Vegan Chana Masala


Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour

Makes: 6 servings

Description: a chick pea- and tomato-based Indian curry. This tangy, mouth-watering dish has a complex spice profile that will make you say “ERRR MERRR GERRD!” after every bite. Best served with basmati and naan.


  • 1 tbsp cumin

  • 1 tbsp coriander

  • 1 tbsp chili powder

  • 2 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1 tsp tumeric

  • 1 tsp garam masala (optional)

  • 6 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 large yellow onion (or 2 small), diced

  • 4–6 small cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced

  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)

  • 1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes (no salt added is best for complete salt control)

  • Tap water (fill half a can of the empty diced tomatoes)

  • 1 15- or 28- oz. can chick peas, drained

  • 1 to 1 and 1/2 tsp salt (to taste)

  • freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (to taste)


  • fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)

  • chili pickle (recipe below, optional)

Chili Pickle (warning - this is delicious, but also very spicy):

  • 3 large or 4 baby dill pickles, finely diced

  • 2 tbsp chili garlic sauce (Huy Fong Foods Inc.)

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Start by dicing the onions, mincing the garlic and ginger, chopping the cilantro, and measuring out the spices into a bowl. It’s easiest if this is all prepared before you turn on the stove.

  2. Heat a large pot over medium-low heat. Once hot, add the oil, cumin, coriander, chili powder, smoked paprika, tumeric, garam masala (optional), and 1/2 tsp of salt.
    Note: this is critical - heating the spices in oil increases the intensity of their flavours and aromas.

  3. Once your kitchen becomes noticeably fragrant, add the onion and fry for about 5 minutes.

  4. Next add the garlic, ginger, and cilantro to the pot and stir for a minute.

  5. Then add the diced tomatoes, and fill the empty can half-full with tap water. Add the tap water.

  6. Add the drained chick peas next, and another 1/2 tsp of salt.

  7. Cover and increase the heat to medium-high until it reaches a rolling simmer. Then remove the lid and reduce the heat medium-low to simmer for 30–45 minutes or until thick. Stir occasionally.

  8. Add lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste.

  9. Let cool for a few minutes before plating with optional toppings, rice, and naan.