This vegan chana masala is an easy-to-make Indian chickpea masala. Made creamy with coconut milk, it’s a super easy Indian meal when made with canned chickpeas. Ready in around 30 minutes.
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What Is Chana Masala
This vegan chana masala recipe, at its most basic, are chickpeas cooked in a mix of Indian spices. It’s a simple chickpea curry that is popular across India, although there are regional variations.
Traditionally, recipes for chana masala are made with dried chickpeas or chana dal, which are split chickpea lentils. This quick vegan chana masala, though, is made with canned chickpeas.
Check out some of our other Indian recipes with chickpeas and lentils:
Ingredients For Vegan Chana Masala With Coconut Milk
I start almost all of my curry recipes with coconut oil, although vegetable oil works fine too. If you plan to make a handful of curry over time, definitely invest in coconut oil. When I switched to coconut oil instead of vegetable oil, Eric definitely noticed a difference in the flavor profile of my curries. It was something he couldn’t quite put his finger on, but it adds a depth of flavor.
The base for this chana masala recipe includes onion, garlic and ginger, like many chickpea curries. Dice the onion, mince or press the garlic, and grate the ginger. I prefer using a garlic press and a cheese grater for the ginger because it means there are no large pieces of garlic or ginger in the dish.
Spices For Chickpea Curry
The spices for this easy chana masala are pretty typical for many Indian curries. This includes garam masala, which is a blend of spices. Then, in addition to garam masala, I add ground cumin, ground turmeric (which adds great color) and a bit of mild chili powder. If you want to add a bit of heat you can also add a touch of crushed red pepper. Also, be sure to add a bit of salt, which brings all of these spices together.
Chickpeas And Coconut
Again, I use canned chickpeas for this chana masala recipe because I want it easy! And quick. Just be sure to drain the chickpeas and rinse them before cooking. Because the chickpeas are already cooked, they only take a few minutes to warm in the curry.
A small can of tomato paste is all that is needed to give the sauce to this curry. Once adding the tomato paste to the spices allow as much time as you have to get all the flavors to meld together.
In addition to the coconut oil, this chana masala recipe also includes coconut milk at the end. About a 1/2 cup is fine, but if you want extra sauce or like it very coconuty (that’s a word right?) add some more to your liking.
How To Make Chana Masala On The Stovetop
Here’s how easy this vegan chan masala recipe is! Add the coconut oil, onion, garlic, and ginger to a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Coconut oil will go in solid but will melt into a liquid as it cooks. Cook for 5-7 minutes until the vegetables start to soften.
Add the cumin, turmeric, garam masala, chili powder, and salt. Blend the spices into the oil to infuse the oil with the spices. Add the tomato paste and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes over low heat for the flavors to soak into the tomato. The longer you allow the tomatoes to cook, the more flavorful the sauce will be, but even with only 5 minutes, it’s pretty tasty.
Add the chickpeas and stir to coat. Cook for 10-15 minutes. The chickpeas are already cooked, so they only take a few minutes to warm through. The remaining time is really to just allow the curry sauce to flavor.
Add the coconut milk just before serving. Allow the coconut milk to warm. Serve with fresh cilantro, warm naan, or basmati rice.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
- ½ onion, finely diced
- 3-4 cloves of garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon mild chili powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 8 ounce can tomato paste
- 2 15 ounce cans of chickpeas
- ½ cup coconut milk
- Add coconut oil, onion, garlic, and ginger to a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Cook for 5-7 minutes until it starts to soften.
- Add the cumin, turmeric, garam masala, chili powder, and salt. Blend the spices into the oil to infuse the oil with the spices.
- Add the tomato paste and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes over low heat for the flavors to soak into the tomato.
- Add the chickpeas and stir to coat. Cook for 10-15 minutes.
- Add the coconut milk just before serving. Allow the coconut milk to warm.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 502Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 334mgCarbohydrates: 74gFiber: 20gSugar: 18gProtein: 23g
This nutritional data is provided by a third-party source and should not be relied on if you are on a strict diet.