This colder weather has me craving cozier dishes, and this Vegan Chana Masala TOTALLY hits the spot. Chana masala is a combination of chana (chickpeas), tomatoes, and masala (a blend of north Indian spices). These ingredients are cooked together with onion, garlic, and ginger for a flavorful tomatoey stew. I was inspired to make this dish after having an authentic version at a local Nepalese restaurant, and I’m so glad I did. My recipe is simple, fast, easy to make, and full of flavor, and delicious alongside basamati rice, veggies, or toasted naan.
What is masala?
Masala is a very warm, fragrant and earthy blend of spices originating from northern India. This blend can be used in a variety of dishes including roasted veggies, tomato and cream based stews, stir frys, and more. The main components can vary but typically of masala seasoning is made with:
You can make a masala seasoning by combining these spices yourself, or use a chaat masala or garam masala blend.
I love this recipe because it is hearty and filling, full of plant protein, and high in fiber. It is absolutely delicious any time of day. I have even had the leftovers for breakfast with avocado and steamed spinach. Chana masala can also be served inside a wrap or you can add vegetable broth to enjoy as a soup.
What do I need to make Vegan Chana Masala?
- Jalapeno or Chili Pepper
- Cumin Seed
- Mustard Seed
- Ground Cumin
- Garam Masala
- Canned Chickpeas
- Canned Diced Tomatoes
- Tomato Paste
- Lemon Juice
- Basmati Rice
Chana Masala can be served in a variety of ways. Traditionally, it is served with basmati rice and naan, but I also love it with massaged kale, fresh greens, or roasted veggies, like cauliflower!
- 1 yellow onion, finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 TBSP ginger, minced
- 1 jalapeno or chili pepper, finely diced adjust for desired spice
- 1 tsp cumin seed
- 1 tsp mustard seed
- 2 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 TBSP garam masala
- 2 15 oz cans chickpeas, drained
- 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 TBSP tomato paste
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped plus more for garnish
- basmati rice, cooked according to package
- garlic naan, gluten free if desired
- Heat 1 TBSP of oil or water (if oil free) in a large skillet over medium low heat.
- Add in onion, garlic, ginger and jalapeño and sauté for 3-4 minutes until fragrant and tender. Add in seeds and spices and cook for another minute or so, adding additional water or oil if needed to deglaze.
- Pour in chickpeas, tomatoes and tomato paste and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered for 15 minutes until desired thickness is reached. Season to taste and stir in cilantro.
- Serve hot alongside rice, greens or veggies and top with fresh cilantro.