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Chana Masala

Adapted from Orangette. I did not think the yogurt was necessary, so I just served it as is with Cumin Scented Brown Rice and Broccoli with Toasted Garlic Olive Oil.
Course Main Course
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 339 kcal


  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 3 cardamom pods lightly crushed
  • 28 ounces whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro leaves roughly torn, plus more for garnish
  • A pinch of cayenne or to taste
  • 30 ounces cooked chickpeas drained, rinsed, and drained again
  • 6-8 tablespoons plain whole-milk yogurt optional
  • A few lemon wedges optional


  1. Film the bottom of a large saucepan or Dutch oven and place the pan over medium heat.

  2. Add the onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until it is deeply caramelized and even charred in some spots. Be patient. The more color, the more full-flavored the final dish will be.
  3. Reduce the heat to low. Add the garlic, stirring, and add a bit more oil if the pan seems dry.
  4. Add the cumin seeds, coriander, ginger, garam masala, and cardamom pods, and fry them, stirring constantly, until fragrant and toasty, about 30 seconds. Add ¼ cup water, and stir to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until the water has evaporated away completely.
  5. Pour in the juice from can of tomatoes, followed by the tomatoes themselves, using your hands to break them apart as you add them; alternatively, add them whole and crush them in the pot with a potato masher. Add the salt.
  6. Raise the heat to medium, and bring the pot to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, add the cilantro and cayenne, and simmer the sauce gently, stirring occasionally, until it reduces a bit and begins to thicken. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
  7. Add the chickpeas, stirring well, and cook over low heat for about five minutes. Add 2 Tbs water, and cook for another five minutes. Add another 2 Tbs water, and cook until the water is absorbed, a few minutes more. This process of adding and cooking off water helps to concentrate the sauce’s flavor and makes the chickpeas more tender and toothsome. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
  8. Stir in the yogurt, if you like, or garnish with lemon wedges and cilantro. Serve.
Nutrition Facts
Chana Masala
Amount Per Serving
Calories 339 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 3mg1%
Sodium 900mg39%
Potassium 856mg24%
Carbohydrates 47g16%
Fiber 12g50%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 14g28%
Vitamin A 305IU6%
Vitamin C 23.5mg28%
Calcium 180mg18%
Iron 6.1mg34%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.