Easy Chana Masala

Masala is a loose term used to define a combination of spices for flavoring a dish.  Most people are familiar with its use in Indian food, but masala can also be found in southeast Asian cuisines, such as Burmese food.  This particular masala is a chana masala, also known as chole.  Chana refers to the chickpeas which are the star ingredient.  I must admit that the simplicity of the recipe comes from the fact that my curry powder was sourced from a reliable supplier.  You can make your own to bring your personality to this dish.

This recipe couldn’t be easier and is a real life-saver when your pantry stock is low and you need a quick satisfying meal.  All you need are onions, canned tomatoes, curry powder, and canned chickpeas and the whole dish comes together in 30 minutes.

Let your imagination roam free using this masala as your base.  Garlic, ginger, chili, cumin, other vegetables or your favorite spices are just the tip of the iceberg when you begin to think about all the different variations you could make with this recipe.

Chana Masala
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 14oz/400g can diced tomatoes
  • 1 14oz/400g can chickpeas (garbanzos)
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  1. In a heavy-bottomed pot heat a neutral oil over medium-low heat. Add onions and slowly cook until they develop a golden brown color and are caramelized, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add curry powder and allow the 'rawness' to cook out for 1-2 minutes. Add a few spoonfuls of water to pick up any curry powder or browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add tomatoes and chickpeas. Stir to fully incorporate the ingredients and bring to a low simmer.
  4. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until sauce is thickened and acidity has been cooked out of the tomatoes.
  5. Salt to taste and garnish with cilantro leaves

Chana Curry (2)

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