Backpacker's Pantry Chana Masala

Priced: $4.95 - $7.95 Rated:   - 2 stars out of 5 by 13 reviews.
Backpacker's Pantry Chana Masala
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Backpacker's Pantry Chana Masala -

Backpacker's Pantry Chana Masala is a vegetarian, Indian dish from the Punjab region with curry, chick peas and chilies over rice.


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  • May contain traces of peanuts and/or tree nuts
  • 2) Seal and let sit for 13 minutes
  • 3) Stir and serve
  • Nutrition facts displayed here and on packaging may differ; information on packaging reflects actual contents
  • Chana Masala is a curry dish from the Punjab region of India featuring chick peas and chilies over rice
  • 1) Add 2-1/4 cups of boiling water and stir well

Get the taste of India on your next backpacking trip with this tasty entree from Backpacker's Pantry.

Ingredients: precooked long grain white rice, garbanzo beans, sugar, salt, bell pepper, paprika, onion, garlic, turmeric, cumin seed, cayenne pepper, coriander seed, fenugreek, crushed red chili pepper, nutmeg, pepper, ginger, oregano, bay leaves, cloves, fennel seed, cinnamon, dill weed.

Made in USA.

INGREDIENTS: White Rice (Precooked Long Grain Rice), Garbanzo Beans, Sugar, Salt, Bell Pepper, Onion, Garlic, Vitamin Supplement, Spices.
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Review RatingNumber of Reviews
Calories from fat:25
Calories per serving:430
Carbohydrates:92 grams
Cholesterol:0 milligrams
Dietary fiber:9 grams
Food Features:Vegan, Vegetarian
Food Type:No Meat
Gluten free:Yes
Preparation Time:13 Minutes
Protein:13 grams
Saturated fat:0 grams
Serving Size:Two 13 oz. Servings
Servings:2 Servings
Servings per container:2 serving(s)
Shelf Life:0-3 Years
Sodium:1,340 milligrams
Sugars:15 grams
Total fat:2.5 grams
Trans fat:0 grams
Upc, Ean, Isbn:048143023029
Weight:8.8 oz / 251 g

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Backpacker's Pantry Chana Masala Reviews:

Positive Reviews:


Not sure why all the negative reviews, this meal is absolutely delicious. If you don't know what Chana Masala is, stop at Fresh & Easy and pick up their frozen meal before buying this (only thing missing is cauliflower).

It has a wonderful flavor and the spice blend is spot on. I shared this with a friend and her 2 kids (9 and 12) and the 12 year old couldn't get enough. We started eating it before the chickpeas were fully re-hydrated, if you're bothered by crunchy chickpeas, just be patient, they will soften. We were too hungry after a 10+ mile hike to watch the time.

This was the only Freeze dried meal we didn't add anything to (black pepper, Tabasco). BTW, a coworker from Pakistan told me masala=any spice mixture, if you're expecting garam masala (cinnamon-y, slightly sweet), you're in for a big shock, this is a little closer to a vindaloo spice level.
Gourmet Backpacker at REI on 05/05/2012

More for me

I was turned onto this meal on a motorcycle trip, the person who offered me some said he couldn't finish it himself. I've eaten several Backpacker's Pantry meals and this one is probably the biggest at 26 ounces after adding 2.25 cups boiling water. Most of the other ones I'll easily finish on my own but this one is definitely fit for two.

The rice and garbonzo beans are moderately spicy and they rehydrate well with no crunchy parts that don't absorb water. This is dead easy to make and it's my favorite item from Backpacker's Pantry. I have found I don't like meals that rehydrate chicken or other meat, I'll go vegetarian on the road and get meat where I can.

If others don't like it... REI can put it on sale just for me.
davidR at REI on 02/02/2010

Good stuff!

Bought this as well as the chicken vindaloo as I had not seen freeze dried Indian food before. Ate both and they were FANTASTIC!

As I mixed both together I can only assume that the Vindaloo was what added the "heat".

Followed the directions precisely and could not be happier. As another reviewer implied, those that do not want theirs.....feel free to send them here! :D
Grubwart at REI on 07/07/2011

Pretty Dang Good

When I was hiking on Isle Royale, there were three vegetarians, including me, and we couldn't get enough of this stuff! The next year, I was in Killarney Provincial Park on a canoe trip, and the Chana Masala lived up to its expectations yet again. Anyone who does not enjoy it should feel free to send me whatever they have left.
hikeandportage17 at REI on 04/04/2011

So good!!

