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This Chana Masala recipe is healthy, quick, simple, and also so easy to make! In addition, it's vegan, gluten-free, customizable, and perfect for meal prep and freezer friendly!
This chana masala is perfect to enjoy by itself, with a side of rice or naan bread. It's cozy, warming, hearty, and also uses mostly pantry staples and budget-friendly.
I love chickpeas as you can see from my homemade hummus or falafel recipes so this Indian inspired dish is another favorite. This recipe is perfect for a weeknight dinner and also makes amazing leftovers just like my vegan korma, chickpea spinach curry, red lentil dal or vegan tikka masala.
Before we jump into the recipe, let's talk about how you can customize it and learn some tips.
What is Chana Masala
Chana Masala is a hearty and delicious Indian chickpea stew that has chopped tomatoes and also warming spices. Traditional recipes use whole spices but we will make it with ground spices and use short cuts to make it quick and easy.
How to make Chana Masala Recipe
Of course, the main ingredient for this chana masala is chickpeas and I used 2 cans for this dish. You can also cook dried chickpeas if you prefer.
We will use a 28 ounce canned chopped tomatoes but I highly recommend using fire-roasted tomatoes (makes a huge difference in flavor). You can also use fresh tomatoes if you would like.
I like using yellow onion for cooking but you can also use white or red. I find that yellow onions caramelize a lot better.
This recipe calls for 6 cloves of garlic but you can add less or more. When garlic cooks with the onions and all the spices, it gives amazing aroma.
Jalapeno or Serrano Pepper
You can either use jalapeno or serrano pepper so it's your call. Also, if you want your chana masala to be less spicy, remove the seeds and use only 1 instead of two.
Fresh ginger really makes this dish so I don't recommend subbing for ground ginger. Also, it is important to mince the ginger really so it blends with the flavors.
Since this dish is on the spicier side, I like adding a couple of teaspoon maple syrup to bring out the flavors. You can also use coconut sugar or another sweetener of choice.
At the end of the cooking, adding a couple of tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice gives that tangy flavor. You can also use lime juice if you prefer.
Spices make this dish so we will be using a blend of garam masala, turmeric, coriander, and cumin. It is very important to use good quality spices, I promise it makes a huge difference!
I like garnishing chana masala with fresh cilantro and lemon juice but you can omit it if you like.
How to Make the Chana Masala Recipe Step by Step
This recipe is very easy to make so you will skip take-out Indian food!
- First, you will need to cook the onions and jalapeno or serrano peppers until caramelized.
- Next, you will add the garlic, ginger, and spices and saute for another minute until fragrant.
- And then we will add the chickpeas, tomatoes and maple syrup and cover to cook for 15 to 20 minutes. If the tomatoes don't have a lot of juice, you might need to add a little bit of water.
- After it's cooked, we will be adding the lemon juice and give it a stir.
Tips & Variations
- Make it spicier by not removing the seeds from the pepper or less spicy by using one pepper.
- If the chickpea stew is too thick, add ¼ cup of water add a time. You don't want it to be soupy, it should be a thick stew.
- If you don't enjoy spicy food, be cautious, and add less spices and garlic.
- Maple syrup gives a little sweetness but if you want it sweeter, you can add a little more. You can also add more lemon juice for citrusy flavor.
- Always adjust to taste and add more salt if needed!
What is Chana Masala Served With
- Serve chana masala with basmati rice or brown rice. You can also try it with my cilantro lime quinoa recipe!
- Eat it with delicious naan bread.
- You can also add unsweetened yogurt or vegan sour cream!
How Long Does Chana Masala Last in the Fridge and Freezer
The leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 – 6 days. They taste even better the next day! You can also freeze it for 2-4 months and thaw it in the fridge and reheat on the stovetop. If the leftovers are too thick, you can add a splash of water before reheating it.
This healthy recipe comes together so fast and it is very easy and uses pantry staples. It is also :
- Vegan & Gluten-free
- Hearty, Warming & Filling
- Flavorful & budget-friendly
- Perfect for meal prep and freezer friendly
- Also so delicious!
More Vegan Soup & Stew recipes to try
- BUTTERNUT SQUASH CURRY (VEGAN & HEALTHY)
- EASY VEGAN CHILI RECIPE (HEALTHY)
- VEGAN POTATO LEEK SOUP RECIPE (HEALTHY & CREAMY)
- VEGAN SPLIT PEA SOUP (STOVETOP OR INSTANT POT)
- RED LENTIL SOUP RECIPE (STOVETOP OR INSTANT POT)
- THAI RED CURRY RECIPE ( VEGAN & EASY )
So did you make this? I’d love for you to leave a comment and rate the recipe. You can also share your photo of the recipe on Pinterest and tag me on Instagram using @avocadocentric or #avocadocentric! xo, SelinPrint
This Chana Masala recipe is healthy, quick, simple, and so easy to make! It's vegan, gluten-free, customizable, and perfect for meal prep and freezer friendly!
- 2 cans chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
- 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes ( highly recommend fire-roasted)
- 1 medium onion (diced)
- 1 to 2 jalapeno or serrano pepper (seeds removed if preferred, diced)
- 6 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 tbs fresh ginger (minced)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp garam masala
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp coriander
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbs oil (avocado oil, coconut oil or olive oil)
- 2 tbs lemon juice
- 2 tsp maple syrup (sub for sweetener of choice)
- Chopped cilantro and lemon wedges
- Heat a large pot or a dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, onion, and peppers and cook until caramelized for a few minutes.
- Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, garam masala, turmeric, coriander, and salt to the pot and cook for another minute until fragrant.
- Add the chickpeas, tomatoes and maple syrup to the pot and increase the heat to medium-high. When it starts boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- When it's cooked, uncover the pot and add the lemon juice, give a stir.
- Give it a taste and adjust the salt if needed.
If you want it spicier, don't remove the seeds from the peppers. You can also make it less spicy by using 1 pepper.
Add ¼ cup of water at a time if you find the recipe to be too thick. The stew shouldn't be watery so be cautious.
Add less spices and garlic if you don't like too spicy.
If you want it sweeter, add more maple syrup. Also, add more lemon juice for citrusy flavor.
Always adjust to taste and add more salt if needed!
Check out the post for storage and serving options.
- Serving Size: 6
- Calories: 228
- Sugar: 11.5g
- Sodium: 705mg
- Fat: 7.2g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 35g
- Fiber: 7.6g
- Protein: 8g
- Cholesterol: 0g
Keywords: chana masala, chana masala recipe, vegan chana msala, easy chana masala