Recipe of the Week | Chana Masala

Chana Masala | Photo Credit Randolph Graham 

This vegan and gluten-free dish is a favorite of my friend Brandy. It is a savory dish of cooked garbanzo beans (chickpeas), onion, garlic, bay leaves and various Indian spices. It gets its heat from small red chiles and although I only use one chile in this recipe, you can add more if you like it hotter.



2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 medium yellow onion (chopped fine)

1½ teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon turmeric

2 bay leaves

1 dried red chile (break in half)

1 cinnamon stick (break in half)

1 clove garlic (minced)

2 plum tomatoes (chopped)

2  15-ounce cans chickpeas (rinsed and drained)

1 tablespoon fresh ginger (grated)

1 cup vegetable broth *

Salt to taste

1 teaspoon garam masala

½ cup cilantro (chopped for garnish)



Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about five minutes. Stir in the coriander, cumin, turmeric, bay leaves, chile, cinnamon, and garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. 

Add the tomatoes and cook until almost dry, about two minutes. Add the chickpeas, ginger, broth, and a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the flavors meld and a thick sauce forms, about 15 minutes. 

Remove and discard the bay leaves, chile, and cinnamon stick. Stir in the garam masala. Garnish with cilantro and serve with a side of rice.

* I don’t care for dry chana masala. If you like it on the dry side, reduce the broth to ½ cup.


Chef Randy’s latest book: Ojai Valley Make Ahead Cookbook on Sale at AMAZON

For additional recipes, see Chef Randy’s website at

Chef Randy has been a vegetarian for over 40 years and eats local and organic grain, fresh fruit, and vegetables as much as possible. He is known locally as the “Healthy Chef.” His column, Chef Randy, is syndicated in California newspapers. See his website at for more recipes.

Visit his author’s page on Amazon for culinary inspiration!  


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