Quick and easy chana masala recipe served over basmati rice. This spicy, hearty, chickpea-based Indian dish is vegan and gluten free. It makes great leftovers, too! Be sure to prep the ingredients in advance, as the recipe moves quickly. Recipe yields 4 bowls.
Recipe adapted with permission from The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon.
*Tame the heat: While chana masala is inherently full of spice, the serrano (or jalapeño) and cayenne pepper are what bring the heat. If you’re sensitive, reduce or omit them both. You can always stir in a pinch of cayenne pepper at the end of cooking if you want more.
**Spice blend note: Garam masala is traditional. If you don’t have it and want to get by without making another trip to the store, you could use tikka masala instead, or perhaps even 1 teaspoon yellow curry powder. Don’t have any of those? I suspect this dish would be nicely flavorful with an added pinch of clove and cardamom, or even nothing at all.
Storage suggestions: This recipe makes for great leftovers! Store the rice, chana masala and garnishes separately for best results. Warm the rice and chana masala together, then garnish with fresh lemon wedges and cilantro. Leftovers should keep well for up to 5 days. I believe you could also successfully freeze the chana masala and rice components for later.
Change it up: Though untraditional, I think this would taste great with a generous splash of coconut milk for some creaminess (it would also mellow the spices somewhat).
Update 3/18/20: The recipe originally called for cumin seeds (1 1/2 teaspoons) instead of ground cumin. I made the switch because ground cumin is easier to find. The recipe called for cooking the cumin seeds in the oil before adding the onion, etc. (Cook for a minute or two, stirring frequently, until the seeds are golden and fragrant. Watch carefully to avoid burning the seeds.)