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Easy Chana Masala

A blend of warm Indian spices, tender chickpeas, and a rich tomato sauce. This spicy and hearty Indian dish is completely vegan and gluten-free. Serve over basmati rice or naan bread.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword chana masala, easy vegan dinner recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Author Taavi Moore


  • 2 tbsp neutral-flavored oil such as vegetable or canola
  • 1 medium white onion, diced (1 ¼ cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp amchur (dried mango powder) see notes
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (or hot chili powder)
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 28 oz. canned whole tomatoes
  • 2-15 oz. can chickpeas


  1. In a heavy bottomed pot, heat 2 tbsp oil. Add onion, garlic, ginger, and a pinch of salt. Cook for 4-5 min. until fragrant and translucent.

  2. Add cumin seeds, red pepper flakes, and bay leaf. Cook for an additional 3 min. Add in the spices and salt. Cook for 4 min. to allow the spices to toast. Pour in canned whole tomatoes. Use a fork to break them up into a chunky sauce. Add in chickpeas. Stir. Cook for 15 min. until tomatoes have slightly reduced and chickpeas are tender. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if desired.

  3. Serve over basmati rice and/or naan bread. Squeeze over a bit of lemon, add fresh cilantro and a dash of red pepper flakes.

Recipe Notes

You can find amchur on amazon, a speciality spice store, or Middle Eastern grocery store. You can also substitute it with tamarind paste, but it wont yield the same, authentic taste to this recipe.