janet @ the taste space

Easy Chana Masala

In Mains (Vegetarian) on June 18, 2016 at 8:53 AM

Classic Chana Masala

In the past few months, and last few weeks especially, Rob has had to do a lot more around the house. And when Rob does the cooking, it means the kitchen is filled with curry.

More of a creature of habit than me, Rob has been cooking through our favourites, Dal BhatTamarind Lentils and innumerable batches of Creamy Broccoli Dal.

He must have become bored, because one day he opened up his favourite cookbook, 660 Curriesand made chana masala.

Classic Chana Masala

True to form, Rob simplified the original recipe. He didn’t want to hunt down tomato paste so he used a can of diced tomatoes. We prefer cooked to raw onion, so the onion went in at the beginning. And because the cilantro looked pretty sad, he could only scavenge a couple tablespoons to toss into the dish.

I don’t know what it was, but I thought this was fantastic. Rob will tell you it is from the secret ingredient: love. I agree, but am partial to think it could have also been the amchoor (mango powder).

Classic Chana Masala

I’ve made chana masala a few times but never been enamoured with it enough to share a favourite recipe. With a quick glance at the recipe, it is the amchoor and cooked cilantro that are the main differences. Amchoor could be skipped but if  you have it, use it! And if you don’t find the recipe special without the amchoor, try to find it at your local Indian grocer or specialty spice shop.

Here are some other recipes that use amchoor powder:

Indian Chickpea Curry with Amchoor Powder

Green Pea Curry (Mattar Masala)

Besan-Stuffed Red Peppers

Vegan Malai Koftas

Warm Chickpea Salad with Mango, Pomegranate and Chaat Masala

Classic Chana Masala

PS. I am sharing this with No Waste Food Challenge and Meat Free Mondays.

Chana Masala
Adapted from 660 Curries

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp grated ginger
1 tbsp pressed garlic
14 oz can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp mango powder (amchoor)
1/2 tsp Aleppo chili flakes
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
4 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained if canned
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1.5 tsp salt, or to taste

1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat oil.

2. Add the onion and saute for 5-10 minutes, until softened and turning brown. Stir in the whole cumin seeds and cook until they are fragrant, around 5-10 seconds.

3. Decrease the heat to medium and stir in the ginger and garlic. Stir until they turn a light brown, around 2 minutes.

4. Stir in the diced tomatoes, ground coriander, ground cumin, mango powder, chili flakes and turmeric.  Cover with the lid slightly ajar and simmer until the mixture forms a thick reddish-brown sauce, around 5-10 minutes.

5. Pour in the chickpeas, cilantro, and the salt.  Raise the heat to medium-high. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens (5 minutes more). Season to taste.

6. Sprinkle any remaining cilantro over the chickpeas and serve over rice or with naan.

Serves 4-6.

  1. It’s all in the timing! Reading my emails before I head out to do groceries and now I will add mango powder to my list. I have all of the ingredients expect mango powder and I only have regular ole chilli flakes . So this will be dinner tonight! I’ll let you know how it goes

  2. It is too hot for a curry today (salad weather!) but I will definitely hunt down mango powder and try this recipe soon. Oh, and love, gotta get that too 🙂

  3. This looks perfect! Such a classic go-to for me when I order Indian food, will definitely have to learn to make this myself from your recipe now 🙂

  4. This looks really good especially to a vegetarian like myself who tries to get more protein in his diet.

  5. Ha! When Terry takes over the kitchen, it involves take out pizza ;p
    I am all over the simple recipes lately. Especially in the heat we’ve been getting. I just don’t have the energy to labour over food in the kitchen. This is a great sounding recipe. I don’t have amchoor powder, but am going to track some down as I sounds awesome!

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