Skip to main content

Crispy Chilli Chana Recipe: Indian Starter or Snack

Rajan loves cooking dishes from his native Indian cuisine. He enjoys sharing his favourite recipes with his online readers.

Crispy chilli chana

Crispy chilli chana

Chilli chana is a delightfully flavourful and yummy Indian dish made with chickpeas. It can be served as a starter, side dish or snack. It is also a popular street food.

Once you have tasted it, you will want to have it again and again. Luckily for all of us, it's easy to prepare!

I would suggest using arrowroot powder instead of the suggested alternative, corn flour. Most of the corn flour that is available today is genetically modified, whereas arrowroot powder is non-GMO. It is also gluten-free.

I hope you try this recipe and share your experience.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

45 min

1 hour

4 servings


For boiling the chana:

  • 1 cup kabuli chana (chickpeas), soaked in water overnight
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt

For coating the chana:

  • 3+1=4 tbsp/as needed arrowroot powder (or cornflour)

For frying the chana:

  • oil, as needed

For the sauce:

  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 green chilles, sliced
  • 2 medium shimla mirch (bell peppers), diced
  • 1 tsp dark soya sauce (or 2 tsp light soya sauce)
  • 1 tsp green chilli sauce
  • 4 tsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1/2 cup reserved boiled chana water (if needed, add fresh water to make 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot powder


  1. Soak the chana overnight. Strain out the soaking water and put the chana in a pressure cooker. Add water and salt. Stir well. Close the lid, keep heat on medium high and at the first whistle reduce heat to low. Cook for exactly 2 minutes; then put off the heat. Let the pressure release on its own.
  2. Open the pressure cooker and check the chana. They should be soft but not oversoft. Strain out the boiled chana and let it cool down. Save the water for use later to make the sauce.
  3. Sprinkle the arrowroot powder on the boiled chana and toss until well coated. Add more arrowroot as needed. Let it rest for 5-7 minutes. Heat up a pan with oil over high heat or deep-frying.
  4. Once the oil is hot, reduce the heat to medium-high. Add some chana. Let the chana fry undisturbed for 15-20 seconds; then turn constantly and continue to fry until they turn light brown. Transfer to a bowl and fry the remaining chana.
  5. Add oil to a frying pan and keep heat on low. When hot, add the ginger-garlic paste and sliced green chillies. Sute lightly. Add the diced shimla mirch, raise the heat to low-medium and saute lightly, keeping its crunch intact, about 2-3 minutes. One by one, add the soya sauce, green chilli sauce and tomato ketchup, stirring as you add each one. Add the vinegar and mix well. Add the kashmiri red chilli powder and salt. Mix again. Add the black pepper powder and mix well. Cook for 1 minute.
  6. While the sauce is cooking, mix the reserved boiled chana water (from step 2) and arrowroot powder to make a smooth mixture; then add it to the sauce. Keep the heat on low-medium and stir-cook until the sauce thickens.
  7. Add the fried chana. Stir-mix until all the chana is well coated. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 1-2 minutes, taking care not to thicken the mixture too much.
  8. Crispy chana chilli is ready to be served.

© 2022 Rajan Singh Jolly