Chana Masala


I used to be picky. And when I say picky I mean, really picky. Thankfully, along the years my tastes have changed, developed and matured. It’s only in the last 8-ish years I have enjoyed steak, learned to appreciate the flavours an onion can bring to a dish and discovered how enjoyable strong, bitter and spicier flavor profiles can be.

My favourite cuisine by far is Indian. Beyond my love of the use of freshly ground spices and slow cooked stews, I am a huge fan of how budget friendly many Indian dishes are. Lentils, chickpeas, paneer, peppers, potatoes and peas are all affordable, available year round and super versatile once you know the basics of Indian cuisine.


Chana Masala, like many other well known Indian dishes, is naturally gluten free and vegetarian, making this a great option for a dinner party or potluck! This version is a bit on the spicier side, so I would encourage you to reduce the ginger, chilies and cayenne pepper if you are new to Indian cuisine or have not built up a strong spice tolerance. I like to make this dish when my husband or I have a cold. It opens up the sinuses and let’s you breathe!


Chana Masala


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger root, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 3 chilies, diced  (I used serrano)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon coriander seed, freshly ground
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seed, freshly ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon amchoor powder
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 cups canned diced tomatoes
  • 2 15oz tins of chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves


  1. In dutch oven, heat canola oil and brown onions, ginger, garlic and jalapenos over medium-high heat.
  2. In a small bowl, mix coriander, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, amchoor, paprika, garam masala and salt. Add 1/4 cup of water and mix to make a thick paste. Reduce heat to medium-low, and add spices.  Cook, stirring often for 3 minutes.
  3. Add diced tomatoes to dutch oven. Scrape the bottom of the pan to ensure nothing sticks. Add remaining 1/2 cup of water and chickpeas. Stir, and simmer, uncovered for 10-15 minutes, or until the dish has reached desired thickness.
  4. Remove from heat and stir-in lemon juice and fenugreek leaves. Serve over basmati rice.

Serves 4 as a main or 6+ as a side dish

Budget Friendly Chana Masala | Peppers & Pennies


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