No, this isn’t an easy version of Chana Masala. As it turns out, the authentic version is easy all on its own!
Easy Chana Masala Recipe
I took my first stab at making Indian food just a few days ago. I was late to the Indian-food-love overall. I had my first taste (that I can remember at least) at age 27. Why I waited so long, I’ll never know. But I do know now that I indeed love Indian food.
After my love-at-first-taste experience with Indian food, I enjoyed eating it frequently. However, I dared not try making it on my own. Indian food seemed to me to be this exotic and impossible-to-reproduce food masterpiece. I thought it was best ordered at an authentic restaurant. But at the coaxing of one of my Indian friends, I finally gave her recipe a try. It was for one of my favorites – Chana Masala!
Indeed, it was delicious, wonderful, and the best part – incredibly simple to make. Or is the best part how insanely affordable this vegetarian dish (that my meat-loving husband enjoys) is? Either way…Hazzah!
Adapted from my friend Yamini’s recipe
*Vegetarian* *Vegan* (Possibly Gluten Free?)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or canola oil)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ – ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (depending on how spicy you like your eats)
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped, about ½ cup (or sub canned)
- 1 – 1½ cup water
- 2 15-ounce cans chick peas, rinsed and drained
- 1 teaspoon garam masala (should be available in most grocery stores)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- black pepper, if needed
- Pre-heat a medium sauce pan to medium heat. Add oil to pan. Add onion and cook until onion is translucent and just browning, about 5-6 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one minute, or until garlic is fragrant.
- Stir in coriander, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, and salt.
- Stir in water and tomatoes and cook until tomatoes are soft, stirring occasionally, about 5-6 minutes.
- Using an immersion blender (or stand blender), blend tomato mixture until blended well. Add extra water, if needed.
- Add chick peas to tomato mixture and stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Stir in garam masala and additional salt or pepper, to taste, if needed. Simmer chick peas and sauce for 10 minutes.
- Serve chana masala with rice and/or naan.
If you have the time, homemade naan can’t be beaten. But, if you need a hand, Trader Joe’s has great frozen naan (tandoori and garlic) that heats up in only 1½ minutes in the oven.
Remember to check out this post for a link to a simple homemade naan recipe and video! It would go perfectly with this Easy Chana Masala Recipe. You can also buy naan at the store. I get mine from the frozen section at Trader Joe’s. I also recommend picking some up from your fave local Indian restaurant or trying the recipe out yourself. Don’t be a scaredy cat like me. Don’t fear the Indian cooking, embrace it! If I can do it, so can you!
How old were you when you tried your first Indian food?