This recipe is an easy vegan Chana Masala recipe that requires:
- no chopping (i.e. no chopping ginger, garlic, onion, tomatoes)
- no soaking/cooking chickpeas
- no waiting for oil to separate (you know what I am talking about!!)
The internet is filled with ideas for super tasty chana masala and I admit there are some really good ones I admire. But, let’s be honest – most require lots of lavish love and attention – browning the onions, simmering the sauce, etc…
Ever wake up in the morning, look at the clock and worry how you are going to make breakfast, get the kids ready, pack lunch, walk the dog, shower, get dressed and make it in time to work? – What is that?? Oh, that describes your every single day. Add remembering to soak chickpeas previous night, pressure cooking them, peeling garlic, chopping onions, closing the lid, stir, open lid again, repeat process – Oh the drama!! Oh, the tension!! 🙂
There are many advancements to food technologies that cut our slog time in the kitchen. Yes, these time-saving products exist – and no they are not all bad or filled with preservatives. Question is – are we (especially Indians with our tendency to worship at the altar of dishes made from scratch) ready to accept them?
Here’s a simple chana masala recipe that will be ready within 10 minutes. But, before the recipe, a small detour ‘nerd-ing’ out about the spices/process. Feel free to skip straight to the recipe if you are all like: “gimme the goods lady, e’nuf with the extra info!!”
Here’s my flavor buildup for this easy chana masala recipe:
- First canned chickpeas. It is chana masala, after all!! Look at the ingredients. All clean, this one does not even have added salt!!
- Frozen cubes of ginger garlic paste – added usually whenever there is a stew-like dish. Adds immense flavor to the broth
- Dried Onions + canned pureed tomatoes – Forms the base of the stew, gets sweetness from the onions, and acidity from tomatoes
- Coriander powder – mostly added whenever there is an acidic component in the dish. It grounds the acidity and also thickens the sauce.
- Kashmiri Chili powder – Adds heat (this is a mild heat) to counterbalance the blandness of the bread the dish is eaten with.
- Chana/Chhole Masala powder – This is an amalgam of garam masala, coriander powder and extra tartness in a packaged format ( amchur powder, anardhana powder, black salt, etc).
Tip – If you don’t have chana masala powder, don’t sweat it – just grind tiny amounts of cardamom, clove, cinnamon and fennel seeds in a coffee grinder. Add this powder instead of chana masala in the recipe and top off with 1 tsp of pomegranate molasses and 1 tsp of cashew butter. It will be bloody delicious, trust me!!
Vegan Chana Masala ready within 10 minutes (No chopping, no waiting)Course: RecipesCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Easy
1 can chickpeas
1 cube frozen ginger
1 cube frozen garlic
3 Tbsp dried onion
3 Tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp kashmiri chili powder (this is a mild chili powder with a great color)
1 Tbsp Chhole Masala
2 Tbsp oil
- Add oil to a pan. Set it on on low-medium heat. Add frozen cubes of ginger and garlic to oil. As the oil heats up, the frozen cubes start to dissolve in the oil. *
- Keeping the oil still at low flame, add the dried onion and saute until it reaches a nice brown.
- Add tomato sauce and add the coriander and chili powder to the tomato sauce. Give it a good stir.
- Add the Chhole Masala (if not available, subst with garam masala + 1 tsp pomegranate molasses)
- Give it a stir for about 30 seconds until the sauce comes together, the spices are cooked and the oil has seperated. *
- Add the canned chickpeas (water and all) to the pan. Increase the heat to high.
- Add salt. Close the lid and let the sauce come to a boil for a full minute.
- If you add frozen ginger garlic cubes to hot oil, it will splutter everywhere and burn quickly. Same with dried onion.
- The tomato sauce needs very little time compared to actual tomatoes or pureed fresh tomatoes, since it has already been reduced to a saucy consistency in the factory and you don’t have to wait for the plant cell walls to break down.
Say it with me – Tasty Indian dishes like Chana Masala do not have to be complicated!! Using pre-processed (yet good quality and pure) ingredients, we have shortened the time for making this dish to a mere 10 minutes.
I hope this ‘Vegan Chana Masala recipe ready within 10 minutes’ sparks some ideas or conversations about cutting down cooking time in your kitchen. Do you do some of this already? Chime in with your thoughts, I am curious to hear them.