I absolutely LOVE this simple dish!  I’ve adapted it from Rabbit Food, Dan’s favorite vegetarian cookbook.

Note two important things:

–  Canned beans and tomato paste have a LOT of salt in them.  If you have time to rehydrate your own chickpeas or can find a no-salt-added variety, that would be a good idea.

–  All spice amounts are subjective.  I use the amounts given in Rabbit Food to get an idea of proportion (a little of this, a lot of that), but I don’t really measure anything.  The flavor I go for is bold but not painful, whereas Dan prefers to sweat when he eats.


2 cans chickpeas, drained and liquid reserved

1 in. piece of ginger, peeled and chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

3-6 garlic cloves

1 Tbs lemon juice

1 small can tomato paste

2 Tbs olive oil

Spices: 1tsp garam masala, 2 tsp coriander, 1/4 tsp cayenne powder, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp amchur (optional)

photo 11 300x225   Chana Masala










Heat the EVOO with the spices (adjusted to taste), ginger, and garlic.

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Add the onion, 2-3Tbs of the tomato paste, lemon juice, and about 1 cup of the leftover bean liquid.  You could probably substitute the liquid with something less salty like water or low sodium broth.  If I’m going to add in other things to this dish, which I often do, I’ll add in more tomato paste and more liquid.  I’d suggest adding peas, potatoes, or any veggies you really like but adjust the cooking times accordingly.

photo 14 300x225   Chana Masala








Let this simmer briefly.

Next, add the chickpeas.  Cook covered about 20 minutes.  Add in your ad-libbed veggies as appropriate.  The chickpeas will be soft and have soaked in the flavor of the sauce when they are done.

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You probably want to cook some rice to go with this.  I like to garnish it with tomatoes (today, kumatos) and cilantro.


{July 12, 2011} {Tags: , , , , }