A quick and easy authentic chana masala recipe that's naturally vegan but totally loaded with flavor. Comes together in about 20 minutes and made mostly from pantry staples for a simple but delicious, healthy Indian dinner.
Course Main Course
Keyword chana masala, indian chickpea curry, quick chana masala
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring regularly, until softened and golden but not burned, about 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of water or so if necessary to prevent burning.
Stir in the cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, cardamom pods, peppercorns, salt, and ginger-garlic paste. Stir constantly and cook for 1 minute.
Add in the tomato paste and all spices; stir. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until tomato paste is caramelized, about 2-3 minutes. The mixture will turn a deeper red color. Add 1 tablespoon of water or so if necessary to prevent burning.
Add water to create a thick gravy, starting with about 1/2 cup, and adding more depending on how saucy you like your chana masala. Stir in the drained chickpeas and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer over medium-low heat for 5 minutes or until chickpeas are softened. Taste and add more cayenne powder and/or salt to taste.
Serve over steamed basmati rice and with naan. Garnish with fresh cilantro.
If you don't have a ginger-garlic paste, use 1/2 tablespoon of fresh minced garlic and 1/2 tablespoon fresh grated ginger.If you don't have...
cinnamon stick, replace it with the tiniest pinch of ground cinnamon
cumin seeds, replace them with 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
coriander pods, replace them with a teeny tiny pinch of ground cardamom
peppercorns, replace them with a few grinds of fresh pepper