A bowl filled with chana masala - chickpea curry

Chana masala

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(33 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 35 mins


Serves 6 - 8

Serve this vegetarian Indian chickpea curry as a main meal or side dish. It's gluten-free, good for you and freezable so you can save any leftovers

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Gluten-free
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: Per serving (8)

  • kcal140
  • fat5g
  • saturates2g
  • carbs15g
  • sugars5g
  • fibre5g
  • protein6g
  • salt0.1g
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  • 800g canned chickpeas or 720g jar giant chickpeas
  • 3 onions, quartered
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 5cm piece of ginger



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 2-3 green chillies, roughly chopped
  • 1½ tbsp ghee



    The Indian version of clarified butter (ie a butter that has had its milk solids removed, making…

  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cumin



    An aromatic spice native to eastern Mediteranean countries and Upper Egypt. This warm,…

  • ½ tsp chilli powder (Kashmiri if possible)



    Part of the capsicum family, chillies come in scores of varieties and colours (from green…

  • 1 tsp turmeric



    Turmeric is a fragrant, bright golden-yellow root that is most commonly seen and used dried and…

  • 1 tsp garam masala
    Garam masala

    Garam masala

    gar-am mah-sarl-ah

    Meaning 'warming spice mix', garam masala is the main spice blend used in North Indian…

  • 1 ½ tsp amchoor powder (optional)
  • 3 medium tomatoes (around 300g), roughly chopped, or 400g can chopped tomatoes



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • 1 lemon, juiced



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • ½ small pack coriander leaves, to serve


  1. Drain the chickpeas, add to a large pan with 400ml of water and season. Bring to the boil, then turn off the heat and set aside to allow the chickpea flavour to infuse the water.

  2. Blitz the onions with the garlic, ginger and green chillies. Melt the ghee in a large saucepan, then add the onion mix with a pinch of salt and cook for 8-10 mins, until softened.

  3. Stir in the spices, and cook for 3 more mins, adding a splash of the chickpea water to stop them sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes and another splash of water and cook for 5 mins, squishing the tomatoes with a spoon as they soften. Tip in the chickpeas, along with their cooking water. Cook for 10 mins. Season well, add the lemon juice, and a splash of water if you like a looser curry. Scatter with the coriander, to serve.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Colin Herdman's picture
Colin Herdman
15th May, 2020
Sauce very wet and acidic I let it cook for much longer and still not impressed I make all my own curries generally and used this recipe for a change I'll stick to my own recipes in future
9th Jun, 2019
I add 300g coconut milk at the end to make it creamy, lovely.
13th Jan, 2019
This dish was really tasty. After 10 minutes final cook time (as suggested in the recipe) it was very acidic in flavour, but I let it cook on a very low heat for about 3 hours, which seemed to take the edge off and give all the flavours a chance to mix. I also refrigerated a portion and microwaved it a couple of days later and it tasted just as lovely.
9th Nov, 2018
Surprisingly flavoursome and delicous for such a simple dish. I used three whole chillies and found it to be nicely spicy, but far too hot for my wife so next time will try with two. Make sure you cook out the onion & ginger mix for long enough (mine needed about 12 minutes) otherwise it will taste grim!
mrsliz's picture
26th Sep, 2018
Loved this recipe, it had just the right amount of spice for me. I didn't boil the chickpeas first, I drained them and added them in with the chopped fresh tomatoes without extra water. I then cooked everything on a low heat for about 30 minutes. The chickpeas were soft but still held their shape and were delicious. I served it with a chicken korma, rice and naans, I'll definitely be making this again!
13th Feb, 2018
Really enjoyed this and it was hot and delicious, added spinach to up the veg
5th Sep, 2017
Delicious. Made this for an Indian meal at the weekend along with the other dishes in the August Good Food Mag and it was a great success. This was really spicy and very easy to make. Enjoyed by veggies and meat eaters alike.
31st Aug, 2017
My husband is coeliac so I was looking for something Indian and gluten-free that wouldn't give him the squits and this fit the bill perfectly. I substituted the chickpeas for chicken, and the spices for a jar of tikka masala. It's already a family favourite.
14th Feb, 2018
I have no idea about coeliac and gluten free (as no-one in my family has either of these these conditions). I am confused how changing the whole recipe was successful. Is chicken better than chickpea and a jar of tikka masala better than the individual spices? As friends have these conditions it would be helpful to know for future recipes. Thanks
Frantic Flapjack
24th Aug, 2017
Not keen on this recipe and wouldn't make again. The end result was quite acidic and I was hoping for the richness you get in a good chana masala.
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