Easy chickpea curry recipe (Chana Masala) – under 30 minutes!


Last Updated on March 9, 2020

For this flexible and simple chickpea curry recipe you just need a saucepan and 30 minutes. We eat this clean eating dish on a regular basis and each time it comes out a bit different dependent on the veggies in my pantry. Sometimes tomatoes are dominating turning it into a red curry sauce also known as chana masala.

easy chickpea curry

On other times bell peppers, sweet potatoes and carrots play the main role resulting in a vegetable and chickpea curry with a tendency to an orange brown color.

chickpea curry

The perfect lazy dinner

Whatever combination you prefer, it is the perfect comfort food or lazy dinner idea, especially if you have convenient chickpea cans in your pantry. Do you also want to know how these powerful legumes can help you with weight management? If yes, then make sure to read till the end of this blog post!

I hear you asking, but Gabi, are canned chickpeas really clean?!

Ok…here is my take on it.

Don’t fall into the dogmatic “clean eating trap”!

There are many different styles of eating right. With my interpretation of clean eating I’m not following a strict rule or a dogma. When you follow a healthy eating theory or dogma rigidly, you’re not aiming to satisfy yourself.

Although the clean eating philosophy is based on unprocessed, wholesome foods, my 80/20 approach to eating clean allows me to take advantage of some nutrient-rich convenience foods. BPA-free canned beans, tomatoes or chickpeas – these items are all worth building into your grocery list.

In this context I love to repeat one of my favorite quotes:

“Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.”

When you use some essential convenience foods in moderation, they add taste appeal and offer cooking shortcuts.

chickpea curry recipe

The 80/20 approach

If you have the time feel free to cook chickpeas from scratch. But most of my readers are busy women over 40 with little time. They prefer quick and easy clean eating meals. A 100% clean chickpea curry would take them over an hour, not counted legume’s soaking time (over 8 hours!) the night before…A 80/20 approach to eating clean prevents busy people from throwing the towel and order a stress free big pizza for dinner instead.

Complicated and time consuming clean eating recipes are one reason why some people can’t stick to healthy cooking habits, crashing their best weight management intentions. Part of my mission on leanjumpstart is to simplify clean eating – that’s why there will always be some room for convenience foods in my recipes too.

easy chickpea curry recipe

How to make the curry spicy for Chana Masala?

Ok, back to the simple chickpea coconut curry recipe. While this one pan dish is quite flexible when it comes to the vegetables I recommend to stick to the suggested spices like garlic, ginger, ground turmeric, cumin and cayenne pepper.

curry spices

In my opinion it is the perfect combination for an incredibly flavorful and subtly spicy meal. If you are used to Indian food and need more heat you can always add some more Cayenne pepper or chili powder. If it is to hot for you just add a cup of water.

To vary this great recipe you could replace all five spices with four teaspoons of garam masala and a bit of lemon juice. This will give the meal a typical Indian touch resulting in the Indian staple “Chana Masala”.

Absolutely loved chickpea curry – a taste revelation

Did you know that chickpeas get even more flavorful if you cook them up again in the sauce? I hope you guys love this gluten-free, vegan chickpea curry! It’s creamy, savory-sweet, vegetable-packed, super satisfying, subtly spiced, delicious – and did I mention that it’s quick and simple too?


Easy chickpea curry (Chana Masala Recipe)

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A lazy soulfood dinner

  • Author: Gabi Rupp
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 30
  • Yield: 2 1x


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) cumin
  • 2 teaspoon (10 ml) ground turmeric or curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) Cayenne pepper
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 2 carrots, cut in cubes or slices
  • 1 (14-ounce/398 ml) BPA-free can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 23 medium tomatoes in cubes (or 1 (14-ounce/398 ml) BPA-free can diced tomatoes, with juices)
  • 1 (14-ounce/398 ml) (light) coconut milk (1 can = 1.5 cups)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • some salt and pepper
  • lime juice for seasoning (optional)


  1. In a large pan, heat the oil over medium heat.
  2. Add cumin and toast for about a minute, until fragrant and lightly darkened in color (be careful not to burn them).
  3. Stir in the onion, season with a pinch of salt, and cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric and Cayenne pepper. Stir to combine and sauté for a couple of minutes, until the garlic softens.
  5. Add the chickpeas, green pepper, carrots, tomatoes with their juices, coconut milk and vegetable broth.
  6. Stir to combine, cover, and let it come to a boil.
  7. Reduce heat and let it simmer over medium high heat for 20 minutes. (Mash a few of the chickpeas and continue to cook)
  8. Season with the salt, pepper and lime juice to taste.


  • Jasmine rice or Basmati rice go very well with curried chickpeas. To maximize nutrients and fiber I prefer to serve it on a bed of cooked whole grains, e.g. brown rice or bulgur.
  • You can store the cooled curry in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month or in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Sprinkle some choppend cilantro over your dish right before serving


  • Serving Size: 3

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Power balls with great health benefits

More good news…These curried chickpeas are not only super yummy but also very healthy. The small “power balls” are members of the legume family which are rich in proteins and fibers. If you eat high fiber meals you feel more satisfied after your meal, which helps manage your weight in the long run. On top of that these legumes contain iron and calcium. By the way, iron deficiency is the most common dietary deficiency in the world.

So, if you think you might have an iron deficiency,  incorporating an easy chickpea tomato curry in your meal plan from time to time might be a great idea.

If you want to take your chickpeas consumption to the next level make sure to eat hummus more often. Click through for the top 25 homemade hummus recipes.

How to follow an undogmatic approach to healthy eating

If you love the clean eating philosophy but prefer an undogmatic approach to healthy eating including cooking shortcuts then make sure to check out my 52 Chef Habits course. This Ecourse is especially for you if you are busy and want to lose weight with a simplified approach to clean eating.

More masala recipes

Garam masala dal


10 thoughts on “Easy chickpea curry recipe (Chana Masala) – under 30 minutes!”

    • You are very welcome Prajakta! Yes, you are right curry recipes are must have for busy people. BTW, I’m also a big fan of chickpeas and could eat them almost each day:)

    • Thank you Catherine, the amount of tomatoes you can vary according to your preferences. I’ve cooked already so many variations of it that I can confirm that this curry tastes delicious even without tomatoes:)


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