Channa Masala Vol 1 (the tomatoey one)

Iv’e got two different versions of channa masala that I like to make. Today’s recipe is a tomato based channa masala. It makes use of all those spice basics we have in our cupboard as well as the garam masala I know you made 😉

This one is best served with warm parathas or puris as a brunch dish. But is equally delish served with rice for lunch or dinner. I also enjoyed the leftovers as a veggie roll – just spread some of the warmed channa masala on a heated roti or paratha, top with some yogurt or raita, a sprinkle of my tangy spice mix add a bit of lettuce or baby spinach, roll & eat!

The key to delicious channa masala is to really let the flavours develop by letting it cook low and slow. The longer the better. This recipe takes about 30 mins to make. So this is great for a meal prep dish to make once and have ready to eat throughout the week.

Channa Masala – Tomato Based

A spicy and tangy tomato based channa masala – a great vegetarian brunch or dinner option.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Course: Brunch, Main Course
Keyword: gluten free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4


  • 2 fresh tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp oil ( I use avocado oil)
  • 2-3 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1-2 dried whole red chillis
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp corriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped (I use jalapeno)
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala


  • Start by blending the tomato, onion and garlic till smooth.
  • Heat a large pan or wok over medium heat and add the curry leaves, cumin seeds, cinnamon, and whole red chillies. (Pro tip: crush the chillies gently in between your fingers before adding to the pan to help release more flavour).
  • Once the cumin seeds start sputtering (about 1-2 mins) add the tomato onion puree and cook for 5-7 mins, stirring often. The liquid will evaporate and it will develop a deeper colour.
  • Add the remaining spices (tumeric, chilli powder, corriander powder, cumin powder, salt and black pepper. Stir fry a few more mins till the spices release some flavour (they should get nice and fragrant).
  • Add the chopped chillis, chickpeas and water. Stir and turn the heat to medium low. Allow to simmer for 20 mins. The liquid will reduce by half and thicken a bit. If you find the liquid is reducing too fast, add a bit more water to allow the chickpeas to soften as they cook.
  • When done, the chickpeas will be easy to mush against the side of the pan with the back of your spoon. Do this a few times to get some of the chickpeas to break up and thicken the curry.
  • Add more salt to taste, and the garam masala.
  • Serve warm with paratha or rice.

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