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The Lip-Smacking Dish Of Chana Masala & The Spices of India

Chana Masala is an authentic North Indian Punjabi dish that is also popular in Pakistan. The word chana means chickpea in Hindi; it is a legume that is the main focus of the meal. Chickpeas are a great source of protein, dietary fiber, folate, and zinc. Since they are low in fat, they can help lower cholesterol. Channa masala or Chana masala recipe also features tomatoes which are a great source of vitamins A, C, k, folate, and potassium and have been known to reduce the risk of different cancers. Rick stein once claimed chana masala is probably ‘the most popular vegetarian curry in India.’ it is the kind of food that tastes like home whether you are in Delhi or Vancouver. Find this delicious dish at Indian restaurants in Vancouver.

The spices in this Indian dish are what boasts some incredible health benefits. Turmeric, prevent the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Ginger being high in potassium proves to be great for heart health, and so good for skin and hair. Cumin is a prominent spice used in most north Indian dishes; it is an excellent source of iron and helps with indigestion, diarrhea, nausea, and stomachache. Coriander is another commonly used spice that is an excellent source of minerals like calcium and potassium, and it also has anti-inflammatory properties.

Indian Spices - Sula Indian Restaurant

Ginger, garlic, green chilly paste are the holy trinity at the root of every chana masala. Channa masala or Chana Masala is so famous and loved so much by the Indians that it is even sold by the street vendors around Northern and western Indian states. This dish has many variations of its own, depending on the regions they come from. Aloo chole is a Pakistani variation of the dish which is made with potatoes and chickpeas. Another version is from Lahore that is called murgh cholay/chole; it consists of chicken and chickpeas.

Whether you want to eat a snack, main meal, or even breakfast, chana masala mostly goes for it all, and you can find it in any Indian food restaurant easily. This tangy chickpea curry is undoubtedly the most popular vegetarian dish in India. This Indian dish holds its own importance in the Indian’s heart. A Mumbai-based chef stated that ‘most Indian households have their own take on it.’ This popular dish is hawked with zest on Indian railway platforms, even served up in quantity by work and school canteens and it also has made its way to the catering menu of wedding ceremonies and other festive occasions.

Recipe to the delicious Chana Masala:


1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 onions, minced

1/4 inch fresh ginger, minced

1 tbsp garlic paste

2 teaspoons of ground cumin

1 1/4 teaspoons of chili powder

2 teaspoons of ground coriander

1 1/4 teaspoon of ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/4 teaspoon of garam masala

1 teaspoon of coconut sugar

114.5-ounce can of tomatoes

214.5-ounce cans of chickpeas

1/4 cup water

5.7-ounces of coconut cream

Prep time: 30 minutes


Note: If you are preparing the dish from scratch, you have to keep the Chana (Chickpea) soaked in water overnight to prepare it the next day.

Step 1: Start with keeping a large wok/pan onto the stove on medium flame, and add oil

Step 2: Once the oil is heated, add the minced onions and ginger then fry them for about 2-4 minutes.

Step 3: Then add the fried onion and ginger mixture into a blender and blend it until it’s smooth. Once done, pop it back into the wok/pan.

Step 4: Now add garlic paste to it and stir it well. Then add cumin, chili powder, ground coriander, turmeric, garam masala, black pepper, salt, and coconut sugar then mix it all together.

Step 5: Once it’s mixed well, add tomatoes and chickpeas to the mixture and stir to coat. If you find the mixture to be too thick, you can add in 1/4 cup of water.

Step 6: Then add in the coconut cream and cook for about 20-25 minutes on low/medium heat covered with a lid by stirring it frequently.

Step 7: Turn the stove off and enjoy the dish with naan or rice. Put a lid on it and reheat it whenever needed. Curries like these reheat very well.

Garam Masala: It is a blend of ground spices, and thus varies from region to region. However, the typically authentic Indian version of Garam Masala consists of black and white peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, black and white cumin seeds, and black, brown, and green cardamom seeds. It is prevalent in North Indian cuisine and readily available in the spice aisle of most grocery stores.

Naan: Naan is leavened, oven-baked flatbread. It is quite popular in South, West, and Central Asia. Sula Indian serves a variety of Indian naans which you would love to try.

There’s no better way to learn about different countries than by preparing one of their traditional dishes. And now you have your take on the most popular vegan dish of the subcontinent. However, it is tough to find the core of the recipe since it has so many regional variants. But the good start is always about getting the basics right!