Chana Masala

by Chef Randy

This vegan and glutenfree dish is a favorite of my friend Brandy. It is a savory dish of cooked garbanzo beans (chickpeas), onion, garlic, bay leaves and various Indian spices. It gets its heat from small red chilies and although I only use one chili in this recipe, you can add more if you like it hotter.


2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 medium yellow onion (chopped fine)

1½ teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon turmeric

2 bay leaves

1 dried red chili (break in half)

1 cinnamon stick (break in half)

1 pinch asafetida

1 clove garlic (minced)

2 plum tomatoes (chopped)

2 15-ounce cans chickpeas (rinsed and drained)

1 tablespoon fresh ginger (grated)

1 cup vegetable broth * Salt to taste

1 teaspoon garam masala

½ cup cilantro (chopped for garnish)


Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the coriander, cumin, turmeric, bay leaves, chili, cinnamon, asafetida, and garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more.

Add the tomatoes and cook until almost dry, about 2 minutes. Add the chickpeas, ginger, broth, and a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the flavors meld and a thick sauce forms, about 15 minutes.

Remove and discard the bay leaves, chili, and cinnamon stick. Stir in the garam masala. Garnish with cilantro and serve with a side of rice.

* I don’t care for dry chana masala. If you like it on the dry side, reduce the broth to ½ cup

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