Pictures on the Wall

Chana Masala

Chana Masala

More than a few years ago, my sister and I went to an Indian restaurant with my dad and enjoyed some delicious chana masala – only to find out a few hours later that the chickpeas had been presoaked in lemon juice which neither of us can handle in large amounts.  Since then I’ve been more than a little scared of this delicious chickpea dish, until Joe’s cousin made a lemon-free batch last summer.  That incredible dinner gave me the boost I needed to try making chana masala at home, and based on my husband’s reaction I have a feeling it will be happening pretty regularly.  Not only does it come together in record time, it features ingredients that I almost always have in my pantry – making it perfect for those oh so crazy weekday nights!

Chana Masala

Serves 3-4


1 tbsp vegetable oil

1/4 tsp cumin seeds

1/4 tsp amchur powder (dried mango powder)

1 tbsp garam masala

1/4 tsp cayenne powder

3 cloves garlic, diced

1/2 tsp fresh ginger, diced

1/2 onion, diced

14.5 oz can Italian style diced tomatoes

2 cups presoaked chickpeas (garbanzo beans), well rinsed and drained


  1. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and cook until they start to brown, about 3 minutes, then add the amchur powder along with the garam masala and cayenne powder. Cook for 1 minute, stirring the entire time.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, and onion, toss well in the spice and oil mixture and then cook for 7 minutes. Garlic will start to brown, but stir frequently enough to keep the spices from burning.
  3. Add the chickpeas along with the tomatoes, then bring to a quick boil, cover, and turn heat down to low. Simmer dish for 15 minutes, then serve and Enjoy!

I served this with some curry spinach, not quite palak but a bit more than the standard creamed spinach as well, and some brown rice.  My spinach recipe still needs a bit of work but I hope to share it shortly, assuming I figure out the perfect ratio of spinach to everything else!

2 thoughts on “Pictures on the Wall

    1. I’m honestly not sure, I’m intolerant to citrus so I avoid using lemon juice in all my recipes. I imagine that you add lemon juice to the water when presoaking the chickpeas – but not sure how much.

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