Chana Masala (Vegetarian Indian Chickpea Curry)

Chana Masala, the humble chickpea curry

Chickpea curry does not have the ‘pizazz’ that some Indian dishes seem to carry. There aren’t any bright colors nor does this curry give off that chili pepper heat that makes you sweat.   It’s a simple curry with simple ingredients, like the humble chickpea, simmered in a tomato gravy.

Some could call it ‘peasant food’ not fit for a king like a lamb biryani.  However, in my humble opinion, ‘peasant food’ is the best food.  It stands the test of time and is comforting to the soul.  Give me a bowl of chana masala, top it with some fresh cilantro/coriander, tomato, red onion and a squeeze of lemon and I’m happy.  Peasant food all the way.

Chana masala garnished with chopped tomatoes, red onions and cilantro served alongside lemon wedges, red chiles and roti

 

Learn vegetarian cooking from the best

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: no one does vegetarian food better than the Indians.  The way they carefully and lovingly work with vegetables and spice is genius.  I always judge a new Indian restaurant by its vegetarian Thali.  Why do I order that specific dish (or rather, mezze), you may ask?  Simple, I want to taste as many vegetable curries as possible and nothing is better for that than those little bowls full of food.  Impress me with your culinary prowess in those vegetable curries and I’ll order another meat dish or two. Okay, probably three more dishes but for now, more Chana masala, please.

 

 

Chana Masala garnished with chopped tomatoes, red onions and cilantro served alongside red chiles and roti

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A small bowl of spices
Gather spices together
A small bowl of minced garlic and ginger
Crush garlic and ginger then mince.
Chopped red onions cooking in a large skillet
When hot and butter is melted, add onions and cook until translucent (about 5 minutes).
Chopped onions, ginger and garlic cooking in a large skillet
When onions are translucent, add minced garlic and ginger. Stir and cook until fragrant (about 1-2 minutes).
Chopped onions, garlic, ginger and spices cooking in a large skillet
Add cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala and salt. Cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
Curry gravy cooking in a large skillet
Open a can of tinned tomatoes, place it in a bowl and crush with your hands. Add to onion mixture along with 1/2 cup (120 ml) of water.
chickpea curry cooking in a large pan
Bring to a boil then add drained and washed chickpeas. Reduce heat to low or whatever provides a low simmer, cover and cook for 20-30 minutes.
chickpea curry in a large skillet
When the liquid has reduced and chickpeas are cooked through, turn off the heat.

 

 

 

A bowl of chickpea curry garnished with chopped tomatoes, red onions and cilantro served alongside lemon wedges and red chiles
Garnish the chickpea curry with chopped red onion, diced tomato, a sprinkling of cilantro and of course, a squirt of lemon. Serve with Basmati rice or naan bread.

 

 

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A bowl of curried chickpeas garnished with chopped tomatoes, red onions and cilantro served alongside lemon wedges, red chiles and roti

Chana Masala (Vegetarian Indian Chickpea Curry)


  • Author: Spicepaw
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3-4 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This Chana Masala recipe is made with canned chickpeas simmered in a spicy tomato gravy then topped with chopped red onion, tomato, coriander and a squeeze of lemon.#vegan #vegetarian #Indianfoodrecipes #chickpeas #curry #healthyrecipes


Ingredients

Scale

2 large onions (about 2 cups) (finely diced)

2 tablespoons of ginger (crushed, then minced)

2 tablespoons of garlic (crushed then minced)

1 small red chili pepper (diced) (optional)

1 tablespoon of ground cumin

1/2 tablespoon of ground coriander

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp sea salt

34 tablespoons of butter or olive oil

1 x 400 g (14 oz) can of stewed tomatoes

1/2 cup (120 ml) of water

2 x 400 g (14 oz) can of chickpeas (drained and washed)

fresh cilantro/coriander for garnish

1 tomato

slice of lemon

1 red onion (chopped)


Instructions

In a large pan, heat butter or olive oil over medium heat.

When hot and butter is melted, add onions and cook until translucent (about 5 minutes).

When onions are translucent, add minced garlic and ginger.  Stir and cook until fragrant (about 1-2 minutes).

Add cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala and salt.  Cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

Open can of tinned tomatoes, place in a bowl and crush with your hands.  Add to onion mixture along with 1/2 cup (120 ml) of water.

Bring to a boil then add drained and washed chickpeas.

Reduce heat to low or whatever provides a low simmer, cover and cook for 20-30 minutes.

When the liquid has reduced and chickpeas are cooked through, turn off the heat.

Garnish with chopped red onion, diced tomato, a sprinkling of cilantro and of course, a squirt of lemon.

Serve with Basmati rice or naan bread.

Notes

Make your spices go the distance!  Make sure to get good quality spices.  Instead of adding the prepackaged ground, simply toast together 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds and 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds with some garam masala and turmeric.  Grind together via mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder or whatever you have that works.

Not all garam masalas are made equal.  Each one varies with spices and seasonings so find the one you like best and use that.

  • Category: Curry, Vegetarian
  • Method: Simmering
  • Cuisine: Indian

Keywords: Chickpea, curry, Indian food, vegan, vegetarian

Vegetarian Indian Recipes to Feast on:

Indian Spiced Cheese Fritters (Masala cheese pancakes)

Aloo Palak (Pakistani Spinach Curry with Potatoes)

Chili Paneer with Sweet and Sour Garlic Sauce

 

Author: Natasha

I'm just a busy expat mom who has a psychological need to feed people. I enjoy learning about new cultures, (especially the food) and enjoy experimenting with new ingredients and spices

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