This easy vegan chana masala recipe comes together quickly and easily with pantry ingredients. Warming, perfectly spiced, and healthy.
When there are few fresh groceries in the house and I’m pressed for time, I desire low invest high return meals. The food I want to eat on these nights is simple, to the point and wholesome. I opt for one-pot wonders, salads, bowls, frittatas, soups and stews using this and that from the pantry and vegetable drawer.
It’s also on these nights that I find dinner ideas come to me more easily. Creativity tends to blossom in the kitchen when limits and constraints are put in place.
Staples I make it a point to keep on-hand include cans of beans and dried lentils, canned whole tomatoes, brown rice, onions, garlic and a well-stocked spice drawer. Other pantry essentials (though they live in the refrigerator) that I treasure include fresh herbs and yogurt. Gleaning inspiration from any cuisine of the world, I can make an abundance of snacks and meals using those ingredients.
Chana masala is the ultimate healthy pantry supper recipe for me, using the basics I most often have available. A boon is its perfuming of the house with a heady, homey aroma. I cut corners but keep the taste by using a fresh, better-quality curry powder and garam masala. If your spices aren’t particularly youthful, apply some heat to mute any staleness you encounter.
For those who are crunched for time, use a quicker-cooking whole grain like quinoa. However, if you can steal a moment on the weekend, batch-cook some brown rice in a large pot to reheat in mere seconds when dinnertime comes around during the week – and it will.
Easy Vegan Chana Masala
For chickpeas recipes Indian style, try this warming, perfectly spiced, easy vegan chana masala recipe (chole masala, chole curry, channa masala) using pantry ingredients. Budget-friendly, healthy, and crowd-pleasing. Serve with brown rice or quinoa for a complete meal.
Serves 3 to 4
2 cups water
1 cup short grain brown rice
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, sliced
1 carrot, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp minced fresh chili, or to taste
1 Tbsp curry powder
2 tsp garam masala
1 (19 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp full-fat yogurt (10% milk fat or mixture will separate) or canned coconut milk
finely chopped fresh parsley, for serving
- For the Brown Rice: In a medium saucepan, bring water and rice to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover (or partially cover so it doesn’t boil over) and cook for 55 minutes. Remove from heat and steam covered until ready to serve. Meanwhile, make chana masala.
- For the Chana Masala: In a large high-sided skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onion, carrot, garlic, chili, curry powder and garam masala. Reduce to to medium low; sauté for 10 to 12 minutes, until onions and tender. Add tomatoes, breaking into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon, followed by chickpeas, vinegar and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to medium-low, cover and cook for 20 to 30 minutes. Stir in yogurt or coconut milk.
- To Serve: Add rice to bowls, ladle over chana masala and sprinkle with parsley. Serve hot.