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chana masala

If I were just cooking for myself, I could probably do without meat 80% of the time.  I love beans, legumes, tofu, and vegetables and I used to base entire meals around them.  Now that I’m cooking for a boy, my cooking philosophy has changed a bit.  Boys like steak, pizza, fish sticks, and nachos, not lentil burgers, baked tofu, and roasted broccoli.  But here’s the reality: good meat is expensive!  And if I ate nachos and pizza every night I’d be buying bigger pants every week.  So as an attempt to save some money (on meat and new clothes) and introduce Marc’s taste buds to delicious meals without meat, I’m implementing Meatless Mondays at our apartment. 

I realize it’s not Monday (thank God) but I couldn’t wait to share this recipe.  If you like Indian food you are going to L-O-V-E this dish.  I served this with some brown rice and Garlic Herb Naan from Trader Joe’s (which is awesome!) and not only was the smell throughout the apartment intoxicating, but the flavors were out of this world.  Best yet, even without meat it was incredibly filling and Marc didn’t even mention the lack of meat.  Success!


Chana Masala
from Eat Live Run
makes 4 servings

2 tbsp butter
1 medium white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalepeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 inch knob ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more if you like it spicy!
1 tsp turmeric
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 (15 oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup plain yogurt
juice of 1/2 lemon


In large skillet, melt the butter.  Add the onions and cook for about 15 minutes on medium low heat, until the onions are golden brown and caramelized. 

Once caramelized, add the garlic, jalepeno, and ginger and stir.  Cook 3-4 minutes.  Add the tomato paste, stir to coat the onion mixture, then flatten down the mixture on the bottom of the pan.  Increase the heat to medium high and let the tomato paste cook and brown a bit.  This step is going to burn off the sugar and intensify the flavor.  Let it cook until there is a bit of a crust, about 2-3 minutes. 

Then add the spices and stir well. The mixture will be a little dry. 

Add the diced tomatoes and chickpeas and mix well.  Cook for about 5 minutes or until the chickpeas have heated through.  Finish with the yogurt and stir to combine and squeeze of half a lemon. 

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  1. I Love indian food! And this indian chickpea was the way I used to introduce my boyfriend to the world of beans, lentil, chickpea, etc.
    This recipe is awesome!
    Have a nice weekend!

  2. Hi Taylor,

    I love Channa Masala. It is my favorite Indian dish. I eat it with naan but my kids prefer it with rice. Thank you for including Indian food on your fabulous blog!