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Chana Masala

What you need: 

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon curry
1 tablespoon tomato paste (I used ketchup, how embarrassing)
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained, reserving 3 tablespoons liquid
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh black pepper, to taste
crushed red pepper, to taste, optional
1 tablespoon vegan margarine

What you do: 

1. Heat oil on medium high heat. Fry onions until slightly browned. Reduce heat to medium. Add garlic, curry, and paste. Stir and simmer about 2 minutes.
2. Add chickpeas, reserved liquid, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper. Simmer 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add red pepper, to taste. Add margarine, stirring through to melt it. Stir and simmer for 5 minutes more or until chickpeas are softened and dish is hot. Serve over rice.
Source of recipe: I don't know how authentic this is, but I whipped it up last night. It tasted great to me.

Preparation Time: 
10 minutes, Cooking time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 
15 minutes
2 to 4
Recipe Category: 


I just made this tonight, and I was SO impressed. This was so easy to make, and it was SOOO delicious! The only thing I changed was when I accidentally put in all of the liquid from the can. I was too excited to read before pouring. And... I just added a little bit of cornstarch to thicken it up and.... LOVED IT!


I used a few of the tips above -- did 1/2 T curry powder and 1/2 T garam masala; out in 2-3 T tomato paste; added a little bit more liquid (water and lemon juice); reduced the salt a little but put in a tiny splash of Braggs Amino Acids; and left out the onion to make the dish a little easier on the stomach. I also roasted cauliflower florets in the oven beforehand until that went sort of carmelly black and added them toward the end.

Sounds like a lot of changes, but they're all relatively minor adjustments other than for the cauliflower. I'll definitely be making this again! Thanks.


Excellent! Garam Masala addition was a great suggestion! Super fast and comes together easily! Great flavor! Very versatile recipe. Loved it!


I made this version for the first time last night with good success. I'll definitely be making it again! It's very easy and comes together really quickly.

My modifications:

-coconut oil for the vegetable oil
-2T double-strength tomato paste (the kind that comes in a tube like toothpaste)
-drained & rinsed chickpeas and added with 1/2 cup of water (and a longer simmer)
-closer to 1 T lemon juice than 1/2
-1/2 t cayenne pepper instead of black pepper & optional crushed red pepper, added with the curry powder
-omitted margarine (the coconut oil has a pretty flavorful, round taste, and this kept it at 2/3 the original fat called for with good flavor)

Overall, we were very pleased with it. I think the particular brand of canned chickpeas I used was still too firm for my chana masala texture preference, so next time I'm going to try this with home-cooked beans (and use the cooking liquid instead of water--I hate the way canned chickpea liquid tastes, but adding water meant that I had to cook it down to get the sauce to the right consistency).

I served this with a brown basmati puliyogare pilaf (spiced tamarind rice), a cashew-based veggie korma (potatoes, onions, peas, cauliflower, mushrooms), and a gingery dahl (the latter two adapted from Madhu Gadia's The Indian Vegan Kitchen). My omni partner enjoyed it all and felt very satisfied in terms of richness/balance. Leftovers have already been had at lunch :D


This was really tasty! I added cayenne pepper and upped the tomato paste and served it over quinoa! Nom!!


Currently eating this I have to say purdy darn good. By following the recipe it was coming out dry so I just added a veg stock to it and a bit more curry. Great end result though! :P


Delicious! Added red peppers and used diced tomatoes as I had no paste. Loved it.


This is a DELICIOUS recipe!
My meat-eating boyfriend loved it!   
Makes the house smell good.


I love this recipe - its quick and delicious.  I recently made it for meat eating boyfriend and he loved it too!


Yum! This came out great! I cut the curry back to 2 teaspoons, because I was afraid it would be too spicy, and it was perfect for my taste. If you like spicy, the full tablespoon would have been fine. Thanks!



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