Return to top

Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Ann Arbor, MI!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali See what I'm eating this week

Healthy and Delicious Chana Masala

Whenever the husband and I go out for Indian food, we almost always order Chana Masala. We almost always order Palak Paneer too, but that’s for a different post πŸ™‚

Why Chana Masala?

Because between the chickpeas, spices and curry, you really can’t go wrong. It’s hearty, filling, and dependable.

Of course, lower quality restaurants can still mess up Chana Masala by smothering the delicate chickpeas and spices with too much oil, or making it much too “spicy-hot” instead of “spicy-spice” (hopefully you know what I mean by that!)

Traditionally Chana Masala has quite a bit of oil in it anyway, but without that, it can actually be a very healthy and well rounded dish. I added some potatoes for starch, fresh cilantro for color, and a bit of nonfat Greek yogurt for an added creaminess that just takes this to a whole new level.

The Ingredients

  • 1/2 – 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger (or 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 4-5 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 Tbs cilantro leaves, roughly torn, plus more for garnish
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4-5 baby red potatoes, diced
  • 6-8 Tbs plain non fat Greek yogurt, optional
The Directions
.
Step 1:Β Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the oil and red onion and cook, stirring frequently until it is deeply caramelized. Reduce the heat to low.
.
Step 2:Β Add the garlic, cumin seeds, coriander, ginger, garam masala, and cardamom pods, and fry them, stirring constantly, until the cumin seeds pop and the spices are fragrant and toasty, about 30 seconds.
.
Step 3:Β Pour in the juice and the tomatoes from the can and crush them in the pot with a potato masher. Add the salt and the potatoes.
.
Step 4:Β Raise the heat to medium-high, and bring the pot to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, add the cilantro and cayenne, and all of the rest of the spices, and simmer the sauce until it reduces a bit and begins to thicken. Add the chickpeas, and stir to combine.
.
Step 5:Β Keep simmering the curry on low until the chickpeas and potatoes soften (about 30 minutes). Once the sauce thickens and reduces down a bit, it will look like this:
.
Step 6:Β Serve and top with cilantro.
.
This is how I served it to the husband. But for me…
.
I added the yogurt.
.
The husband isn’t really a yogurt person – which I have never understood honestly. I mean, how can you not like yogurt, especially with a spicy dish like this one?
.
The husband is also super super picky about Chana Masala, in that, he never thought a homemade “healthier” version would taste as good as the restaurant. So imagine how awesome it was when he told me that this recipe was restaurant quality! Hooray!
.
I smiled as I watched the yogurt melt over the chickpeas before I started eating.
.
It was “lick-your-bowl-clean” good πŸ™‚
.
Healthy and Delicious Chana Masala

Total Time: 60 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Calories per serving: 227

Fat per serving: 3.3g

Nutritional Info Per Serving: 227 Calories, 3.3g Fat, 430.2mg Sodium, 44.2g Carbs, 7.3g Fiber, 7.5g Sugar, 9.9g Protein

Ingredients

  • 1/2 – 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger (or 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 4-5 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 Tbs cilantro leaves, roughly torn, plus more for garnish
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4-5 baby red potatoes, diced
  • 6-8 Tbs plain non fat Greek yogurt, optional

Instructions

  1. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the oil and red onion and cook, stirring frequently until it is deeply caramelized. Reduce the heat to low.
  2. Add the garlic, cumin seeds, coriander, ginger, garam masala, and cardamom pods, and fry them, stirring constantly, until the cumin seeds pop and the spices are fragrant and toasty, about 30 seconds.
  3. Pour in the juice and the tomatoes from the can and crush them in the pot with a potato masher. Add the salt and the potatoes.
  4. Raise the heat to medium-high, and bring the pot to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, add the cilantro and cayenne, and all of the rest of the spices, and simmer the sauce until it reduces a bit and begins to thicken. Add the chickpeas, and stir to combine.
  5. Keep simmering the curry on low until the chickpeas and potatoes soften (about 30 minutes).
  6. Serve and top with cilantro and yogurt.
http://www.pickyeaterblog.com/healthy-and-delicious-chana-masala/

 

TAGS: , , , ,

31 responses to “Healthy and Delicious Chana Masala”

    • Haha I’ve done that before too and I totally agree – if I don’t tell him it’s yogurt he doesn’t know (but sometimes he knows that something is “different”) πŸ™‚

  1. Love it! Next on my list to try πŸ™‚
    And I love your “how can you not like yogurt?” – I would have the same exact reaction. Yogurt and chana masala are so perfect together!

