life – 12 months
- The main ingredients include coriander, chilli, pomegranate seed, dry mango, cumin, salt, tamarind, caraway, fenugreek, fennel, dry ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, clove, mint leaf, nutmeg, cardamom, and turmeric.
- This is a slightly coarse masala and the color is a lot like roasted cumin powder.
- We got flavorful results using this masala.
Although tasty, these do not make a bowl of classic Punjabi chole which are spicy and masaledaar. These have a light, natural sweetness.
4. Badshah Chana Masala
Badshah’s Chana Masala has a dominant flavor of coriander and cumin which suppresses all other elements. Although these are tasty and have a mild sourness coming from dry mango powder, these scored a little lower than our Top Picks.
- A 100 gm pack is priced at Rs 66/-.
- Shelf life – 18 months
- The main ingredients include Iodised salt, red chilli, black salt, dry mango, coriander, cumin, fennel seeds, black pepper, cassia leaves, kachadi, ginger, and ajma.
These are tasty, but have a milder sour flavor.
- Dominant flavor of coriander and cumin which slightly suppresses other elements.
5. Orika Chana Masala
Orika did not win because this was high on salt and has a very peculiar sourness which we did not appreciate. It has a prominent cinnamon flavor and isn’t spicy or sour.
We liked that this masala brings a vibrant color to the dish and has a resealable pack.
- A 100 gm pack is priced at Rs 63/-.
- Shelf life – 12 months.
- The ingredients used are – Coriander, amchur, cumin cinnamon, anardana, aniseed, bay leaf, iodized salt, clove, chilli, black pepper, mint, ginger, black salt, asafetida, kachri, nutmeg, black and green cardamom, ajwain, seedless tamarind, star anise, fenugreek, mace, black cumin, turmeric, black mustard and amla.
- Only brand to have a convenient resealable pack.
- Made a vibrant looking chana dish.
- Highest salt content, making it hard to adjust levels.
- Prominent cinnamon flavor which is not something we expect from a channa masala.
- It’s neither spicy, nor sour.
6. Everest Chhole Masala
Everest Chole Masala did not win because it was very sour and the masala hits the back of your throat. The spiciness is medium, but the bowl of chole we made using this masala is not as tasty as our Top Picks.
- A 100 gm pack is priced at Rs 71/-.
- Shelf life – 12 months.
- The main ingredients include coriander, dried mango, chilli, cumin, cassia leaf, mint leaf, pomegranate seed, mustard, cassia bark (taj), clove, black pepper, fennel, dried ginger, iodized salt, black salt.
- It also contains nutmeg, mace, caraway, black cardamom, turmeric, bishop’s weed, compounded asafetida, tamarind and citric acid.
- The masalas hit the back of your throat.
- High on sourness.
7. Tata Sampann Punjabi Chole Masala
Tata Sampann’s Punjabi Chole Masala lacked the well-rounded flavor we were looking for. It was dominant on coriander powder and nothing else! Even after cooking this as per standard time, the masala seemed very raw and the coarse granules can be felt when we eat.
- A 100 gm pack is priced at Rs 70/-.
- Shelf life – 18 months.
- The main ingredients include coriander powder, chilli powder, cumin powder, dried mango powder, black salt, pomegranate seeds, fennel powder, dried bay leaf, black pepper powder, cinnamon powder, turmeric powder, dried ginger powder, acidity regulator (INS 330), clove powder, mace powder, compounded asafetida, dried mint powder, kasoori methi, green cardamom powder.
- Flavor is dominant on coriander.
- No sourness or heat.
- Masala remained very raw to taste even after appropriate cooking.
8. Catch Chana Masala
Catch did not win because this was EXTREMELY sour. Everything else gets completely masked behind the overpowering amchoor flavor and leaves no room to adjust any seasoning.
- A 100 gm pack is priced at Rs 65/-.
- Shelf life – 15 months
- The main ingredients include coriander whole, dried mango slices, chillies and capsicum whole, cumin whole, iodized salt, ginger whole, pomegranate seeds, cucumis. It also contains pepper black whole, large cardamom whole, bay leaf, nutmeg whole, fenugreek whole, turmeric whole, ajwain, cassia whole, mustard whole, cloves whole, anistar, mace whole, citric acid (INS 330).
As mentioned on the pack – Spice content is 80% and salt content is 8.8%.
- This is extremely sour. We could not taste anything beyond amchoor.
9. Keya Chhole Masala
Keya’s Chhole Masala did not win because of several reasons. Firstly, this has a peculiar flavor which we cannot point our fingers at. There is a unique (but undesirable) sweetness which is not expected from a chana masala. Thirdly, the overall taste is below average and levels of heat/sourness are too low.
- A 50 gm pack is priced at Rs 33/-.
- Shelf life – 24 months
- The main ingredients are chilli, coriander, dried mango powder, salt, turmeric, cumin, pomegranate seed powder, ginger, black pepper, nutmeg, clove, fennel seeds, rock salt, cinnamon, green cardamom, bay leaf, chana dal, compound asafetida.
- This has a peculiar flavor which is undesirable.
- The mild sweetness is unexpected.
- Taste is below average.
Our Top Picks & Recommendations
Why did we choose MDH and Goldiee Chana Masala as our Top Pick?
When someone says chana masala, we instantly think of two words – khatta (sour) and masaledaar. Goldiee is our Top Pick (Spicy) for its unmatched masala flavor and high potency. This is the best if you’re looking to make chole for kulchas and bhaturas.
MDH is for those who like medium spice levels, without losing out on the flavor in any way. The potency is at par with Goldiee. This masala is best suited when you’re making chana to consume with rice.
Related reading – How to cook with chickpeas beyond channa masala
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some interesting FAQs on chana masala powder brands.
No. Chole masala has a different blend of spices than garam masala. Channa/Chole masala has a sour edge along with the warmth of spices like cloves, cinnamon and cardamom. Garam masala doesn’t contain pomegranate seeds or dry mango powder which are dominant ingredients in a chana masala.
Yes. 8 out of 9 brands we tested contain iodised and/or black salt.
Yes, if that is what you prefer. You can consume these channas with rice, kulchas, bhaturas and even mathi.
Yes, these chole masalas are 100% vegetarian.
Channas made using our Top Pick, Goldiee, are masaledaar and the flavor profiles are unmatched. MDH is also our winner and is recommended for those with medium spice tolerance levels. Both of our winners have commendable potency.
Channas are best paired with? Let us know your favorite pairing in the comment section below.