Easy Chana Masala Recipe

If you are looking for a cozy, warm dish with a little kick, look no further. This chana masala recipe brought to us by wellness coach Miriam Hahn is full of nutrition while scoring high on the tasty meter. It's completely vegan, too — you can rely on those trusty chickpeas to provide both nutrients as well as heartiness to the dish. And, paired with rice or naan, you have a well-balanced meal, just like that.

This is such an ideal weeknight dinner because it can be made all in one pot and takes under 40 minutes. The beans give it heartiness and the variety of Indian spices make it a warm and cozy meal. It is a cross between a stew and a soup and can be eaten alone or served over rice. It's also wonderful with naan bread for dipping. If you have extra time, you can make this homemade naan bread and really impress family and friends.

Gather the ingredients for the chana masala

For this recipe, you will need some fresh produce, including an onion, jalapeño, garlic, ginger, and lemon. You'll also need to grab some oil, canned chickpeas (or garbanzo beans, whatever you want to call them), fire-roasted tomatoes, coriander, cumin, garam masala, turmeric, salt, and pepper. If you want to kick up the heat a bit, Hahn says you can swap out the jalapeño for a serrano. Fresh ginger works best here but if you forgot to add that to your list, powdered ginger will work, and Hahn says to use ½ teaspoon.

Chop the vegetables

To start this delicious and healthy recipe, get out a sharp knife and cutting board. Since the main star of this recipe is the garbanzo beans, we want to think small when chopping our vegetables to keep things all in the same size range. When chopping the onion, you can do that by hand or use a food chopper to speed things up. "Make sure to remove the ribs and seeds of the jalapeno before chopping to keep the heat to a minimum and the garlic is best minced or crushed using a garlic press," Hahn shares. At this stage, we also want to grate the ginger using a fine grater or microplane. The health benefits of ginger are mind-blowing and Hahn uses this root on the daily in one way or another.

Sauté the aromatics

Heat the oil to medium-high and cook the onion and jalapeno for 5 minutes stirring frequently. Add the garlic and ginger and while continuing to stir, cook 3 more minutes. Your household will know something good is happening in the kitchen at this point.

Add more ingredients and simmer

Add the beans, tomatoes, coriander, cumin, garam masala, salt, and pepper. Stir and bring the mixture to a low boil, then reduce to simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. The finishing touch is to squeeze in the lemon juice, which Hahn says is an important step to bring out all of the flavors.

Serve the chana masala

The chana masala is now ready to serve. You can enjoy it alone or scoop it on top of some hot, steamy rice and add naan bread for dipping. Fresh herbs make a good topping here, like cilantro or parsley. Hahn informs us that this dish will last great all week in a sealed container in the fridge, making it a great meal prep item.

Easy Chana Masala Recipe
4.9 from 19 ratings
This easy chana masala is loaded with chickpeas, tomatoes, and an abundance of warming spices.
Prep Time
Cook Time
chana masala in white bowl with spoon
Total time: 33 minutes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1-inch ginger bulb
  • 1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed, fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ lemon, juiced
Optional Ingredients
  • cilantro, for garnish
  • rice, for serving
  • naan, for serving
  1. Chop the onion, jalapeño, and garlic, and grate the ginger.
  2. Put the oil into a large pan or pot and bring heat to medium-high. Add the onion and jalapeño. Sauté for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and ginger and cook 3 more minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the garbanzo beans, tomatoes, coriander, cumin, garam masala, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Stir and bring to a low boil, then reduce to simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.
  4. Squeeze in the lemon juice and stir again.
  5. Top with chopped cilantro and serve with rice and naan bread if desired.
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