Easy Vegan Chana Masala

By on June 13, 2014
By Michelle Love, Staff Writer; Art by Daniel Twieg/Photo Editor

Lately my spice addiction has reached new heights. I’m not sure if it’s the summer heat or the fact that my little garden outside my house has finally sprouted peppers but either way I’m definitely not complaining. I’ve always been a spice fanatic. Sriracha is my best friend and everything could use a little cayenne pepper sprinkled on top. I know that since it’s the summer time foods that are relatively cool are the ideal cuisine but sometimes you just have to go against the grain.

I’ve created so many dishes lately that have a spicy twist to them and I’ve been in absolute spicy Heaven. But for those lazy days when I don’t want to do much effort, I go out to eat. Birmingham is very blessed with an abundance of Indian restaurants that can cater to whatever level of spice your heart desires. I can’t get enough of curry and everything curry related. Unfortunately, most of our local Indian restaurants don’t have the one thing that my heart truly desires: chana masala.

For those of you who don’t know what chana masala is, let me explain. Chana masala is a spicy Indian dish with chickpeas. Now I’ve just discovered how amazing chickpeas are and I’ve been incorporating them into most of my recipes lately. Nothing finishes off a salad better than some delicious chickpeas.  But I digress, chana masala is a delicious and healthy dish that helps you get that spicy fix that you oh so desperately need. If you feel the need to go run and buy some chickpeas while you read this, by all means, load up on your chickpeas. The best thing about these little treasures is that you can buy them raw or already cooked in a can. For the sake of time, I buy several cans so I can use them for whatever I want. But this dish is the perfect meal to expand your palate and give you a healthy guilty pleasure. Thanks to the good people at cookieandkate.com, I’ve found a great recipe for chana masala that’s easy and affordable to make.

What You’ll Need

  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 chopped yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of garam or tikka masala powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 can of whole peeled tomatoes (with the juice)
  • 2 cans of chickpeas drained

In a large sauce pan, heat your coconut oil over medium heat. When the oil starts to sizzle, lower heat to medium low and add the cumin powder. Let the cumin cook in the oil until fragrant then raise your heat to medium and add your onion, garlic, and ginger.

Continue to stir for about five minutes then add the garam or tikka masala, coriander, turmeric, salt and pepper.

Continue to cook for two more minutes.

Add the whole can of peeled tomatoes and use your spoon to break the tomatoes up while stirring until combined.

Raise the heat to medium high and then add your chickpeas. Let the mixture come to a simmer and then cook for ten minutes.

This dish could be served over rice but honestly you could eat it by itself and you will be full and satisfied. Happy Eating!


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