Chana Masala (kind of)

by ehwhite93

Before Christmas, my family and I visited some friends in South Jersey for a home-cooked Indian meal. One of the dishes that really stuck with me was the Chana Masala, a classic, tomatoey, chickpea-based curry dish. Our friend/chef briefly explained how to make the dish, and although I wish I took some notes, it sounded pretty easy.

While trying to reconstruct her instructions, I referred to’s Chana Masala just for a better idea of what spices and such to use, but also added a few of my own ingredients and substitutions (broccoli, diced tomatoes instead of tomato paste, fresh cilantro instead of ground coriander, sadly didn’t have garam masala) based on what was in my kitchen at the time. Nevertheless, I think it worked out pretty well!

Photos by Joshua Paul

Photos by Joshua Paul

It’s a wonderfully easy dish that can for the most part be thrown together in a short amount of time with common kitchen staples.


  • 1 (15 0z) can chickpeas 
  • .5-1 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 1 head broccoli
  • Fresh cilantro/coriander
  • Spices: curry, cumin, turmeric, hot madras, chili, black pepper, (usually made with garam masala but I sadly didn’t have any lying around the house)

Serves: 2-4, best served as a side dish or would be good as an appetizer/dip!

Prep time: 20-25 mins

Sizzlin up in the new wok!!!

Sizzlin up in the new wok

First, chop all of your veggies. In a large pan (I used the awesome wok my sister got me for Christmas) sauté the onions and garlic in a bit of olive oil (or your grease of choice), adding a bit of each spice (depending on your preference). After a few minutes, add the red pepper and broccoli. Let the veggies really sauté and get soft. After another 5 or so minutes, add the chickpeas (drain them). Let the chickpeas sit in the pan for another few minutes, and then add the diced tomatoes. The tomatoes make it a bit more saucy, but continue to let the mixture sizzle on high in order to get rid of some of the juice (depending on what consistency you want). You can also add the fresh cilantro at any point, or wait until the end and add it as a garnish. Of course, feel free to spice it up a bit more after adding all of the other veggies.

The (kind of) Chana Masala is ready to be enjoyed!