Chana Masala

Chana Masala is a chickpea curry and staple dish of Indian cuisine. I served mine over some brown basmati rice, but some roti to scoop it up with would be awesome too. I love roti. Which reminds me, if you’re in or around Toronto, eat a chana roti from Gandhi Roti. They make sure to advertise as the best roti in the city and from my own personal experience, they live up to it. Big time.

I used both garam masala (not too uncommon among supermarkets) and mango powder (quite uncommon among supermarkets and also called amchur powder) in this recipe. Garam masala is a blend of ground aromatic spices commonly found in Indian cooking. Most mixes typically consist of cloves, bay leaves, peppercorns, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and star anise. Since both the garam masala and the mango powder are fairly key to the success of this dish, I suggest you take a trip to your local Indian grocer and pick some up. Besides definitely being able to grab these two spice mixtures, you might also be inspired to create other tasty dishes with some of the ingredients that are non-typical of Western cuisine that you’ll see on the shelves. Also, be on the lookout for ridiculously inexpensive vegetable samosas; many of the Indian grocers I’ve visited have them for like 40 cents a piece!

3/4 teaspoon garam masala
3/4 teaspoon mango powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons canola oil
3/4 teaspoons cumin seeds
3 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
1 green chili, minced*
2 or 3 tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup low-sodium or homemade vegetable broth
1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon organic cane sugar
1 19oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Fresh cilantro, for garnish

1. In a small bowl combine the garam masala, mango powder, coriander powder, curry powder, turmeric powder, sea salt, and black pepper. Set aside for later.
1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Sauté the cumin seeds, bay leaves, onion, garlic, and ginger for 6 or 7 minutes, stirring frequently.
2. Add the green chili, tomatoes, and spice mixture and sauté for another 2, stirring often.
3. Add the vegetable broth and sugar. Simmer, uncovered, for about 8 to 10 minutes.
4. Add chickpeas and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
5. Remove bay leaves. Add the lemon juice and, if needed, season to taste with more salt (or sugar if it’s too lemony). Garnish with a bit of fresh cilantro and some minced onion.
Serves: 2 to 4
*For a less spicy version, remove some, or all of the seeds from the green chili.


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My name is Ross. I'm a food loving vegan and these are some of my recipes. I'm also the owner of Hot Beans vegan takeout in Kensington Market, Toronto. Check out my 'about' page for more info. Enjoy!

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All images and recipes (unless otherwise noted) Copyright © Ross Corder and Vegan Eats Blog, 2009-2013. All rights reserved. Please do not re-post or otherwise duplicate without permission. Thanks! Also, the "gluten-free" recipe tag is meant primarily for cataloging purposes and does not necessarily ensure that the recipe is completely gluten-free. Be careful to read the labels of any pre-packaged products to ensure that they are indeed gluten-free!

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