Thursday nights are always my take-out night. I’ve nearly made it to the weekend and all I want to do is enjoy a really delicious meal and a glass of wine, and my weeknight standard meal just doesn’t usually cut it! I love Indian and Thai cuisine especially, but I was always really intimidated by the thought of trying my hand at it…until I did! My version of chana masala (chickpea curry) is so easy to make, cheaper than takeout, and honestly SO delicious I can hardly believe I made it myself. Not only that, but cooking your own dishes is so much healthier than getting take-out. You can control exactly what goes into it, which is way less fat and salt than what a restaurant would normally use.
Chana masala is a chickpea curry, but it’s just as hearty as any meat dish, and the benefits are endless. Chickpeas are a huge source of dietary fibre (great for heart health) and protein, so you stay feeling full. Some people find chickpeas a little bit bland, so if so, this is the recipe for you to try! I add tons of delicious Indian spices and flavours to brighten up these little beans and pack them full of flavour.
The base of this curry is a tomato sauce. I first soften up some onions and garlic in a pot with all of the spices, and then add the canned tomatoes. Blend it up with a hand-blender to remove some of the chunks but also really meld the flavours together. Add the chickpeas and let stew. Seriously, it’s as easy as that! This can be served with some grilled naan bread (I pick up some on my way home from a local Indian restaurant, but the store-bought stuff is pretty good if you grill it and top with some garlic oil and fresh coriander. I know, I’m cheating a bit. But on a week night, I don’t have time to make fresh naan bread!) or basmati rice. See here for basmati rice cooking method. No need to order in tonight! Enjoy this really simple but super flavourful curry at home and save that cash for your next night out!
This chickpea curry is hearty, packed with flavour, and impossible to stop eating!
- 2 cans chickpeas , rinsed well
- 32 oz jar of crushed or whole tomatoes (unseasoned), about 1 L
- 3 tbsp canola oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 5 cardamom pods , smashed with flat part of knife
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ginger, minced
- 1 serrano chili, minced (can substitute with jalapeño pepper)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 (more) lemon, cut into wedges
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
For grilled naan bread
- Store-bought naan bread *Omit if gluten-free and serve with basmati rice instead. See below for link
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
Combine all dry spices in a bowl (excluding salt)
Place spice mixture in a pot and lightly toast the spices on high heat for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Remove cardamom pods and discard
Add oil and combine well with spices. Let heat for another minute on high heat
Add garlic, and 30 seconds later add onions, ginger, and serrano pepper. Make sure everything is coated with the oil and then place lid on the pot to cook the onions until soft, about 5 minutes
Pour in crushed tomatoes and blend using a hand blender *
Place lid on pot and cook on medium-high heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
Remove lid, add salt and chickpeas. Place lid back on pot and cook for 10 minutes covered, stirring occasionally. Remove lid and taste. Add more salt if need be. Keep the lid off and cook another 10 minutes, stirring once or twice
Remove from heat and add lemon juice
Place in serving dish and garnish with cilantro and lemon wedges. Enjoy!
For grilled (store-bought) naan bread
Combine garlic and olive oil in small bowl, and microwave for 30 seconds. This cooks the garlic a little and also infuses the oil well with the garlic flavour
Place the naan on the grill for about 1 minute per side, or until grill marks show
Remove and lightly brush with oil mixture
Garnish with coriander and enjoy!
*If you do not have a hand blender, no problem! You can combine the tomatoes, garlic, ginger, onion and hot pepper in a food processor or blender before cooking so that you’re not pouring burning hot stuff into your blender. Add the wet ingredients to the pot after toasting the spices with the oil.