This simple chana masala recipe is an easy way to turn canned chickpeas into a deliciously flavorful meal! Skip the takeout and make this tasty recipe at home!

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I’m not an expert on Indian food, and I’ve been hesitant to post this recipe because it’s certainly not an authentic chana masala dish. But I’ve been making this simple version for years, and I love it, so I just had to share it. If you’re looking for an authentic Indian recipe, try this one. I wanted to share this recipe because it’s somewhat based on this recipe from Eat Live Run, and I’ve been making it for years. It’s a straightforward recipe and a great way to try using different spices that might be new to you. Now that I keep a well-stocked spice cabinet, I can make this recipe anytime I’m craving chana masala and it hits the spot!

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Butter: Provides richness and adds depth of flavor to the dish. If you want to make this recipe vegan, you can use olive oil instead.
  • Yellow onion, garlic, ginger, and serrano or jalapeño pepper: These aromatic ingredients form the base of the dish, infusing it with a fragrant and savory foundation.
  • Tomato paste: Enhances the dish’s tanginess and helps create a luscious tomato-based sauce.
  • Coriander and cumin: Two essential spices that contribute warm and earthy flavors to the Chana Masala.
  • Cayenne pepper: Adds a subtle kick of heat to the dish. You can skip this if you want to keep the dish mild.
  • Turmeric: Provides vibrant color and a mild spicy flavor.
  • Garam masala: A quintessential spice blend that brings warmth and complexity to the dish.
  • Diced tomatoes: Adds richness and texture to the sauce, complementing the chickpeas.
  • Chickpeas: The star of the dish, they provide a hearty and protein-packed base. I used canned chickpeas but if you prefer to use dried chickpeas, make sure to cook them fully before adding them to this recipe.
  • Lemon: Adds a bright and citrusy note, enhancing the flavors of the dish.

How to Make Easy Chana Masala