The BEST Chana Masala Ever!

by Anjali @ The Picky Eater on March 11, 2016

Chana Masala 2

Ok guys. This recipe might be one of my favorite Indian recipes of all time. I’ve made a lot of versions of Chana Masala in the past, and actually posted a pretty good recipe on my blog a couple years ago, but I never felt like it was the “perfect” Chana Masala.

Until now.

Chana Masala 1

This recipe tastes just like the Chana Masala you’d get in a fantastic Indian restaurant, but the best part is it’s super healthy for you! It doesn’t use any cream or butter, it’s 100% vegan and gluten free. It’s rich, flavorful, with just the right amount of heat and spice. And it’s ridiculously easy to make.

Basically, it doesn’t get much better than this.

Chana Masala

The husband absolutely loved it, and Layla ate it up with a big scoop of plain, whole milk organic yogurt! I served it with a cauliflower sabji and some whole wheat tortillas.

Absolute perfection.

Chana Masala 3

The BEST Chana Masala Ever!

Total Time: 60 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Calories per serving: 234

Fat per serving: 3.1g

Nutritional Info Per Serving: 234 Calories, 3.1g Fat (0.4g Saturated), 738mg Sodium, 43.3g Carbs, 8.5g Fiber, 0g Sugar, 9.5g Protein


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 medium red onions, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 15-ounce can of whole tomatoes with their juices, chopped small
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 15oz cans chickpeas
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Heat oil in a large pot on high heat.
  2. Add cumin seeds and as soon as they start popping, add onion, garlic and ginger and sauté over medium-low heat until caramelized, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the coriander, cumin powder, cayenne, turmeric, paprika/smoked paprika, and garam masala. Cook for another 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes + juices, scraping up any bits that have stuck to the pan.
  4. Add the water, chickpeas and salt.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cover. Cook on low for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so to make sure the Chana Masala doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot.


Adapted from SmittenKitchen

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Mitch March 12, 2016 at 9:37 pm

Your photo taking skills are so stunning. I never try dishes like this at all but would like to try your recipe for dinner soon. Hope I can make it look as delicious as yours!


Anjali @ The Picky Eater March 16, 2016 at 7:55 pm

Thanks so much Mitch! I’m sure you will love this recipe when you try it!

Reply March 26, 2016 at 12:22 am

Chana masala IS truly one of the best indian recipes that exist. I love the spicy gravy that’s left in the bowl… yum!


Anjali @ The Picky Eater March 26, 2016 at 6:22 am

Totally agree! It’s one of my favorites too!


Rach's Recipes April 11, 2016 at 12:28 am

I love chana masala! Well, all Indian food actually 🙂 This looks fantastic – it will be dinner tonight. So excited to make it and eat it. Thank you for sharing.


Anjali @ The Picky Eater April 11, 2016 at 5:55 am

Yay!! I’m sure you’ll love this recipe 🙂 You’ll have to let me know how it turns out!


sally July 28, 2016 at 4:10 am

Hi, if I just use 1-2 cans of chickpeas could the spice measurements stay the same.


Anjali @ The Picky Eater July 28, 2016 at 5:24 am

Hi Sally! If you use 1 can of chickpeas, use 1/3 of the quantities of ingredients & spices. If you use 2 cans of chickpeas, use 2/3 of the quantities of ingredients and spices. Hope that helps!


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