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
  • 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
  • Step 3

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

    Photo by Sini Choi