Easy Vegan Chana Masala recipe

Easy Vegan Chana Masala – creamy, luxe, flavor-packed, and ready in 30-minutes. A meal prep friendly rich comfort food recipe.

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Get ready for a creamy, deeply flavorful, rich, medium-spicy, and oh-so-easy-to-make plant-based Chana Masala. It’s a bowlful of luscious and cozy eat-on-the-couch-wrapped-in-a-blanket flavors. This vegan Chana Masala makes the ideal easy weeknight dinner. It’s a quick ready-to-eat in 30-minutes meal. And it’s meal prep friendly. 

This bowlful of warming Chana Masala is made using mostly pantry stables like canned chickpeas, fire-roasted tomatoes, and lots of spices. It’s a cozy, comforting, flavor-packed Indian curry that’s full of immune system boosting spices all coming together to create a mouthwatering vegan meal. 

Chana masala is a traditional Indian curry dish. It’s a deeply flavored, rich vegetarian chickpea dish that’s loaded with plant-based protein and spices. 

Other names for Chana masala 

As with many great things chana masala is known under several names. It’s also known as:

  • Chole Masala
  • Chhole Masala
  • Channay
  • Chole

Let’s take a look at the simple ingredients we’re working with today 

As I said, this plant-based Chana masala is made primarily using pantry stables. It’s a flavorful, utterly delicious, loaded with plant-based protein type of recipe that you can make in advance. Your future self will thank you. 

Ingredients to make easy vegan chana masala 

  • 2 15oz cans (410g) of chickpeas, rinsed and drained 
  • two onions, diced
  • 1 cup tomatoes 
  • A Red bell pepper, diced 
  • 1 Serrano pepper, finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil or avocado oil
  • 1 15oz can (410g) fire-roasted diced tomatoes 
  • a cup vegetable broth
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon 

Spices to make plant-based authentic Chana masala 

A great chana masala is all about using spices to create a deeply flavorful dish. I like to use fresh turmeric root to make my Chana masala, but you can just as easily use ground turmeric powder.

  • 2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin 
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated turmeric root, or 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 3 bay leaves 
  • 2 tsp Garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper 

How to make vegan Chana Masala in an instant pot 

  • Place the instant pot on the sauté setting. Heat the oil in the instant pot and carefully place the diced onions, peppers, and chickpeas in the pot. Season with all the seasoning; black mustard seeds, ground cumin, grated turmeric root, garam masala, salt, and pepper. Cook for a few minutes while stirring occasionally. 
  • Next, add all the rest of the ingredients to the pot. Secure the lid and select the high-pressure setting. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally (it should take 10-15 minutes). Carefully remove the lid and stir to mix everything well. Add more salt or other seasoning if needed. 
  • Leave to rest for 1 minute to let the sauce thicken slightly.
  • Serve with a side of steaming rice and enjoy.

The easy way to make Chole Masala on the stove

  • Heat vegetable oil in a deep frying pan. Carefully place the diced onions, peppers, and chickpeas in the pan. Season with all the seasoning; black mustard seeds, ground cumin, grated turmeric root, garam masala, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook for a 3-5 minutes while stirring occasionally. 
  • Next, pour in the vegetable broth, lemon juice, and fire-roasted tomatoes and mix everything together. Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Add the bay leaves. Leave to cook for 15-20 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken. 
  • Serve with a side of steaming rice and enjoy.

How to serve Chana masala

Chana masala is usually served topped generously over steaming basmati rice or a side of fresh fluffy naan bread. For a delicious upgrade, you can make my fluffy coconut rice or my easy turmeric rice.

Dried chickpeas versus canned chickpeas 

You can use either. Both work well in this recipe, although I much prefer using canned chickpeas as they cook more quickly – which means I’ll be sitting down to a tasty meal much quicker. 

Canned chickpeas are already cooked tender and have that ideal bite and almost creamy texture. But dried chickpeas will work just as well. They just need to be pre-cooked for a good 30-45 minutes or until they are completely tender. In my opinion, dried chickpeas are always better when you let them cook for 10-15 minutes more than you think they should cook. You want your chickpeas to be tender and soft to the bite and that usually means more cooking time than most people give them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Chana masala gluten-free?

Yes. This Chana masala recipe is completely gluten-free.

Is Chana masala good for weight loss?

Yes. Chana masala is a very healthy low-calorie dish. It’s full of healthy nutrients, contains no cholesterol, and is said to be good for controlling diabetes.

How long does Chana Masala last in the fridge?

Chana masala will last 2-3 days in the refrigerator.

Is Chana and chickpeas the same?

Yes. Chana means chickpeas whereas dal can be lentils, peas or chickpeas.

Easy Vegan Chana Masala

Easy Vegan Chana Masala – creamy, luxe, flavor-packed, and ready in 30-minutes. A meal prep friendly rich comfort food recipe.
Get ready for a creamy, deeply flavorful, rich, medium-spicy, and oh-so-easy-to-make plant-based Chana Masala. It’s a bowlful of luscious and cozy eat-on-the-couch-wrapped-in-a-blanket flavors. This vegan Chana Masala makes the ideal easy weeknight dinner. It’s a quick ready-to-eat in 30-minutes meal.
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Indian
Keyword Gluten-free, vegan dinner
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Simone – Munchyesta.com

Ingredients

  • 2 15oz cans Chickpeas rinsed and drained
  • 2 Onions diced
  • 1 cup Tomatoes roughly chopped
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper diced
  • 1 Serrano or Jalapeno Pepper finely chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp Coconut Oil or other vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp Black Mustard Seeds
  • ½ tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Grated Turmeric Root or 1 tsp ground turmeric powder
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • 2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Ground Pepper
  • 1 15oz can Fire Roasted diced Tomatoes
  • 1 cup Vegetable Broth
  • Juice from ½ Lemon

For serving: basmati rice or coconut milk rice

    Instructions

    Cooking in an instant pot 

    • Place the instant pot on the sauté setting. Heat the oil in the instant pot and carefully place the diced onions, peppers, and chickpeas in the pot. Season with all the seasoning; black mustard seeds, ground cumin, grated turmeric root, garam masala, salt, and pepper. Cook for a few minutes while stirring occasionally. 
    • Next, add all the rest of the ingredients to the pot. Secure the lid and select the high-pressure setting. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally (it should take 10-15 minutes). Carefully remove the lid and stir to mix everything well. Taste to see if more salt or other seasoning is needed. 
      Leave to rest for 1 minute to let the sauce thicken slightly.
      Serve with a side of steaming rice and enjoy.

    How to make chana masala on the stove 

    • Heat vegetable oil in a deep frying pan. Carefully place the diced onions, peppers, and chickpeas in the pan. Season with all the seasoning; black mustard seeds, ground cumin, grated turmeric root, garam masala, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook for a 3-5 minutes while stirring occasionally. 
    • Next, pour in the vegetable broth, lemon juice, and fire-roasted tomatoes and mix everything together. Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Add the bay leaves. Leave to cook for 15-20 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken. 
      Serve with a side of steaming rice and enjoy.

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