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Chana masala in a white bowl with brown rice and scallions.

Easy Chana Masala (Indian Chickpea Stew)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Alexandra Shytsman
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Diet: Vegan


This pared down take on chana masala requires minimal effort and is perfect for meal prep.


  • 2 tablespoons coconut, avocado, or organic canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds* (see note below)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • Fine sea salt, to taste
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala*
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander*
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
  • Two 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • One 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Cilantro or scallions, for serving (optional)


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and cook until they’re browned and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the onion with a pinch of salt and cook until soft and golden, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and ginger, as well as 2 teaspoons garam masala, 1 teaspoon coriander, and 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes, and cook for 30 seconds more.
  3. Add half of the chickpeas and crush them with a potato masher until most of them are smashed. Then add the remaining chickpeas, the tomato sauce, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, lots of black pepper, and 1/2 cup water. Stir to combine, cover with a lid, reduce the heat to low, and simmer gently for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Garnish with herbs before serving.


  • If you want to sub cumin seeds with ground cumin, add it after the onions are cooked (with all the other spices).
  • Garam masala is a popular Indian spice blend essential for this stew. It’s available in most supermarkets.
  • Coriander adds another layer of flavor here. If you don’t have any, substitute with a dash more garam masala.


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of the recipe
  • Calories: 290
  • Fat: 10.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 39.6 g
  • Fiber: 10.9 g
  • Protein: 12 g