This Spicy and Tangy Chana Masala Recipe Pairs Perfectly With Chilly Winter Nights

Chickpeas and tomatoes are the stars of this comforting vegetarian dish.

Many curries are known for their complex, spiced flavour profiles. However, making restaurant-quality curry at home is quite simple. Try this recipe for chana masala, a spicy and tangy chickpea curry dish that’s perfect for beginners.

(Related: How to Make Curry, the Ultimate Winter Comfort Food)

Chana Masala

Makes 4- 6 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 65 minutes


  • 2 tbsp olive oil, coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated or finely chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • One 28-oz can of whole, peeled tomatoes such as San Marzanos
  • Two 15-oz cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed


1. Add cumin and coriander seeds to a skillet over medium-low heat and lightly toast, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about three minutes. Remove skillet from heat, transfer seeds to a mortar and pestle and lightly crush. Alternatively, you can transfer the seeds to a ziplock bag and crush them with a rolling pin.

2. Preheat oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add onions, season with salt and pepper and cook until translucent and softened, 10 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook 1 to 2 minutes more. Add spices and cook, stirring frequently, for one to two minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices to the pot, using a wooden spoon or spatula to break them down. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook, 10 minutes.

3. Add drained chickpeas, 1/2 cup water and salt to pot. Bring to a simmer again, then reduce heat to low, and cook until thickened and bubbling, 15 minutes more. Taste and season with more salt, if needed. Divide between bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro, a dollop of plain yogurt and lime wedges. Serve with rice or naan.

Tip: If whole spices aren’t accessible, you can substitute 1 tsp of ground coriander for the whole coriander seeds and 1 ½ tsp of ground cumin for the cumin seeds

Next: This Recipe for Butter Chickpeas Is Better Than Takeout 

Originally Published in Best Health Canada