Chana masala

I have a bit of a thing for chickpeas and a bit for a thing for soups, particularly at this time of year! Plus whenever I order an Indian dish Chana Masala is at the top of my list.

So really it was only a matter of time before I made my own version of this warming dish. I admit this is probably not overly authentic, as I have not gone to town on attention to detail in its traditions but instead opted for a tasty quick meal that can be made in minutes with store cupboard ingredients. 

My inspiration came firstly in this recipe by the PPK and similarly I opted for using soaked and cooked dried chickpeas (I cook them in large batches and freeze them), but you could use canned for speed if necessary.  I didn't have any fresh tomatoes to hand and was concerned as to whether canned would impair the flavour, but then I came across plenty of other recipes that opted for canned tomatoes so I decided I’d give it a go! I also had no fresh coriander (cilantro) and so I added ground coriander to the mix.

I love the texture of the chickpeas in this recipe and the fact it is a cross between a soup and a curry. You could add less water for a thicker dish- mine is probably not so authentic in it's 'soupiness'. This freezes easily so is perfect to portion up for nice protein rich work lunches!

overhead shot....ha ha see my reflection in the spoon (oops!)

Recipe: Chana masala

Serves 4


Spices: 1 tbs garam masala, 1tbs ground coriander*, ½ tsp turmeric, 2 tsp cumin, pinch cayenne pepper

1 tbs coconut oil

2 onions finely sliced

2 tsp smoked garlic powder (or 2 cloves garlic- crushed)

1 dried smoked jalapeno pepper (or 1 fresh)

1 can chopped tomatoes

1 tbs tomato puree

3 cups cooked chickpeas

approx.½ cup water

Squeeze of lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

*you can use fresh coriander instead of ground if preferred.


Dry fry the spices in a large frying pan for 1 minute, add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until the onion has softened.

Add the tomatoes,  chickpeas, salt and pepper and cook for approx. 10 minutes. Add the water (to achieve desired consistency) and lemon juice and cook for a final 5 minutes.

If using fresh coriander, add in the final minute of cooking. Add extra to garnish if desired,

Serve on its own as a light dish or with rice, naan or pitta bread.

For further guidance on making gluten free choices please see this post.

For tips and info on recipe measurement conversions, ingredients, substitutions and the methods behind how I do things.... check out my 'baking tips' tab at the top of the page.

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