Easy Chana Masala

June 21, 2023  Adriana Lee Avatar
Easy Chana Masala


garlic 6 cloves
fresh ginger, peeled 1-2 inch pieces
fresh jalapenos with seeds, or substitute serrano peppers for more spice 2-3
sunflower oil, or substitute coconut oil 1 tbsp
rice vinegar 1 tsp
coconut oil 3 tbsps
white onion, diced 1
cumin 1 tbsp
ground coriander 1 tbsp
chili powder 1 tsp
ground turmeric 1 tsp
garam masala 1 tsp
salt, plus more to taste  1/2 - 1 tsp
pureed or diced tomatoes  1 28-oz can
chickpeas, drained 2 15-oz cans
tamarind paste, or substitute lemon juice 1-2 tsps
coconut sugar, or sub sugar 2-3 tsps
Optional: 1/2 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped

Are you a fan of Indian cuisine but intimidated by the complex flavors and techniques? Look no further than this easy Chana Masala recipe! This classic vegetarian dish features chickpeas cooked in a rich and spicy tomato-based sauce, making it a hearty and satisfying meal on its own or a flavorful side dish to complement any Indian spread. With just a few simple ingredients and straightforward instructions, you can recreate the authentic taste of Chana Masala in your own kitchen, even if you’re a beginner cook. 

Whether you’re looking for a quick weeknight dinner or a fun new dish to impress your guests, this Chana Masala recipe is a surefire winner. So, grab your apron and get ready to indulge with this easy and approachable recipe. 


  • Garlic ginger paste is such a wonderful thing to have on hand and so incredibly easy to make by processing garlic, ginger, oil, and rice vinegar in a food processor. In this recipe, we take that one step further by processing your jalapenos too! 
  • This recipe calls for tamarind paste which is not always easy to find! If you’re in a pinch, sub lemon juice. 


  1. Add garlic, ginger, jalapenos, sunflower oil, and rice vinegar to a food processor and blend until smooth to create a paste. 
  2. Heat coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté onions, cumin, and a pinch of salt for about one minute or until fragrant. 
  3. Add the garlic paste to the pot and continue to sauté for another minute or two.  
  4. Add coriander, chili powder, turmeric, garam masala and stir well. Add additional oil if needed.  
  5. Add tomatoes – if using diced, simmer for about 5 minutes so tomatoes have extra time to soften. If using pureed, add the chickpeas with the tomatoes. Add the rest of the salt and simmer for 15-20 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally. During cooking, you may need to add some water, We added about ¼ cup of water about halfway through when it started to look too thick. This will cook down to a thick stew.  
  6. While the pot is simmering, add tamarind paste or lemon juice if substituting.  
  7. Taste and adjust seasonings. If you prefer to keep it spicier, add just one teaspoon of sugar at a time and taste before adding more. To make it even spicier, add more garam masala or chili powder. Adding lemon juice can help balance the spice too, so play with it until you’re satisfied! 
  8. Serve over rice or cauliflower rice and garnish with cilantro and enjoy! 

Makes 4-6 servings 




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