Chana Masala

Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey via Smitten Kitchen

Serves 4 to 6

The outstanding spices in this make it one of the top vegetarian dishes we cook. We like it best with a lot of different vegetables added, making it as beautiful as it is good for you.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, minced
  • 1 medium carrot chopped
  • 1 small bell pepper large chop
  • 1 zucchini slice into thick half moons
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 fresh, hot green chili pepper, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (I used a quarter of this because my cayenne is extremely hot)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1 tablespoon amchoor powder*
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 cups tomatoes, chopped small or 1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas or 1 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 Tbs cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 lemon (juiced)*

Heat oil in a large skillet on high heat. Add the bell pepper and cook hot and fast so it gets a little browning, but is still crispy. Remove and set aside.

Add onion, carrot, garlic, ginger and serrano and sauté over medium heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Turn heat down to medium-low and add the coriander, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, cumin seeds, amchoor (if using it), paprika and garam masala. Cook onion mixture with spiced for a minute or two, then add the tomatoes and any accumulated juices, scraping up any bits that have stuck to the pan. Add the water and chickpeas. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.

While simmering, season the zucchini slices. Heat a pat of butter or a little oil in a fry pan and cook the zucchini in a single layer, browning the outside, but not cooking them to mush. Remove and set aside.

When the chickpeas are done simmering, stir in salt, lemon juice, bell peppers, zucchini and cilantro. Serve over rice.

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