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This is an adventurous dish to try out if you like experimenting with different spices and expanding your kitchen repertoire. While the ingredient list calls for quite a few different spices, it’s nice to have them on hand because you can use them in so many different ways. Or, if you don’t think you’ll get as much use out of them, you can cut back on some of the less common spices and stick to the ones you’re more comfortable with– you’ll still get a great flavor from this masala. You can make it vegan and vegetarian, plus it’s hearty and filling; perfect as a side dish or on its own!

Chana Masala

(Serves 4)


  • 2 cans (14 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (28 oz) whole peeled tomatoes, with their juices
  • 1-1Ω teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, olive oil (or ghee, if youíre not making vegan masala)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced (about a 1-inch piece)
  • 1 chili pepper, red or green, minced (optional: seeded)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala (or tikka masala)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped, garnish?


  1. Heat oil (or ghee, if youíre not making this vegan) in a large pot over medium heat. Once itís hot, reduce the heat and add cumin seeds, toasting for 1-2 minutes on medium-low heat. Stir frequently and avoid burning the seeds. Should be golden and aromatic.
  2. Bringing the heat up to medium, add in chopped onion and cook until softened and slightly translucent, around 10 minutes. Be careful not to brown them.Then add garlic, ginger and peppers. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring regularly.
  3. Mix in the garam masala, turmeric, cayenne, salt and coriander, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the can of tomatoes and break/crush some of them to help release and blend flavors. Or, if using fresh tomatoes, pulse them in a food processor before adding.
  5. Raising the temperature to medium-high, add the chickpeas and reduce to a simmer. Allow for mixture to reduce and for flavors to heighten, around 10 minutes.

Recipe adapted fromCookie and Kate