Chana Masala – Best Vegan Recipe

Last week, Jane made Chana Masala for the first time. It's a blend of spices and onion and tomato forming a delicious sauce, and chickpeas are added to that. It was really good, but Jane used dried chickpeas, and the cooking time in the recipe reflected the use of canned chickpeas. Even though Jane had soaked the beans overnight, they took forever to cook, and we were starving. So when it reached a point where we couldn't wait any longer, we ate the dish, crunchy chickpeas and all.

We had some good comments from Todd, Roger, and Nadir all highly recommending pressure cookers. It's a purchase we plan on making, but in the mean time, we used the canned chickpeas the original recipe (at Orangette's blog) called for.

If you like Indian food at all, try this recipe. You'll love it! We do; it's our all time favorite vegan meal.  Jane made double the recipe, so we'll have it for dinner tomorrow too (yay). Tomorrow she'll serve it with rice, and our requisite green salad.  Tonight we had whole wheat tortillas.  Oh, and we use vegan sour cream in place of the yogurt Orangette recommends.

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  1. I’ve got this down in my list of things to try soon – I know that a recommended recipe from your site means it just has to be good!

  2. I love hummus, but since moving to Spain I have been forced to make my own. I tried tinned chickpeas with loads of recipes but hated all the results, but then…once I started making it with chickpeas that I had soaked, boiled and then frozen afterwards it was a revelation!! So easy! But yeah, you do need to be organised to do it, but it’s totally worth it- you no longer have to work with that gooey, slimy stuff from a jar/tin!

  3. Xiane — Ditto! 🙂

    Virtude – Really? Jane makes our hummus with canned chickpeas and I can’t get enough of the stuff.

    Why do you freeze your chickpeas after boiling them — for convenience?

    Having said that, we’ve heard from a number of our readers suggesting that dried chickpeas are far superior to the canned ones. So here’s a question: if we’re happy with the inferior stuff, should we teach our tastebuds to like the more complicated product instead, and then be unhappy if we don’t plan ahead? 😉

  4. Lane- I hear you with the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” and I probably would never have even tried the soak,boil,freeze method had it not been for how horrible my first home-made hummus attempts were (and the fact that you can’t buy it here). But that first time I whizzed up a little batch and I saw the beautiful, pale creamy hummus I was instantly converted, so the extra effort I go to is worth it.
    And yes the frozen thing is for convenience.

    As for your last question, it’s a big “Yes” from me. I’m not 100% vegan (yet) but I’m confident that by constantly improving my cooking and including more new (and sometimes complicated) products/methods I’ll get there, and I won’t want to go back to former, and perhaps easier, eating habits.

  5. Hi Virtude,

    Okay, so now lets see if the chef is interested! But I’m truly surprised that your canned chickpeas were that bad… We seem to be a little pickier than most folks (I like to say discerning), and we don’t have a problem with them at all. I wonder if there’s a difference among the various brands? I think we’re using S&W brand.

    Between your comments and the comments on our last post about this meal, we will absolutely give the dried chickpeas another chance.

  6. Hi Lisa,
    That is quite the coincidence. I hope I haven’t built it up too much. But really, we truly love this. I had leftovers for lunch today and one of my co-workers who hails from India, poked his nose around the corner and asked me about my meal. He was so impressed that Jane had made it. He said it smelled really authentic. I would have let him try some, but I’d already finished.

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