This easy chana masala is a delicious Indian chickpea curry in a tomato and onion gravy. A delicious vegan comfort food dinner idea. Ready in 30 minutes and completely Top 8 Allergen Free.
This easy chana masala recipe is one of those comfort food dinner meals that you could eat every week and never tire of it.
Not only is this an easy version of chana masala, but it’s full of ingredients that you typically always have on hand, so it makes a great meal if you aren’t sure what to make or you need a last minute idea.
What is Chana Masala?
Chana masala is an Indian staple dish for meals. Chana translates to chickpeas and masala refers to a blend of spices that are warming an aromatic.
In addition to the chickpeas and spices, chana masala also typically includes onions, garlic, tomatoes and lemon juice.
While traditionally chana masala is made using raw chickpeas that soak overnight, we are using canned chickpeas for a faster and easier version.
We do not claim that this is an authentic chana masala dish and our variation may differ than the chana masala you may have grown up with or had in restaurants. We hope you enjoy our take on this dish.
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Why you’ll love this recipe
- Flavorful – By using the ingredients in their natural form, we’re able to give a huge boost of flavorful to this one pot meal
- Feeling After Eating– when you eat this meal, your body feels amazing. Not full or bloated, but satisfied and thankful
- Easy – This dish uses mostly pantry staples that all kitchens have for an easy and delicious meal you can have anytime
Gather your ingredients!
- Chickpeas– are the base of chana masala. Since chana literally translates to chickpeas, it is the base of the dish. It also helps provide protein and texture
- Onions– one of the basis for chana masala is onions. We use yellow onions since they provide great flavor and hold up to heat and simmering well
- Tomatoes- we like using fire roasted tomatoes for more flavor
- Spices – We are using fresh aromatics and dried herbs to create amazing flavorful dish that will heighten your senses
- Cashew Butter – helps add creaminess, smoothness, and thickness to the masala as well as some flavor
See my recipe card below for a complete list of the ingredients with measurements.
SUBSTITUTIONS AND VARIATIONS:
- Chickpeas– since chana literally means chickpeas, changing this ingredient will no longer technically be chana masala; however, if you need or want, you could swap or add in tofu, textured vegetable protein, another bean like great northern or butter beans, and more
- Onions– any color onions will work in this dish
- Tomatoes- other canned or even fresh tomatoes can be used. Fresh tomatoes may need more salt added
- Cashew Butter – can be swapped with tahini, peanut butter, or sun butter. Note that changes will alter to the taste.
Step by Step Instructions for Easy Chana Masala:
Step 1. In a large dutch oven, you’re going to saute your onions. You can do a quick saute or let them cook longer and caramalize. Your bay leaf will also cook with the onions.
Step 2. Add in garlic, ginger, spices, tomatoes and stock. Stirring and scraping.
Step 3. Add in your chickpeas, stir and cover. When thickened, add in cashew butter, kasuri methi and lemon juice. Stir. Then, add cilantro and stir together again.
Good news! This recipe is already Top 8 Allergen Free. There’s no need to make any substitutions.
Yes, this recipe is made as a meal prep recipe. Once everything has cooled, you can store it in air tighter containers in the fridge for up to 5 days.
This dish does make a lot of food; however, yes. You will want to ensure that your pot is large enough or you need to use two pots.
Yes, you can. Let cool completely and then store in freezer safe containers for up to 3 months.
Other Vegan Fall Recipes to Consider:
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Easy Chana Masala
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 15oz can fire roasted tomatoes (410g)
- ¾-1 cup vegetable stock, as needed
- 1 15oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (440g)
- 1-2 tablespoon cashew butter
- 1-2 teaspoon kasuri methi, optional
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 handful cilantro chopped
- In a large dutch oven or heavy bottom pot with a lid, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and bay leaf, saute them for 5-7 minutes. Continue to let them cook, careful not to burn, for 10-30 minutes to caramelize*.
- Stir in garlic and ginger. Cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add tomato paste and stir until incorporated. Add spices (coriander to paprika) and stir. Let cook to toast for 2-3 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and stock*. Stir, scraping any brown bits from the bottom. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Cover and let cook for 5 minutes. Add in chickpeas, stir and cover. Let cook for 10 minutes.
- Add in cashew butter, kasuri methi (if adding) and lemon juice, stir. Add more liquid (water or stock) if desired. Stir together well until cashew butter has dissolved. Remove from heat. Sprinkle cilantro over and stir again.