I recently got back from a trip to visit my college-age daughter, and like most moms, I left her with a lot more food than she had when I arrived! As a busy student, she often doesn’t have time to prep meals or spend long afternoons in the kitchen. I wanted to leave her with a full fridge and ideas for future meals she could make in a matter of minutes. At her request, the first dish I made this week was Chana Masala. After a few successful taste tests, I’m now sharing that recipe with you!

At AH, we’re always looking for ways to add slow carbohydrates to our meals, and chickpeas are a popular choice. These versatile legumes hold up well to cooking and are a great vessel for a wide variety of seasonings. Chana Masala is a quick and easy dish to prepare. It’s also easy to cook up a large batch and save for leftovers in the freezer. Add variety to the dish by serving it with chicken or tofu, or with a side of yogurt or sour cream.

Quick and Easy Chana Masala

Chana Masala, or curried chickpeas, is a traditional dish in Indian cuisine. It can range in flavor from mild to intensely spicy depending on the type and amount of curry powder you use. If you aren’t a fan of the mixtures commonly found in supermarkets, try creating your own curry powder blend by combining turmeric, coriander, cumin, ginger, mustard, black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, and cayenne. Feel free to experiment to find the perfect level of seasoning for you and your family. Serves 6.

1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil

2 Tablespoons curry powder (or to taste)

4 cups chickpeas, with 1 cup cooking liquid (or 4 cans chickpeas and 1 cup water)

salt to taste, depending on how much salt is in your chickpeas

1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces)

1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled (optional)

First, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Then add spices and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

If using ginger, puree with 1/3 cup water in a jar with an immersion blender.

Next, add the chickpeas, chickpea liquid, ginger, and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. The chickpea liquid should thicken into a nice saucy consistency. Finally, adjust seasoning to taste and serve!

Meal Plan

Serve the recipe as a side to a fatty meat for a healthy, slow carb option. If you’d like to make the Chana Masala the main dish, use 3 Tablespoons of oil instead of 1, add an additional 1 to 2 Tablespoons of spices, and then saute 2 pounds of cubed, extra-firm tofu in the oil mixture before adding the other ingredients. Serve with a small side of berries and whipped cream.

Carbohydrate: 28%
Protein: 24%
Fat: 48%

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

  • pardonmyfrench

    just one comment –> i made this the other day and it was tasty. Curios why you didnt include onions in the recipe. I thought that was a standard for Chana Masala

    • drdavidludwig

      Of course, you can add onions, and they will be delicious in this dish. When I made this one, I was in a hurry and wondered if I could make a quick and easy version without cutting up an onion….and voila! It was delicious.
      –Chef Dawn

      • pardonmyfrench

        thanks! it was delicious as I had it for lunch three days in a ro