Chana Masala

Vegan Gluten Free Chana Masala
Jump to Recipe

Why keeping this Chana Masala simple makes it the best

I love this Chana Masala because of its simplicity. It took me a few tries, but I managed to make this taste like it has been stewing all day. In a time crunch? Then this 30 minute recipe is for you. Chickpeas make a hearty meal, and I always have multiple cans of chickpeas in my pantry.  I also always have pre-fried onions on hand, which cuts down a lot of cooking time. That’s why I’m never too far from a pot of delicious Chana Masala.

The secret is in the spices

My pantry is stocked with whole and ground spices, but when I want a quick dinner with lots of flavor, I use my stash of ground spices. The flavors develop much faster and you don’t have to fish out any whole spices while eating. A tip to get even more flavor out of your cumin and coriander seeds is to dry roast them. I have tips in the recipe notes below. The flavor and aroma is much more intense. On a busy weeknight I wouldn’t even bother garnishing this with anything, but when I make this for dinner parties, (Yes, as simple as this is, it’s always loved as a vegetarian option by guests) a nice sprinkle of fresh cilantro and chopped green chillies adds a fresh flair.

This Chana Masala is inclusive of all diets

Another reason to love this Chana Masala is that it is gluten free, vegan and dairy free. I never realized how clean and wholesome our Pakistani cuisine actually is, but looking through a lot of the recipes we cook on a daily basis, you can see that our simple Pakistani food is gluten free or vegan, if not both.

Vegan Gluten Free Chana Masala

Chana Masala

This Chana Masala is the perfect quick weeknight meal. It takes less than 30 minutes to make and tastes like it's been stewing all day!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 4


  • 2 cans chickpeas drained
  • 3 tbsp oil flavorless
  • 1/4 cup fried onions
  • 2 roma tomatoes chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger crushed
  • 1 tsp garlic crushed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp kashmiri laal mirch or chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp haldi turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 4 green chili peppers
  • 2 cups hot water
  • fresh cilantro for garnish


  • Heat the oil in a pan and add the tomatoes, fried onions, ginger and garlic. Saute for 2 minutes, then cook covered for 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes break easily with your cooking spoon. (If you don’t have fried onions just fry the onion till golden brown, then the chopped tomatoes and ginger garlic paste.)
  • Add all the seasoning and spices and saute for one minute. Then add the drained chickpeas and whole green chillies. Saute for 2 minutes, then add the hot water. Simmer covered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. By this time most of the water will have dried up. If you want to keep a shorba (soup like consistency) add more hot water and simmer for a couple minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro.


Make it less spicy. Although the green chillies are left whole, they release their spice and flavor while stewing with the chickpeas. Add less green chilies or omit completely to cut the spice. 
Time saving tips. Besides using canned chickpeas, using pre fried onions saves a lot of time. I always have a batch of pre fried onions ready to be used. 
How to serve your Chana Masala. My husband loves eating Chana Malala with naan, but I really enjoy it with some steamed basmati. If you want to enjoy this with basmati, add a little extra water for a shorba (soup like consistency) 
How to up your spice game. Cumin and coriander seeds have such great flavor, and there’s a way to make it even better. Dry roast them on a low flame just until they start getting darker. Then let them cool and grind them in a coffee grinder. The aroma and flavors intensify tenfold. 
Keyword Chana Masala, Chickpea Stew, Vegan Chana Masala

Have you tried this easy Chana Masala?

Have you tried this easy and flavorful recipe? If you have, I’d love to hear how it turned out in the comments below!

FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites
5 1 vote
Article Rating
5 1 vote
Article Rating

Your comments make my day! I love hearing your feedback and how this recipe worked for you

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

[…] making normal chanay, chick peas, just because I’m usually in a hurry and canned chanay mean Chana Masala in less than 20 minutes. But I was in the mood, and now there’s no turning back. I’ve […]

[…] thing to keep in mind with these is that they take a very long time to cook compared to Chana Masala. I make often, so I spend a couple of hours boiling a large batch. Then I freeze the kala chana in […]

[…] Chana Masala […]