I am so confused by the folks that said this was awful. Perhaps they hadn't had Chana Masala before?

This meal was delicious. Very flavorful without being too spicy. We added a big can of chicken and split between the two of us. Really tasty! Will definitely buy every time I go backpacking from now on. Mmmmm!
EarthyHeidi at REI on 06/06/2013

Negative Reviews:

Could be better

I'd use this product again, but not as a first choice. I'd add another half cup of water over what they suggest--a little extra water might more fully hydrate the food (it was crunchy) and is always a benefit in outdoor activity anyways. I'd let the product sit longer and maybe shake it once or twice while it "cooks". Masala is a wonderful taste, and there are probably an infinite variety of masala spice mixture recipes. Unfortunately, I didn't recognize the clasic Masala taste in this offering. Still, I ate the whole package. It is not unusual for me to eat "2 servings" of prepacked foods when I'm out camping, and if you are a hearty eater, don't plan on sharing it.

I probably won't buy this again. If I have time, I will just cook and dehydrate my own. Many of the people I see out camping subsist on pouch food, and when I found this vegan pouch, I thought I'd give it a try. But, if no time to cook and no other vegan option, I'd use it again and will recommend it to other only on that basis.
ChipWalsh at REI on 02/02/2011

Not too good.

I'm not normally one to write reviews, but I thought backpacking food deserves to be reviewed as you will likely not have other options in the backcountry.
First off, let me begin by saying "I knew better." I've found that rice dishes normally don't rehydrate too well and this one followed suit. I let it sit for the required 12 minutes and upon opening the bag, the smell was ok but the rice and chickpeas did not rehydrate well. The rice was very grainy and the chickpeas were tough. I ate about 6 bites before I bailed out. The flavor was poor at best.
My only saving grace was I prepared this at home before taking it to the field, and I am glad I did.
Let me finish by saying Indian cuisine is my second favorite cuisine and I have had Chana Masala on numerous occasions. This one is surely a disappointment.
ColdTrailWillie at REI on 09/09/2013


I only take meals on hikes that are a long day or overnight. I have tried a LOT of freeze-dried meals. This was THE worst. I thought it would be good with the curry and chickpeas, liking both, but I was very wrong. Even after letting it sit for well over the suggested time, it was still not hydrated. I even kneaded the bag to ensure the fluid was working evenly. the smell was even unappetizing. I ate a few bites and then resorted to a cliff bar. I was EXTREMELY hungry and VERY disappointed in the flavor and crunch.
RockStarHikes at REI on 06/06/2009

Really Bad

I love spicey food and thought I would give this a try. I wasnt expecting a gormet Indian meal, but thought it must be preet good. After a tough climb on snowshoes in the White Mountains, any meal should have been a welcome thing, but this was so bad I stopped eating after about halfway through. I brought a different meal as a backup and had that instead. I'm not a very picky eater on the trail, but this was absolutely the worst freeze-dried meal I have ever had.
Paddy Potatoes at REI on 03/03/2011

Disappointing entree

My wife and I do a lot of extended backpacking trips and have tried all of the vegetarian freeze dried entrees we can find. We like many of the Backpackers' Pantry items.

This item was disappointing, however. I would put it at the bottom of the list of their products as far as palatability is concerned.
Latzilla at REI on 07/07/2008

Too spicy for masala

Being a masala fan, I did not feel this had the flavor I was looking for. I found it too spicy, and crunchy to finish. I was dreading each spicy bite and luckily I didn't need the calories since I was car camping, so I threw the majority out.
Bailer at REI on 07/07/2009


By far the worst freeze dried meal i have had. I have liked almost everything else from backpackers pantry but this was terrible. Chickpeas+rice+spicy stuff+ not much else. Could only eat 1/3rd of it before giving up.
Climberbob123 at REI on 04/04/2013

Stay away

This product was awfull. Their was little flavour. Even after 5 hours of hiking, this was not edible. I tried to eat it, but it was like eating wood shavings.
lck at REI on 01/01/2011