Chana Masala


Chana Masala otherwise known as chickpea curry is a vegetarian Indian curry that is warm aromatic and delicious. You can make it less spicy if you want, it’s totally up to you how hot to make it. Serve it over rice with a nice warm naan bread or paratha to make a complete meal that is flavorful and packed with protein.

I use canned chickpeas for my recipe so that it comes together quickly enough for a weeknight dinner. If you have the time or desire you can use dried chickpeas by soaking them overnight and then cooking them until they are tender, before proceeding with the recipe as written.

The tender cooked chickpeas are then simmered in the tomato based curry sauce to absorb the flavors of the sauce. But if you want a quicker version use the canned chickpeas that have been rinsed and drained saving hours of prep time. You can also use an instant pot or pressure cooker to cook the chickpeas in a hurry but you still have to soak the chickpeas overnight. Then just add them to your instant pot with 1.5 cups of fresh water and cook on high pressure for 18 minutes, natural release then open the lid and check the doneness of the chickpeas, they should mash completely when you squeeze them between your fingers, if they’re done then drain any excess liquid before proceeding with the recipe as written. If they’re underdone, cook them a bit longer.

Chickpea curry is an easy and flexible curry dish that can be tailored to just about any palate. Even those non spice lovers (like my middle son) will eat this if it’s not too spicy.

Chana Masala

A simple and delicious Indian Chickpea Curry that is quick to make with canned chickpeas and fragrant Indian spices
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4


  • 1 medium saucepan


  • 2 T vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • fresh ginger 2″ piece grated
  • 2 fresh jalapenos or green chile, seeded and sliced
  • 3 T garam masala
  • 1.5 T turmeric
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t pepper
  • 3 cups fresh tomato chopped 600g (canned diced tomatoes can be substituted)
  • chick peas 15 oz. 2 cans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup water more if needed as it cooks down
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro choppedĀ½


  • Heat oil in a large stock pot or dutch oven over med-hi heat
  • Add onion and cook until translucent and begins to brown (3-5 min)
  • Add ,garlic, ginger and jalapeno. Continue to cook until garlic is fragrant and jalapeno is tender (3-4 min.)-
  • Add garam masala, turmeric, salt and pepper then continue to cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add fresh tomatoes, chickpeas, and water. Stir and scrape the pot to remove any brown bits from the bottom of the pot.
  • As the tomatoes break down, the mixture should take on the texture of a thick stew. Add more water if needed before bringing everything to a simmer and then cover.
  • cook, covered for 15 minutes, stir occasionally.
  • Remove lid, reduce heat to low and mix in the lemon juice and chopped cilantro.
  • Cook over low heat 1-2 minutes until cilantro has wilted and turned bright green.
  • You can turn to low, or off if you wish to “hold” off serving. Just bring back to heat and refresh with water, lemon and cilantro as it heats up. Taste Taste Taste.


Serve over basmati rice with a side of Naan. Enjoy!
Keyword 30 minute recipe, chana masala, chickpea, curry, easy recipe, one pot meal, vegan, vegetarian
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