Chana Masala a l’Orangette

Jane and I adore Indian cuisine. Lately, Jane's been dabbling a bit in preparing Indian dishes. We bought dried chickpeas in the market last weekend and tonight when I came home there was the unmistakable aroma of something wonderful coming together in our kitchen.

Jane tried the Chana Masala recipe from Orangette's blog. Orangette's not a vegan, but a number of her recipes are vegan-friendly, and she authors one of those food blogs that's a joy to read. This is the first recipe we've tried from her site, but thanks to Tanya of Veggie Love, who pointed it out to us (eons ago).

Unfortunately, the chickpeas took forever to cook, even after soaking almost 24 hours, so dinner wasn't ready for a long, long time. When it was finally ready, neither of us could find the camera, and we were too hungry to continue to look for it, so no picture -- Sorry. But take it from me, if you like Indian cuisine, this recipe is a must try! If you're not much on cooking, there's always the Vegetable Biryani from Trader Joe's. But this Chana Masala is way better!

Next time Jane makes this (with canned chickpeas!!!) we'll be sure to post a photo. Just to further whet your whistle, we both agree, this has been the BEST vegan entree Jane has prepared to date.


  1. Looks like a great recipe. Thanks for passing it on. One tip: if you eat beans often and haven’t already purchased a pressure cooker, the time is now. I can cook black/pinto beans in 40 min, chickpeas in 55-60 and soybeans can only be cooked with a pressure cooker. I don’t usually even soak my beans (I know there are good reasons to but I never know that far in advance what I’m about to cook).

  2. great post, great recipe!
    two hints about cooking beans:
    1)soak them by pouring boiling water over the beans to cover by 2 inches, cover and let stand till beans have swelled to twice their size, then discard the water.
    2)for cooking place in large pot and cover with cold water by 2 inches, bring to boil and skim any foam that comes to the surface. reduce to low and simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours depending on desired firmness.

  3. my pressure cooker is my favorite and most used item in my kitchen. i never soak beans and within 60 – 90 minutes have perfect ones ready to be used.

    any veg kitchen should not be without one. i actually have two.

  4. Thanks guys, looks like I’m buying Jane a pressure cooker!
    Roger — we’ll definitely make note of the cooking times for now. Thanks for the tips.

  5. as once you start using it, you will not stop, do not skimp on one. get one a bit larger than you would think you would need. trust me. i have an old 70s style one and a 3.5 liter kuhn rikon one, which i wish was 5 liter, and why i decided to keep my old one after upgrading.

  6. Well Nadir, I hope you’re right. We have a small kitchen and very little storage space, so whatever appliances we have need to go to “worthy” appliances! You’re probably right about the larger size for us as well. Jane tries to prepare enough food so we’ll have leftovers, either for lunch or dinner.

  7. Hi Tanya,
    No you didn’t, and we really have to say thanks, because neither of us can imagine how we would have stumbled across her site.
    So, thanks again!

  8. Sounds delish! I’m with you though – canned is so much quicker – I couldn’t wait for something so tempting.

    We had a pressure cooker at home, but my memories are of disgusting beef-stew with awful stringy bits — one of the biggest reasons I ended up cutting meat out of my diet. (that and not being able to justify the slaughter of animals, of course).


  9. Hi Kat,
    I am going to try the pressure cooker, when I get around to buying one. (No memories of stringy meat bits here!) It’s just the planning ahead thing… Jane and I are happy enough with the canned chickpeas. If we try the dried ones and they are so much better, then we’ll always want to have the better variety, and there goes the convenience factor!

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