Who needs takeout when you can make this easy Chana Masala Recipe? Gluten-free, packed with protein, and ready to eat in under 30 minutes.
Garam masala spice, chickpeas and tomatoes produce a hearty dish that is budget-friendly too. Save money and cook at home.
Chickpea curry (or some call it stew) is so delicious and nutritious. When you can cook dinner at home in under 30 minutes (and have leftovers too), why dish out dollars for takeout? This super easy Chana Masala is a favourite around here.
Do you like takeout? Honestly most of the time I am so disappointed with the quality and taste of the fast food. Even when we go to restaurants most times we walk away disappointed.
If hubby surprises me with gourmet pizza, burritos or Thai anything I am a happy girl. I know making dinner on weeknights can be a challenge. That is why having easy dinner recipes in your repertoire is a must.
WHAT IS CHANA MASALA?
If you have never heard of this before, Chana Masala is actually an Indian chickpea stew from the Punjabi region. I don’t know about you, but we LOVE Indian food. All those warm, spicy flavours are so enticing. It really is like travelling the world without leaving the kitchen.
This may not be the authentic chana masala recipe you can find in restaurants, but it is one of the best (and easiest) recipes I have ever made.
Vegan chana masala is perfect for the new plant-based diet craze. Chickpeas are such a great ingredient. Hands down one of my absolute favourite proteins to cook with. Especially if I am looking for a meat alternative.
Filled with fibre, vitamins, minerals. You can cook them from dry if you like, but for the most part, I use canned organic chickpeas.
Do you consume chickpeas on a regular basis? They work well in chili, salads, or just to eat. I usually munch away on them as I rinse them for recipes.
Some of our favourite ways to enjoy them are:
Just in case you were wondering the difference between Chana Masala and Tiki Masala? Tiki masala is made with meat, usually chicken. Both contain the wonderful spicy sauce.
MAKING CHANA MASALA
This is a one-pot chana masala recipe. Well, ok if you are cooking the chickpeas from scratch, it will be more than one pot. As I said, I use canned chickpeas for convenience (so much easier).
I always have the basics for chana masala on hand. The ingredients are minimal. You will need:
- canned tomatoes
- *ghee (or oil)
I attended a blogging conference in Ottawa. We all received the a new cookbook, and the author Greta Podleski was on hand to sign them too. Lucky us right?
If you know me at all, I am a cookbook fanatic. I love adding to my vast collection. I have ALL the Looneyspoons books (she created those with her sister Janet). I was happy to add this to my bookshelf alongside the others.
This chana masala recipe was adapted from the Greta’s book *Yum & Yummer.
You will see that even if you don’t have the exact ingredients (since I decided to make this after I went grocery shopping) you can still make a delicious dish with a few minor changes.
The one thing that Indian curry (or Indian cooking in general) does have is WONDERFUL spices. The aroma as these delicious dishes cook is so welcoming. I just LOVE cooking with these spices.
- curry powder
- *garam masala (a wonderful blend of spices)
- chili powder
When making this chickpea curry, I didn’t have the EXACT spices on hand. Also, I wanted to use ghee instead of olive oil. Since I love changing recipes up (and do all the time), subbing in a little more of one in place of another worked well. I knew it would.
What is garam masala? It is a blend of spices that usually consist of:
- green cardamom
- black cardamom
- bay leaves
- dried chilies
There are MANY combinations and variations to this spice blend. The spices are generally toasted, then ground to a powder. You can for sure make your own homade blend. I like to try different blends from stores and specialty markets. They are different every time. It adds so much flavour to dishes. Warm, sweet with only a touch of heat.
Ok, 30 minutes to dinner. Here we go:
- If you are making rice, get that cooking. This is an option, but I recommend it.
- Turn the oven on to warm the naan bread too (or not), but you will really want to.
- Rinse your chickpeas and have them ready and waiting. Try not to eat all of them before you use them.
- Dice your onions, grate your ginger and mince your garlic.
- Now you will just cook the onions until tender.
- Add the spices and tomatoes.
- Cook a little more.
- Add the chickpeas and heat through.
- Your rice should be ready, your bread should be warm.
- Put some rice in a bowl, spoon the chana masala over the rice. Grab some naan. DIG IN!
OMG, how fast is that? Most people are still debating which pizza they want to order. Simple right?
WHAT TO SERVE WITH CHANA MASALA
When making this chana masala recipe, I did make sure I had lots of extra sauce. Pouring this wonderful Indian chickpea stew over some rice, and sopping up the sauce with naan bread is the ONLY way to eat it (in my opinion anyway).
I would have no problem eating this with mashed potatoes too.
Can you freeze chana masala? YES!! This is the PERFECT batch recipe. Great to pop into containers or freezer bags for easy meals down the road. Budget-friendly too.
See just like I said. Fast and easy as 1-2-3. Who needs takeout out. Make this healthy Chana Masala Recipe for Easy Dinner Tonight.
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Looking for more recipes to make with chickpeas? Here are a few from my blogger friends:
- Buffalo Chickpea Meatballs
- Sloppy Pineapple Chickpea BBQ Sandwich
- Chickpea and Feta Salad
- Roasted Cauliflower, Mushroom and Chickpea Quinoa Bowl
- Air Fryer Chickpea Tacos
Chana Masala Recipe for Easy Dinner Tonight
- 26 ounces cans of chickpeas (just use 2 cans)
- 28 ounces can of diced tomatoes
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 cup onion (diced)
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1 tbsp ghee (or olive/coconut oil)
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp yellow curry powder
- 1 tsp chili powder (I used Aleppo Chiles)
- 2 tsp grated fresh ginger (I used a micro plane for this)
- Parsley for garnish (optional)
- Get all your spices measured into a small bowl.
- Dice your onion, mince the garlic and grate the ginger. Set everything aside.
- Rinse your chickpeas and put them aside. Open the canned tomatoes.
- Heat a non stick pan over medium high heat. Add the ghee.
- Add the onions, cook until soft and start to brown (about 10 minutes).
- Add the garlic, ginger and spices. Cook for 30-40 seconds.
- Add the tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Liquid will start to absorb (slightly). You still want to have some sauce especially if you are having this with rice and naan bread. YUM!!
- Add the chickpeas, mix, cover and heat through (about 5 minutes)
- At this point the Chana Masala is done.
- If you like, dish this over some rice, add some naan bread.