    • Yay! Can’t wait to hear what you think Eisha! And I totally agree – yogurt gives the perfect cool quality to the hot & spicy Chana Masala πŸ™‚

  2. I love chana masala but never make it at home, mainly because I don’t know how. Something tells me your recipe is awesome. Bookmarking this one for sure. Hope all is well and hope to see you soon πŸ™‚

    • Aw thanks so much Trish!! πŸ™‚ I can’t wait to hear how it turns out for you. And yes – will definitely see you soon!

  3. Love the way you’ve put step by step picture and guided us through the preparation. Just a small tip / suggestion. When you boil chickpeas at home, add 1 or 2 tea bags and pressure cook the normal way. This adds a little dark brown color to your chickpeas but doesn’t affect the taste. Go ahead with the same recipe. It works best with bhature.

    • That’s awesome! We served Chana during one of the events at my wedding too πŸ™‚ It’s one of those great staples that’s just always delicious. I’m sure you’ll love this version of the original!

  4. Hi! I stumbled onto your blog from Gina’s @Skinnytaste.com and thank goodness! My fiance and I are huge indian food lovers, but living in the Memphis, TN – we don’t really have a lot of options. I have been trying for months to find good, authentic recipes for some of our favorite dishes that would also be healthy (wedding is only 3 months away)! So Thank You for having such great recipes and blog. I am only a little sad that I didn’t discover it earlier, when I was working out in Walnut Creek CA…..

    • Hi Kelly!! It’s so nice to meet you, and thanks so much for your kind words about my blog! I can’t wait to hear how you and your fiance like this Chana Masala recipe – you’ll have to let me know how it turns out. Too bad you’re not in the Bay Area anymore, you’ll have to let me know if you end up coming back for a visit. Happy new year btw! πŸ™‚

  5. I’m a terrible cook. Mine turned out really chunky and undercooked yet I mananged to burn the bottom of my pot too. πŸ™ Also the canned tomatoes taste tin-ny.

    • Hi Lucy, I’m so sorry to hear that! It sounds like you ended up cooking this on too-high heat – which is why the bottom burnt but the entire recipe wasn’t actually cooked. Next time, try cooking it on medium/low heat – and stir it frequently so that all the moisture from the bottom doesn’t get absorbed by the heat (which also leads to the bottom burning). The canned tomatoes will taste tinny if they aren’t cooked through properly, and the type of canned tomato you buy is important. Make sure to buy organic, non-GMO, BPA-free lined cans – then the tomatoes won’t have a strange/canned/tinny taste to them. Hope that helps, and I hope you keep cooking! Practice makes perfect – I promise, I had many mishaps in the kitchen when I was learning how to cook! Good luck, and keep me posted on how things go!

  6. This looks great, I can’t way to try it. I’m counting my calories and I was just wondering what the serving size for this recipe is. Thanks, Chitra

    • Hi Chitra! So this recipe makes 6 servings, so the serving size is 1/6 of the Chana Masala + 1 Tbsp yogurt. Hope that helps! Can’t wait to hear how you like this recipe!

    • Hi Kristen! Yes – you can get cardamom pods in most spice sections at the grocery store. They are usually right next to the bottles of ground cardamom. Hope that helps! I don’t have a recipe for Palak Paneer yet, but it’s definitely on my list of recipes I’d like to “healthify” – so stay tuned!

    • Hi Dhaval! Honestly, I’d make it the exact same way – but maybe just omit the cayenne pepper. When I make it for our family, I make it exactly as the recipe says but I don’t add in the cayenne. Once everything is cooked, I separate out Layla’s portion in a bowl, and then I add in the cayenne pepper (to the pot) for us so we still get a spicy meal. When I give it to Layla, I mix it with a little bit of yogurt and she absolutely loves it! Hope that helps!

Leave a Reply

 
Free 7 day plan for clean eating
Free brunch party cookbook
One-on-one health coaching

Featured Press

Subscribe to newsletter

Copyright 2017 The Picky Eater. All rights reserved. Site by 82 Birds.

X
Get new recipes and healthy tips right to your inbox!
Food
%d bloggers like this: