Vegan Chana Masala


Chana (meaning chickpea) and masala (meaning curry) has to be my favorite Indian curry. During our time in India, we ate this curry with every meal. We shared other curries in order to try something new each time, but, in the end, the chana masala was always the best.


  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 400 g can whole tomatoes
  • 400 g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (see Tip) 2 teaspoons coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus lemon wedges to serve
  • Sea salt
  • Chopped coriander leaves, to serve
  • Steamed basmati rice to serve


  • 2–3 long red chilies, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2–3 cm piece of ginger, roughly chopped 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds


  1. Using a large mortar and pestle, pound the masala curry paste ingredients for about 10 minutes or until you have a smooth paste. (Alternatively, you can use a small food processor.)
  2. Heat a saucepan over medium heat, add the oil and curry paste and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes, then stir through the tomatoes and chickpeas. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes or until reduced to a thick curry.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat, stir through the sugar and lemon juice, then taste and add a little salt, if necessary. Sprinkle the chana masala with coriander and serve with steamed basmati rice or garlic naan on the side and lemon wedges for squeezing over.

The Global Vegan by Ellie Bullen, Published by Plum, RRP $34.99, Photography by Ellie Bullen.

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