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Easy Chana Masala Recipe

You need this easy recipe in your life! Chana Masala is a flavour-packed, delicious and nutritious meal. Chana Masala is actually my favourite inexpensive, convenient and easy weekday dinner recipe to make.

What is Chana Masala? Chana means “chickpea” and masala describes the blend of spices used commonly in Indian cuisine. Chana Masala is essentially onion, garlic, and ginger, chickpeas and diced tomatoes with a blend of delicious and warming spices like turmeric, garam masala, coriander and cumin.

This is an easy meal to make in a pinch. I always have chickpeas, diced tomatoes and spices in my house. When I don’t know what to make for dinner, Chana Masala is my go-to. I also freeze multiple batches for nights when I don’t feel like cooking. It is a real lifesaver!

The flavours in Chana Masala get better and better the longer it sits so the flavours can meld together. If you plan to eat this dish the same day you make it, I recommend making it earlier in the day.  It’ll be so delicious by dinner time. 

Why Chana Masala is the best weeknight dinner

  • Chana Masala is inexpensive to make especially if you purchase your chickpeas and diced tomatoes when they’re on sale.
  • This recipe freezes beautifully so I recommend freezing leftovers for another meal. I often double this recipe when I make it so I can stock my freezer.
  • Chana Masala is dairy free, gluten free, vegetarian and vegan. It’s the perfect go-to dinner if you’re having guests over with dietary restrictions.
  • Chana masala is so flavourful and warming. It’s a delicious warm meal for a chilly night. -Chana Masala is fast to make. It involves minimal prep and just simmers on the stove.

Changes I made from the Oh She Glows version of Chana Masala

  • I added a grated sweet potato to my recipe to give this meal more body. You could also add other vegetables. Spinach or kale would be a lovely addition. 
  • I’ve always done ground cumin rather than the cumin seeds in the original recipe.  I could never find cumin seeds in my local grocery store. 
  • I increased the amount of diced tomatoes and decreased the amount of chickpeas in my recipe because I found the original recipe had too many chickpeas. 
  • I always top my Chana Masala with yogurt! 
  • I omitted both the serrano chile and the cayenne pepper because my children are extremely sensitive to spice. If I omit those spicy elements they will happily eat this meal. 

How to Make Chana Masala


Prepare your vegetables before starting to cook. Dice your onions, mince the garlic and ginger, and grate the sweet potato. Open the cans of diced tomatoes and chickpeas. Drain and rinse the chickpeas.  

In a large heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven, warm 2 tbsp of coconut oil over medium-low heat. Cook onions for several minutes until the onions are softened and translucent.

Add the grated sweet potato, garlic and ginger and cook for a few more minutes. Add the cumin, garam masala, turmeric and coriander. Cook the spices for 30 seconds while stirring.

Pour in the two cans of diced tomato and scrape the bottom of the pot to lift up all the spice and flavour.

Pour in the drained chickpeas and add salt and pepper. Simmer on low heat for a minimum of half an hour. Take the time to taste the Chana Masala at this stage and carefully adjust for seasonings, adding more salt and pepper as needed.  

Tips for Making Chana Masala

  • Chana Masala is best when you make it earlier in the day or the day before to allow all the flavours to meld together for several hours after cooking.
  • I typically top Chana Masala with a spoonful of yogurt but when I was photographing this recipe we had just run out so I topped it with a crumble of feta.
  • Always add a splash of lemon or lime juice when serving
  • Serve Chana Masala on a bed of basmati rice.
  • Leftovers can be served for lunch.  I enjoy it lightly mashed on toast.

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Spoon stirring the ingredients of Creamy Mushroom Penne with Sausage and Red Pepper
You will simmer ingredients until the sauce is reduced and coats the back of a spoon. Taste the sauce at this stage and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

This creamy pasta dish is a great choice when you’re entertaining, enjoying a date night at home or any time you want some comfort food. Every bite of creamy pasta provides a hint of dijon, rosemary and thyme flavours. If you’re looking for a new recipe to add to your repertoire, this is it! Delicious!

Butternut Squash Soup made with Apple Cider will fill your home with the aromas of fall. The combination of apple cider and butternut squash with the addition of warming spices makes this soup the definition of fall flavours. Butternut Squash Soup made with Apple Cider is very quick to make!

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Chana Masala Recipe

Easy Chana Masala

You need this recipe in your life!  Chana Masala is a flavour packed, delicious and nutritious meal. Chana Masala is actually my favourite inexpensive, convenient and easy weekday dinner to make. What is Chana Masala? Chana means “chickpea” and masala describes the blend of spices used commonly in Indian cuisine. Chana Masala is essentially onion, garlic, and ginger, chickpeas and diced tomatoes with a blend of delicious and warming spices like turmeric, garam masala, coriander and cumin.
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 medium onions diced
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger peeled and minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh garlic minced
  • 1 small sweet potato shredded
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 tsp ground coriander
  • 3 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 28 oz cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 19 oz can of chickpeas drained and rinsed

To Serve

  • lemon
  • yogurt
  • basmati rice

Instructions
 

  • Prepare your vegetables before starting to cook. Dice your onions, mince the garlic and ginger, and grate the sweet potato. Open the cans of diced tomatoes and chickpeas. Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
  • In a large heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven, warm 2 tbsp of coconut oil over medium- low heat. Cook onions several minutes until the onions are softened and translucent.
  • Add the grated sweet potato, garlic and ginger and cook for a few more minutes. Add the cumin, garam masala, turmeric and coriander. Cook the spices for 30 seconds while stirring.
  • Pour in the two cans of diced tomato and scrape the bottom of the pot to lift up all the spice and flavour. Pour in the drained chickpeas and add salt and pepper.
  • Simmer on low heat for a minimum of half an hour. Take the time to taste the Chana Masala at this stage and carefully adjust for seasonings, adding more salt and pepper as needed.  

Notes

  • Chana Masala is best when you make it earlier in the day or the day before to allow all the flavours to meld together for several hours after cooking.
  • I typically top Chana Masala with a spoonful of yogurt but when I was photographing this recipe we had just run out so I topped it with a crumble of feta.
  • Always add a splash of lemon or lime juice when serving
  • Serve Chana Masala on a bed of basmati rice.
  • Leftovers can be served for lunch.  I enjoy it lightly mashed on toast. 

‘Til next time,

Christy

Hi! I’m Christy, a happy wife and mother to three boys, a nutritionist, a food lover and a Canadian. Creating and experimenting in the kitchen is my idea of an afternoon well spent. To me, a clean kitchen is an empty canvas of possibility and that means my kitchen never stays clean for long. My dream is that one or more of the recipes I share here will inspire you, perhaps even becoming a cherished family favourite.

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