Chana Masala is a popular Indian dish that is best eaten over rice or with our Project CHEF naan recipe. What makes this dish so special are the chickpeas. Chickpeas are a type of legume, that are high in protein. When combined with a grain, they make a complete protein that can be eaten as a substitute for meat protein. Besides that, they are delicious! Chickpeas are used all over the world. It’s the main ingredient in the Middle Eastern dish, hummus and it is also used extensively in Latin American cuisine.

Yield: 4 – 5 servings
Preparation Time: About 30 minutes
Cooking time: About 40 minutes

While making this dish, your attention to detail will be tested. There are many ingredients that need to go in at different times. Some of the ingredients, like the tomatoes, have a very special purpose, called deglazing. If you already know the process of deglazing, great job, this will be a review. If not, let’s dive in and find out!



  • 3 Tbsp (45mL) vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp (5mL) whole cumin seeds
  • 1 medium-sized onion, cut into small dice
  • 1 tsp (5mL) grated ginger (a thumb-sized knob of ginger)
  • 1 clove garlic, grated on a micro-plane
  • ¾ tsp (3mL) ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp (1mL) cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp (1mL) turmeric
  • ½ tsp (2mL) garam masala
  • 1 cup (250mL) chopped tomatoes (about 3 large tomatoes) (or x538g can of whole tomatoes)
  • 3/4 cup (175mL) water (if using fresh tomatoes)
  • 1 tsp (5mL) salt
  • 1x708g can of chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup (250mL) water
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • When serving, top with a dollop of plain yogurt and a few sprigs of cilantro
  • Serve over rice or with naam.


  • Large pot or Dutch oven
  • Small sharp knife
  • Cutting board
  • Micro-plane
  • Measuring spoons
  • Can opener
  • Wooden spoon or silicone spatula
  • 4 small bowls
  • Ladle



  1. Cut the onions into small-sized dice. Place in a small bowl.
  2. Peel the ginger with a small spoon then grate with a micro-plane. Tap into a small bowl.
  3. Grate a clove of garlic and add to the ginger.
  4. Measure the spices: coriander, cayenne, turmeric and garam masala into a small bowl.
  5. Cut up the tomatoes into a large dice, if using fresh tomatoes. Place in a small bowl. (open can if using canned tomatoes)
  6. Turn on heat to medium heat. Add oil to pot and heat up. Add the cumin seeds. Stir for ten seconds then add the onions.
  7. Cook and stir the onions until the onions turn golden. Take the time to cook them until they are evenly coloured. Turn down the heat, if necessary.
  8. Add the ginger and garlic. Stir then add the spice mixture. Stir for a minute to toast the spices.
  9. Add the tomatoes and stir until softened.
  10. Add the water (if using fresh tomatoes) and salt. Stir.
  11. Bring to a boil then turn heat down to low. Cover with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes.
  12. Add the chickpeas and one cup water. Bring to a boil.
  13. Turn heat to low. Cover pot with lid and cook for 15 minutes.
  14. Add lemon juice. Stir and cook uncovered for 5 minutes.
  15. Serve in bowls with a dollop of plain yogurt and some chopped cilantro. Mix in and enjoy.






Rinse the chickpeas under cold water using a fine mesh strainer, to clean off the salty water they were stored in.

Wash all the vegetables and gather all your ingredients.

Dice the onion. Hang onto the root end with a claw, and cut into pinky wide strips. Lay onion strips flat and slice again to achieve a dice. Place in a bowl.

Peel the ginger using the tip of a teaspoon. The skin is edible so don’t worry if there’s still bits left, especially in the creases where it’s hard to get at with a spoon. Grate using a microplane.

Grate the garlic into the bowl using a microplane.

Accurately measure all the ground spices, and gather in a small bowl.

Gather the cumin seeds into a different bowl.

Cut the tomatoes into a large dice, place inside a bowl of its own.

Juice the lemon. Compost any seeds.

Admire your Mise en Place. Do you have all the of the ingredients organized and ready to cook?

Turn the heat to medium heat and add oil to the pot. Add the cumin seeds and stir for about 10 seconds.

Add the onion bowl. Stir constantly until the onions start to yellow, about 10 minutes.

Add the spices and stir for about one minute. This will release the aroma & flavour from the spices.

Add the bowl of tomatoes. Do you notice in the upper right corner of the photo that bits are stuck to the bottom of the pot? Don’t worry, this is a good thing. When the tomatoes get added, the juice from the tomato will be released and the tomato juice will help lift off all the stuck bits at the bottom, called fond. This is where the flavour is!

Add the 3/4 cup of water. Gently scrape the bottom of the pot using a spatula. Have a look at the bottom now. The pot has been successfully deglazed. Season with salt.

Add another cup of water.

Add the chickpeas, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, then finish by adding lemon juice.

Serve in a bowl with sprinkles of cilantro and a dollop of yogurt if you’d like.

Today we are enjoying the Chana Masala with naan!

Apane bhojan ka aanand len!

अपने भोजन का आनंद लें



©ProjectCHEF2020 All rights reserved
Not to be copied or reproduced without express permission from the author

You may also like