Chana Masala

“Quick & Easy Chana Masala”
from Oh She Glows

heart healthy chana masala over rice

I just made Chana Masala for the first time, and I’m so happy to have discovered this recipe because it’s exceedingly heart healthy and delicious!   A dish popular in India and around the world, made with chickpeas, onions and spices, it’s flavorful and satisfying.  Chickpeas are loaded with protein and cholesterol-lowering fiber, and are a great source of folate, manganese, iron and magnesium.

“What you eat can fuel or cool inflammation.” 

~Harvard Health Publications

Plus this dish contains garlic, ginger and turmeric–some of the top anti-inflammatory foods and spices!  We know inflammation plays a role in heart disease, heart attack and stroke, so it’s really important to enjoy foods and recipes like this in the way we eat and skip the stuff that contribute to inflammation (such as sugar).  We need to eat the good stuff!

Dr. Andrew Weil has created an Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid you might find interesting and helpful.  You can find more information about his pyramid here.

Angela Liddon’s Oh She Glows cookbooks have been a great resource for preparing plant-based, heart healthy meals.  Seriously every recipe is a winner!  And this Chana Masala is no exception, plus it’s quick and easy to prepare–hence her title for it, which can also be found in The Oh She Glows Cookbook.

It helps when making this recipe to prepare all the ingredients first before you start cooking.  After that it comes together easily.

Chana Masala

Rating: 51

4 servings

Chana Masala


  1. 1 tbsp (15 ml.) coconut oil or olive oil
  2. 1 1/2 tsps (7 ml.) cumin seeds
  3. 1 yellow onion, diced
  4. 1 tbsp (15 ml.) minced fresh garlic
  5. 1 tbsp (15 ml.) minced peeled fresh ginger
  6. 1 green serrano chile pepper, seeded if preferred, and minced
  7. 1 1/2 tsps (7 ml.) garam masala
  8. 1 1/2 tsps (7 ml.) ground coriander
  9. 1/2 tsp (2 ml.) ground turmeric
  10. 3/4 tsp (4 ml.) fine grain sea salt, plus more if needed
  11. 1/4 tsp (1 ml.) cayenne pepper (optional)
  12. 1 (28 oz./793 g) can whole peeled tomatoes or diced tomatoes, with their juices
  13. 1 (28 oz./793 g) can chickpeas, or 3 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  14. 1 cup (250 ml.) dry/uncooked basmati rice for serving. Cook per instructions.*
  15. Fresh lemon juice, for serving
  16. Fresh cilantro, chopped, for serving
  17. *We use brown basmati rice instead of white for greater fiber and protein.


  1. In a large wok or saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. When a drop of water sizzles upon hitting the plan, reduce the heat to medium low and add the cumin seeds. Stir and toast the seeds for a minute or two until golden and fragrant. Watch carefully as they will burn easily.
  2. Raise the heat to medium and add the onion, garlic, ginger and serrano. Cook, stirring ocassionally, for a few minutes, then stir in the garam masala, coriander, turmeric, salt, and cayenne (if using), and cook for a couple more minutes.
  3. Add the whole peeled tomatoes including their juices and break them apart with a spoon (or simply add diced tomatoes if that's what you're using).
  4. Raise the heat to medium high and add the chickpeas. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes or more to allow the flavors to develop.
  5. Serve over cooked basmati rice, if desired, and garnish with a squeeze of fresh lemon and some chopped cilantro.


For a grain-free option, Angela suggests serving the Chana Masala atop a baked potato. We like it over a baked sweet potato!


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