Chana Masala

Chana Masala

As we continue to experiment with plant based meals, our friend John suggested that we try a dish that has become a firm family favourite in his house – chana masala.  He mentioned that his two children have recently declared this their favourite dish and we can see why! 

This vegan chickpea curry (also known as channa masala and chole masala) is a popular dish worldwide, having originated in India and Pakistan. We had never tried it until recently, but we are glad, thanks to John that we did!

The intense flavour of the sauce combined with the creamy consistency of the chickpeas is fantastic! As with most curries, you can alter the spices to suit your own desired heat level, this recipe will provide a mildly spicy but flavoursome dish.

One of the things we love about this dish is how it contains so many health-boosting spices, so not only will it taste delicious, it will make you feel fantastic too! 

Turmeric is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties and studies have shown it may help prevent heart disease, cancer and Alzheimers. Garam masala will boost the activity of digestive enzymes and can therefore be beneficial for those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. 

Cumin is rich in iron and contains powerful antioxidants such as flavonoids and terpenes which protect against dangerous free-radicals.

Combining these powerful spices with other health promoting foods such as garlic and ginger means that you can be sure that this dish will benefit your body as well as your tastebuds!

You can vary the consistency of this dish depending on how thick you want the curry to be. If you find it too thick then you can a little water as it’s cooking. 

We have experimented and we don’t add any water to the dish as we like the texture this provides.  As you check on the dish every five minutes, add some water as it cooks if you would like a looser texture to the curry.

The Chana Masala can be served with rice as a main course, or on its own as a hearty lunch. We would highly recommend making a double (or triple) portion and taking it into work for lunch for the week!

Thanks to John and his family it looks like we now have another vegan friendly, protein rich meal that we can eat which we both love and did we forget to say, its really really easy to make and serve!


Billy and Elaine

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Chana Masala

Hearty vegan chickpea curry
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Servings: 2 people


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 cm fresh ginger grated
  • 1 chilli finely chopped (leave seeds in if you like it hot!)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 500 g passata or 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • Pinch of salt
  • 400 g can chickpeas
  • Handful coriander chopped
  • Black pepper
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon


  • Heat olive oil in pan, then add onions and cook for 10 minutes, until onions are soft
  • Add garlic, ginger, fresh chilli and cumin seeds, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently
  • Add ground cumin, ground coriander, chilli powder, garam masala, turmeric and paprika and cook for 2 minutes, to release the flavour of the spices
  • Add the tomatoes to the pan, and scrape the sides and bottom of the pan to ensure all the flavour is incorporated. Bring to the boil
  • Drain the chickpeas and rinse well before adding to the pan. Stir well.
  • Reduce the heat, then simmer for 25 minutes with the lid on, stirring every 5 mins. If you feel the mixture is becoming too thick you can add some water at any point. We generally don't add water as we like the consistency this produces.
  • Season with salt and black pepper, adding the lemon juice and fresh coriander

Owner and writer at Thyme to Feel Alive Freelance Health and Wellness blogger

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