Return to top
featured in… The Huffington Post CookingLight Reader's Digest Women's Health BuzzFeed Glamour Whole Foods Oprah Winfrey Network CNN Food Network Healthline Shape

Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Healthy and Delicious Chana Masala

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure.
Share This:

Whenever the husband and I go out for Indian food, we almost always order Chana Masala. We almost always order Palak Paneer too, but that’s for a different post 🙂

Why Chana Masala?

Because between the chickpeas, spices and curry, you really can’t go wrong. It’s hearty, filling, and dependable.

Of course, lower quality restaurants can still mess up Chana Masala by smothering the delicate chickpeas and spices with too much oil, or making it much too “spicy-hot” instead of “spicy-spice” (hopefully you know what I mean by that!)

Traditionally Chana Masala has quite a bit of oil in it anyway, but without that, it can actually be a very healthy and well rounded dish. I added some potatoes for starch, fresh cilantro for color, and a bit of nonfat Greek yogurt for an added creaminess that just takes this to a whole new level. It’s a healthy vegetarian Indian recipe!

The Ingredients

  • 1/2 – 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger (or 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 4-5 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 Tbs cilantro leaves, roughly torn, plus more for garnish
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4-5 baby red potatoes, diced
  • 6-8 Tbs plain non fat Greek yogurt, optional
The Directions
.
Step 1: Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the oil and red onion and cook, stirring frequently until it is deeply caramelized. Reduce the heat to low.
.
Step 2: Add the garlic, cumin seeds, coriander, ginger, garam masala, and cardamom pods, and fry them, stirring constantly, until the cumin seeds pop and the spices are fragrant and toasty, about 30 seconds.
.
Step 3: Pour in the juice and the tomatoes from the can and crush them in the pot with a potato masher. Add the salt and the potatoes.
.
Step 4: Raise the heat to medium-high, and bring the pot to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, add the cilantro and cayenne, and all of the rest of the spices, and simmer the sauce until it reduces a bit and begins to thicken. Add the chickpeas, and stir to combine.
.
Step 5: Keep simmering the curry on low until the chickpeas and potatoes soften (about 30 minutes). Once the sauce thickens and reduces down a bit, it will look like this:
.
Step 6: Serve and top with cilantro.
.
This is how I served it to the husband. But for me…
.
I added the yogurt.
.
The husband isn’t really a yogurt person – which I have never understood honestly. I mean, how can you not like yogurt, especially with a spicy dish like this one?
.
The husband is also super super picky about Chana Masala, in that, he never thought a homemade “healthier” version would taste as good as the restaurant. So imagine how awesome it was when he told me that this recipe was restaurant quality! Hooray!
.
I smiled as I watched the yogurt melt over the chickpeas before I started eating.
.
It was “lick-your-bowl-clean” good 🙂
.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Healthy and Delicious Chana Masala

Chana masala sometimes gets loaded down with oil at restaurants. Save calories and make it at home so you can perfect your spice flavors.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 227kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2-1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion coarsely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger or 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 4-5 cardamom pods lightly crushed
  • 28 ounce whole peeled tomatoes 1 can
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 Tbs cilantro leaves roughly torn, plus more for garnish
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 30 oz chickpeas, drained and rinsed 2 cans
  • 4-5 baby red potatoes diced
  • 6-8 Tbs plain non fat Greek yogurt optional

Instructions

  • Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the oil and red onion and cook, stirring frequently until it is deeply caramelized. Reduce the heat to low.
  • Add the garlic, cumin seeds, coriander, ginger, garam masala, and cardamom pods, and fry them, stirring constantly, until the cumin seeds pop and the spices are fragrant and toasty, about 30 seconds.
  • Pour in the juice and the tomatoes from the can and crush them in the pot with a potato masher. Add the salt and the potatoes.
  • Raise the heat to medium-high, and bring the pot to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, add the cilantro and cayenne, and all of the rest of the spices, and simmer the sauce until it reduces a bit and begins to thicken. Add the chickpeas, and stir to combine.
  • Keep simmering the curry on low until the chickpeas and potatoes soften (about 30 minutes).
  • Serve and top with cilantro and yogurt.

Nutrition

Calories: 227kcal | Carbohydrates: 44.2g | Protein: 9.9g | Fat: 3.3g | Sodium: 430.2mg | Fiber: 7.3g | Sugar: 7.5g
Healthy and Delicious Chana Masala - easy healthy recipes, tasty healthy recipes, delicious healthy recipes, vegetarian healthy recipes, quick and easy recipes for picky eaters #healthyfood #food

Posted In…

Recipes ·

From healthy baby food to student snacks and comfort food favorites, I have delicious, nutritious, plant-based recipes for the whole family (picky eaters included!) to enjoy.

Following a special diet or cooking for someone who has one? I’ve got you covered! Try my gluten-freevegan, vegetarian, baby food, or kid-friendly recipes. They are all easy to adapt to fit your family’s needs – without sacrificing flavor or quality. Easy suggestions and swaps can help you create meals for everyone.

Subscribe to newsletter

Copyright 2021 The Picky Eater. All rights reserved.