Yummy Indian-Inspired Chana Masala!

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Join Extension Agent Margie Mansure and “Food Fan” Eric Stafford for this 16-minute video demonstrating an Indian-inspired vegetarian fare called Chana Masala. Recipe below.

“Chana” means chickpea and “Masala” refers to a blend of spices used. It’s a popular dish throughout India and Pakistan, with recipes varying by region.

Garam Masala, which literally means warm spice, is a staple blend used in Indian cooking. The exact mix can vary between household and regions, though it typically includes cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, cumin, coriander, nutmeg, and peppercorns. This is not a very spicy mix, it’s used for its deep, warming flavor rather than heat. If you can’t find it, you may use curry for this recipe, but it won’t have the same flavor.

Chickpeas are also called garbonzo beans and are known mostly because of the popular dip, hummus. They are a great source of fiber, protein, iron, and potassium grown all over the world.

Chana Masala


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon heaping ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala (use curry powder if unavailable)
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 14 ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced salt, and pepper to taste
  • Cooked brown rice
  • Garnish ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges


  1. Place large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add the oil, then onion, sautéing until soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in garlic, ginger, garam masala, and turmeric.
  4. Stir in the canned tomatoes and garbanzo beans. Add water, then diced potato, and turn heat up until it comes to a boil.
  5. Turn heat down to simmer until sweet potato is soft. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Ladle into bowls of brown rice. Top with a dollop of yogurt, sprinkle of cilantro, and squeeze of lemon in each bowl.

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