Chana Masala is a popular Indian chickpea curry in a spicy, tangy sauce. In North India, chana masala is called ‘chole masala.’ The word “Masala” is Hindi for “a mixture of spices.” There are as many versions of Chana Masala as there are home chefs! Chickpeas are marvelously versatile and yummy in curries. And our Indianlife Cooking Sauces make creating restaurant-quality curries fast and simple!
First, we prep our vegan protein: delicious chickpeas or garbanzo beans. Chickpeas are a dietary staple worldwide. One 28-oz. serving packs approximately 3 grams of protein and 2 grams of vegan fiber into just 46 calories. They’re affordable too, and stretch your winter food budget. Canned chickpeas are readily available and don’t need soaking the way dried ones do. But canned beans can contain excess salt or preservatives, and you can’t control texture as you can with dried beans.
Chickpeas are one of the legume varieties that can be cooked without soaking in a slow cooker but should be soaked to save cooking time when using the stovetop. Once you try a slow cooker for dried beans, you may never go back to canned again! Cook your beans overnight, or do other things while they cook during the day. If you’re doing stovetop, the good news is there are two soaking methods: overnight/all day, or “Quick Soak.”
Overnight Soak: Dried chickpeas can be soaked overnight. When soaked they expand, so cover them with several inches of water. Cover and soak overnight. Drain water and rinse chickpeas before cooking.
Quick Soak: Quick soaking can be done with any bean variety. It’s convenient and takes just an hour. Place chickpeas into a large pot, cover with several inches of water to allow for expansion. Bring them to a boil for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for an hour. Drain water and rinse before cooking.
Cook Chickpeas on Stovetop: For each cup of chickpeas add 3 cups cold water to pot. Cover with lid and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer chickpeas for 1 to 1 1/2 hours with lid slightly askew.
Cook Chickpeas in Slow Cooker: You can cook unsoaked beans in the slow cooker. To slow-cook chickpeas place the water (3 cups of water per one cup of chickpeas) in a 2 1/2-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on high heat for 4 hours, or low heat for 8 to 9 hours, or until tender. Drain and you’re ready to use them!
FULL RECIPE: One-Pot Chickpea Masala Curry Serving Size: Makes 4 servings
One pound cooked dried chickpeas (or one 15-oz. can)
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
2 TBSP Fresh ginger finely chopped
2 TBSP Garlic finely chopped (Approx. 4 cloves)
1 Medium onion, diced (approx. 1 and 1/2 cup)
2 Jalapeños, cored and finely chopped (optional)
Chopped Cilantro for Garnish (optional)
One jar Indianlife Curry Sauce (or try our other flavors!)
Cook Chickpeas, or use canned chickpeas, set aside
Place oil in bottom of saucepan or braiser, add chopped onions, grated garlic and grated ginger. Saute over medium heat until onions are translucent.
Add chickpeas, and saute together with the onions, garlic and ginger until they are well-mixed
Add a full jar of Indianlife Curry Sauce or other Indianlife Cooking Sauce.
Add water as necessary and mix until the sauce completely covers the vegetables and chickpeas.
For extra flavor and nutrients, add other veggies if you wish: sliced carrots and zucchini, broccoli florets, green beans or frozen peas. Make sure the sauce covers all vegetables and chickpeas.
Bring to a boil over medium heat, then turn heat down to med-low and cover. Simmer for 30-40 minutes.
Serve garnished with chopped cilantro and if you wish, toasted Indianlife Naan Bread on the side.