For those of you who’ve never heard of or have never eaten the Indian chickpea dish known as Chana Masala, your lives have been sorely incomplete. It’s a delicious and surprisingly healthy combination of Indian spices, vibrant tomatoes, fresh lemons, and protein-packed chickpeas. I won’t say that this recipe is in any way authentic – because it’s not. This recipe is meant to be a shortcut that still maintains the core flavors of Chana Masala and yet makes it a dish worth adding to the college cook’s repertoire.

It’s a perfect fit for vegetarians and vegans looking to add more high quality protein into their diet – though if you’re still in need of more vegetarian recipes click here. Also, the ingredient list looks daunting – especially the spices – but trust me, investing in some spices will make life so much better. After all, other countries think our food is too bland.

Chana Masala

  • Prep Time:15 minutes
  • Cook Time:15 minutes
  • Total Time:30 minutes
  • Servings:5
  • Medium


  • 2 cans chickpeas
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small knob ginger
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Step 1

    Puree the can of diced tomatoes, garlic, ginger, and jalapeño in a food processor.

    Photo by Sini Choi
    Photo by Sini Choi
  • Step 2

    Fry the onions in a pot with a bit of vegetable oil and salt until completely softened then add spices, tomato mixture, and chickpeas. Simmer for 15 minutes and taste for seasoning.

    Photo by Sini Choi
    Photo by Sini Choi
  • Step 3

    Add the juice of half a lemon and serve with rice.

    Photo by Sini Choi
    Photo by Sini Choi