Chickpeas are a great meat-free option for mealtimes and have various health benefits such as aiding weight management and improving digestion.
Chickpea curries can be enjoyed by everyone including vegetarians and vegans. In fact, South Asian cuisine is a popular goto for when meat is not on the menu. With the diverse culinary history of the Indian subcontinent that has been influenced by people of many walks of life including those who do not eat meat as part of their religion or culture, there is a vast array of vegetarian dishes on offer throughout countries such as India and Pakistan.
Here is a delicious recipe for a quick and simple chickpea curry, also known as channa masala, which is suitable for vegans and packed with healthy protein, vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Chana masala can be served as a side dish or a main dish and is made with a deliciously tangy, tomato-based curry sauce.
480g Cooked chickpeas (2x 400g tins, drained) you can also use dried chickpeas that have been soaked overnight with ½ tsp of bicarbonate of soda, then rinsed and boiled in salted water.
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 inch Cassia bark or cinnamon stick
1 Whole dried red chilli
1 Whole green chilli
1 tbsp Cooking oil (Such as olive, coconut or sunflower oil)
2 Medium-sized onions (finely chopped)
1 tsp Garlic (crushed into a paste)
1 tsp Ginger (crushed into a paste)
1 tsp Himalayan pink salt (or cooking salt)
¼ tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Red chilli powder
1 tsp Coriander powder
3 Tomatoes (peeled and chopped) half a tin of chopped tomatoes can also be used.
½ Lemon (juiced)
Garam Masala powder for seasoning
Chopped fresh coriander leaves
1. Heat the saucepan or pressure cooker and gently toast the cumin seeds, whole dried red chilli, and cassia bark until aromatic, ensuring not to overcook them as this will spoil the flavour.
2. Add the oil, whole green chilli, and finely sliced onions to the pan and sauté until the onions start to turn golden brown.
3. Add the ginger and garlic paste and continue to sauté for another minute.
4. Add the chopped tomatoes along with the salt, turmeric, red chilli powder, coriander powder and ½ cup of water then cover with the lid. Using just tinned tomatoes or adding a teaspoon of tomato puree along with the fresh tomatoes will give your curry sauce a richer flavour as well as making it redder in colour.
5. Lower the heat and allow to simmer until the tomatoes soften into a paste when stirred. If using a cooking pot, you may need to add more water to avoid burning the sauce, with a pressure cooker you may not need it.
6. Add the precooked chickpeas and heat through until piping hot.
7. Garnish with the freshly chopped coriander leaves and a sprinkle of lemon juice and garam masala.
This delicious North Indian inspired curry can be served with boiled rice, naan bread or chapatti (which is also known as roti).
If you enjoyed the above recipes, check out more of our Pakistani recipes such as:
Aaloo Paratha - A pan-fried flatbread with a spicy potato stuffing.
Chicken Curry - A simple yet authentic recipe for a Pakistani style chicken curry; known as Murghi ka Salan.
Meat Curry - A homemade Pakistani inspired meat curry recipe which is suitable for lamb, mutton or beef.
Red Lentil Curry - A super simple to make, yet wholesome recipe for a Punjabi style red split lentil curry; known as Masoor dhal.
Kashmiri Kidney Bean Curry - A classic dish from Kashmir, known as Rajma, made with kidney beans cooked in a yoghurt sauce.