Traditionally, the way my mother cooks chana masala is different from the Indian style dish. People often have different variations of this dish, including a curry or creamy version. Although I quite enjoy the dish with more gravy in it, my father being from India influenced my style of cooking to the more ‘authentic’ way. In India, a large majority of the people are vegetarians, which is why you will find many recipes involving chana (chickpeas), lentils, and other legumes. Personally, I am not a vegetarian but chana and rajma (beans) are on my top favourites when it comes to Indian/Pakistani cuisine. I hope you enjoy this simple and aromatic recipe!
In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and fry the onions until soft and light golden - about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and ginger paste and fry until oil and water separate, then stir in chili powder, cumin, garam masala, turmeric, and cook until it mixes well and becomes fragrant.
Add the tomatoes, brown sugar, salt and chickpeas - stir well to avoid lumps. Once mixed well, lower heat and simmer until it becomes thicker in consistency (gravy-like) - about 15 minutes.
Add lemon juice, kalonji, chopped coriander and chillies and let it cook for another 1-2 minutes. Serve over basmati rice or with naan bread (or roti) and yogurt.
If you don't have all the necessary spices, buy a pack of Shan chana masala mix and Shan veggie masala mix. These are staple items I always have on hand, as they can be used in many recipes. Often, I add all the above items and one tbsp of Shan chana masala mix as well for an extra kick.
Share this Recipe
Chana masala can be served with plain basmati rice or naan bread. Yogurt, and chopped chillies and coriander are added on the side or as garnish. In the photos you will find me serving this with my home-ground gluten-free oat flour roti. I will be adding a separate recipe on how to make these healthy and delicious rotis – stay tuned.