Vegan Chana Masala (Easy)

Vegan Chana Masala :: As a child and even in to my early 20’s, I had not been exposed to Indian food. Boy, was I missing out! By the time I actually tried it, I was vegetarian. A dish with chickpeas, was of course, my first experience.

Chana Masala is the perfect starter dish for Indian food in my opinion.

You get a pleasant introduction in to Indian spices without the dish being too spicy or overpowering.

Why I call my recipe easy…

The traditional ingredients and instructions of a Chana Masala are incredible but a bit more time consuming. When first starting on my vegan journey, spices became an investment and a fun way to experiment with flavors. If a recipe required a whole spice as opposed to a ground version, I didn’t want to have to take the time to grind or toast it. Same with the beans. I preferred canned because of the convenience.

It shouldn’t be hard to see where I’m going with this.

Easy means…

We’re using ground spices in place of chopping onion, ginger and garlic–and in place of grinding whole seeds. Chickpeas (aka Garbanzo Beans) are canned as well as the tomatoes and green chilies.

Let’s get to it!

Vegan Chana Masala (Easy)

Recipe by Jen HortonCourse: DinnerCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time





The perfect ease and introduction to Indian Spices with a slight spice and tangy creaminess. A healthy vegan chickpea dish.


  • coconut oil, 1 tbsp

  • ginger, ground 1/2 tsp

  • onion powder, 2 tbsp

  • coriander, ground 1 tsp

  • cayenne powder, 1/4 tsp

  • cumin powder, 3/4 tsp

  • chili powder, 1/2 tsp

  • salt, 1/4 tsp

  • green chilies, 4 oz canned

  • water, 1/4 cup

  • chickpeas (garbanzo beans), 29 oz or 2 15 oz cans drained and rinsed

  • diced or crushed tomatoes, 28 oz (use fire roasted if you can)

  • coconut milk, canned 3/4 cup

  • lemon juice, 2 tbsp

  • salt, 1 tsp

  • cilantro, 1/4 cup chipped


  • In a small bowl, measure and combine all of your ground/powder spices; including 1/4 tsp salt.
  • Over medium/low heat, melt the coconut oil in a large frypan or skillet.
  • Add spices to the pan. Immediately whisk the spices in to the coconut oil. This will create a paste. Let cook for a minute or so until they release their aroma.
  • Whisk in the water.
  • Add green chilies, tomatoes and chickpeas. Mix well.
  • Turn heat up to medium–bring to a light simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes. Stir often especially towards the end of the 20 minutes. The liquid will have evaporated some making the mix thicker.
  • Turn off the burner. Add coconut milk, lemon juice and last 1 tsp of salt. Mix well. Taste for additional seasoning.
  • Serve warm. Also delicious the next day!


  • Traditionally served with rice. Also delicious alongside roasted vegetables or with spinach mixed in.
  • For an even tangier taste, use unsweetened plain vegan yogurt instead of the coconut milk.

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