Quick Chana Masala Recipe (Vegan Chickpea Curry)

Chana masala, which is also often referred to chole masala or punjabi-style chole, is essentially a spicy chickpea curry which is a very popular dish worldwide.

You will often find this on many menus in Indian restaurants and also in Punjabi wedding functions which can be considered as a starter to share or mains.

In my opinion, this does taste best when it is authentically made at home which the dried chickpeas are pressured cooked and then is slow cooked into a spicy gravy.

In many Punjabi households, this is often consumed with a puri, which is a deep-fried light bread which is one of the best combinations you can experience.

However, to keep this healthy you can eat this with rice or flatbread, and by considering portion control can help you keep this entire meal under 400 calories per serving easily.

In fact, if you are a vegan or vegetarian, the recipe for chana masala can be ideal because it contains so much flavour and it is a great source of plant protein.

In this post, here is a chana masala recipe which finds the balance of making it easy, healthy, authentic and tasty. Also, this could be the best recipe if you are looking to save time during the week because it is perfect for meal prep.

How to make chana masala?

1) MAin ingredients

Chickpeas: For this recipe, using canned chickpeas can be more convenient to save time. Traditionally, this is cooked with raw chickpeas in a pressure cooker which would be better if you are going to regularly make this dish.

Spices:

You can purchase a chana masala spice powder for this recipe, however do not worry if you cannot buy this blend or do not have the time to make it fresh, because you can just use these spices below:

  • Ground Cumin
  • Ground Coriander
  • Red Chilli Powder
  • Ground Turmeric
  • Garam Masala

Tomatoes: Either use canned tomatoes or fresh tomatoes for the gravy.

Other: Ginger, garlic, bay leaves, green cardamoms.

2) Method

  1. Add vegetable oil to your pre-heated pan. Add the onions and sauté for three minutes.
  2. Add the garlic paste, ginger paste, bay leaves, and green cardamons. Sauté until golden.
  3. Add the canned tomatoes. Followed by salt, black pepper, ground cumin, ground coriander, red chilli powder, ground turmeric and garam masala. Stir to combine.
  4. Add the chickpeas, and cup of water. Cover and simmer on low heat for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Remove cover and stir to combine. Allow to stand for 5 minutes and it will be ready to serve with rice.

Other ways to cook chana masala?

  • Slow cooker or crockpot: This would be a great recipe for an instant pot and slow cooker.

Why this is perfect for meal prep?

Chana masala is a great recipe to prepare in advance because it will last up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator and it will still taste fresh after you reheat it due to the spicy gravy.

This can be served with rice, naan or flatbread such as a roti.

You can also freeze chana masala and it does keep really well in the freezer which can be ideal for batch cooking a bulk serving up to two months.

It can be reheated it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes or on a stovetop over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.

How many calories in chana masala?

This recipe makes around 4 servings and that works at around 242 calories each per servings. This is based on the ingredients I purchased, which means your calculation may slightly differ.

The calories may sound low but once you serve it with rice or a flatbread, each serving can be around 400 calories which is why portion control can help make this recipe macro-friendly.

Frequently asked questions

Is chana masala healthy?

Chana masala is a healthy recipe which is high in fibre and is a great source of plant-protein. As it is low in calories, this dish can be included in a healthy meal plan and you can still enjoy it with a bowl of rice.

Is chana masala vegan?

This chana masala recipe is vegan-friendly which you can also meal prep and freeze. As it is a spicy chickpea curry, it will taste fresh and tasty even after you reheat it.

How to make chana masala powder?

I would recommend to buy a chana masala powder if this is going to be a regular dish that you will cook because it can certainty save time when you add the spice mix. If you want to make it from scratch, this is the best recipe.

Is chana masala keto friendly?

This is not a good recipe if you are on a keto diet as each serving is approximately around 33.9 grams of carbohydrates (around 23 grams net carbs).

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Chana masala with rice in meal prep containers

Chana Masala Recipe


  • Author: Mani
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

 

Chana masala, which is also often referred to chole masala or punjabi-style chole, is essentially a spicy chickpea curry which is a very popular dish worldwide. You will often find this on many menus in Indian restaurants and also in Punjabi wedding functions which can be considered as a starter to share or mains. However, to keep this healthy you can eat this with rice or flatbread, and by considering portion control can help you keep this entire meal under 400 calories per serving easily. This is a chana masala recipe which finds the balance of making it easy, healthy, authentic and tasty. Also, this could be the best recipe if you are looking to save time during the week because it is perfect for meal prep.


Scale

Ingredients

Chickpeas

  • 2 Cans of Chickpeas (480g once drained)

Spices and Gravy

  • Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Large Onion (finely, chopped)
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Paste
  • 1 tbsp Ginger Paste
  • 400g Canned Tomatoes
  • 2 Bay Leaves (optional)
  • 2 Green Cardamons (optional)
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Turmeric
  • 2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 Cup Water
  • Salt and Black Pepper (to taste)

Instructions

  1. Add vegetable oil to your pre-heated pan. Add the onions and sauté for three minutes.
  2. Add the garlic paste, ginger paste, bay leaves, and green cardamons. Sauté until golden.
  3. Add the canned tomatoes. Followed by salt, black pepper, ground cumin, ground coriander, red chilli powder, ground turmeric and garam masala. Stir to combine.
  4. Add the chickpeas, and cup of water. Cover and simmer on low heat for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Remove cover and stir to combine. Allow to stand for 5 minutes and it will be ready to serve with rice.

Notes

  • For meal prep purposes, refrigerate up to 4 days.
  • This is best served with rice or a flatbread, but for a low-carb alternative, I suggest cauliflower rice.
  • This is a traditional recipe but also a good vegan meal prep too. 
  • Category: Vegan
  • Method: One-Pot
  • Cuisine: Punjabi

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 242
  • Sugar: 2.2 g
  • Sodium: 726.9 mg
  • Fat: 5.8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 33.9 g
  • Fiber: 10.4 g
  • Protein: 12.2 g

Keywords: Chana Masala, Chole Masala, Punjabi Chole, Chickpea Curry, Chana Masala Recipe

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