Chana masala, chole masala, channa, cholay – so many names for this flavorful dish. It’s one of my favorites and is likely the most popular vegetarian curry in India, with good reason. My husband has been begging me to make this for him, I finally gave it a shot! It is a new favorite and we are eating it at least once a week these days. It’s so easy and impeccably delicious. This is by far the best chana masala recipe!
The Best Chana Masala Recipe
Thanks to one of my all-time favorite food bloggers Minimalist Baker, I was able to make this dish simple in less than 30 minutes. Her recipe (which can be found here) is amazing. It’s inspired by her and tweaked just a bit to fit my family’s needs.
Traditionally Chana Masala is made to be a bit spicy. If you are anything like my husband you will want the heat. Indian dishes are known for their spice, I, unfortunately, can’t handle the heat. Really I can’t, I’ve tried and it doesn’t go well. So I prefer to just chop up some jalapeños for him to toss on his plate later.
For this recipe you will need a blender or a food processor, this makes it much fast.
It starts with some chopped onion and spices. Everything else will be thrown in the blender for your convenience. The flavors of this dish come from coriander, chili powder, and ground turmeric but the key ingredient that really gives it the authentic flavor is the garam masala.
Garam masala is a blend of ground spices common in India, Pakistan, and other South Asian cuisines. I prefer to buy mine to make it easier but you can always make your own.
I love that the primary ingredient is chickpeas, which gives a good amount of plant proteins and fiber. Chickpeas actually help aid in weight loss as it helps you feel fuller for longer. We love chickpeas and with the puréed tomatoes + spices in this dish, it’s a beautiful blend of Indian goodness. I can’t wait for you to give it a try!
You can eat this with a side of rice and/or cauliflower rice. I’ve also served it on top of a salad for lunch and my husband can eat it just as it is.
The BEST Chana Masala Recipe
1-pot easy to make chana masala, full of flavor. A healthy, plant-based/ vegan meal.
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 30 mins
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Entree
- Cuisine: Indian
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 3 tomatoes
- 4 medjool dates
- 3 cups chickpeas or 2 cans chickpeas (drained)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- Salt and Lemon to taste
- Heat coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. add onion, cumin, and salt. Sauté until golden brown.
- Then in a high speed blender or food processor add garlic, ginger, cilantro, coriander, chili powder, turmeric, dates and tomatoes. Blend or pulse until mixed and minced. Then, add to the pan with the onions. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
- Next add chickpeas and reduce heat to medium low, maintaining a simmer (uncovered) for 10-15 minutes, or until thick and stew-like. Stir occasionally.
- When the chana masala is thickened and bubbly, taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt and/or chili powder for heat.
- Remove from heat and add a little lemon juice (optional) and garam masala. Stir to mix, then let cool slightly before serving. Fresh cilantro make an excellent garnish. Enjoy!
Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator up to 4 days, or in the freezer up to 1 month. Chana masala can be enjoyed as a stew on its own, or with rice/ cauliflower rice.
- Calories: 497
- Sugar: 24g
- Sodium: 751.6mg
- Fat: 11.3g
- Saturated Fat: 4.6g
- Carbohydrates: 82.4g
- Fiber: 15.3g
- Protein: 22.2g
I hope you give this recipe a try and if you do be sure to tag me on Instagram @LiveSimplyNatural or you can always pin it on Pinterest for later. I love seeing what you guys are cooking up in your kitchens. Stay tuned for more healthy plant-based recipes.