Chana Masala Image

Chana Masala

If These Meals Could Talk - "Yasmin Khan"

Prep Time
Cook Time


For the Chana Masala

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 4 fat garlic cloves, grated
  • 25g (1 oz) root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
  • 2 x 400g (14 oz) tins chickpeas, drained and rinsed (garbanzo beans)
  • 1 medium tomato, skinned and chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 500ml (2 cups) just-boiled water
  • 1 tsp cornflour (corn starch)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper

For the salad

  • 3-4 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ cucumber, chopped
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • ½ lemon, juice only
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • To serve:
  • Coriander (cilantro) leaves, finely chopped (optional)
  • White rice
  • Greek yoghurt


For the Chana Masala

  1. To make the Chana Masala, eat the vegetable oil in a large pan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion and fry for 15-20 minutes until completely soft and golden brown, stirring regularly. (This stage is crucial in creating the base flavour of this dish, so please don’t rush it!)
  2. Toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a dry frying pan over a medium heat for a minute or so, until their aromas are released. Grind in a mortar and pestle, then add them to the onion with the garlic, ginger and ground spices. Fry for a few minutes.
  3. Add the chickpeas (garbanzo beans), tomato, tomato purée, measured hot water, 1½ tsp salt and a generous grind of black pepper. Cover and cook over a medium heat for 45-60 minutes, or until the chickpeas (garbanzo beans) are soft and plump. Check on it halfway through cooking and add another cup of hot water if the chickpeas look a bit dry.
  4. Taste to adjust the seasoning, then stir through the cornflour (corn starch). Cook for a few final minutes for the sauce to thicken, then take off the heat and finish with the extra virgin olive oil.
  5. Scatter with finely chopped coriander (cilantro), if you like, and serve with white rice and Greek yoghurt.

For the salad

  1. To make the salad, toss the tomatoes, cucumber and red onion together. Dress with the lemon juice and olive oil.