Chana Masala

Updated: Jul 18, 2021

Vegan Indian dishes are common in Indian cuisine. One of my favorite vegan Indian dishes is chana masala. This is an easy recipe that should only take you 20 mins to finish. Chana literally means chickpeas and masala is a reference to the spices used.

What goes with Chana Masala?

Although this vegan chana masala goes well on its own. In my opinion, there is nothing that goes better with any Indian dish than a delicious vegan garlic naan. I usually use it instead of rice. But Basmati rice is an amazing addition.

Check out my vegan garlic naan.

What goes in the Chana Masala?

  • Spices - For spices ground coriander, chili powder, ground turmeric, and garam masala are completely needed they bring the Indian flavors to life.

  • garlic or minced garlic - Fresh garlic is not needed if you have minced in the can that will work as well. For convenience, I use pre-minced garlic.

  • fresh ginger - If you do not have fresh ginger you can use powdered ginger but be careful it is very concentrated. So use a small amount to taste.

  • chopped cilantro - Chopped Cilantro is just for a garnish so if you do not have any it's no big deal.

  • chilies or serrano - Chillis are not necessary but if you like heat like I do it's a must.


How long does the recipe last?

The channa masala will last around 2-3 days in the refrigerator. If it lasts. This is usually a serving for about 4 people.


The Recipe


See the ingredient list above for replacements and descriptions.

  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil

  • 3/4 yellow onion finely diced

  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin

  • 1/2 Tsp sea salt

  • 4 Cloves garlic or minced garlic

  • 1 1/4 Tbsp fresh ginger

  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro

  • 2 green chilies or serrano

  • 3/4 Tbsp ground coriander

  • 3/4 Tsp chili powder

  • 3/4 Tsp ground turmeric

  • 28-ounce can pureed tomatoes

  • 1 1/2 Cans chickpeas

  • 1 Tbsp garam masala

  • 2 tsp sugar

  • 1 1/4 Tbsp lemon juice


  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat. When hot add the oil, onion, cumin, and salt to the pan. (I prefer a cast iron pan!)

  2. Mince garlic, cilantro, ginger, and chilies ( or use a food processor) and add to the pan.

  3. Next add coriander, chili powder, and turmeric and stir adding oil if necessary.

  4. Once the ingredients in the pan are tender add the pureed tomatoes and chickpeas (make sure the consistency isn't too thick as it will cook down in the pan.)

  5. . Bring the pan to a simmer (while stirring) then reduce heat to low or medium-low let the mixture simmer for 12- 15 minutes

  6. . When the mixture is thick and bubbly add more salt to taste, chili powder or pepper. Reduce heat add lemon juice and garam masala

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