Project Description

Hier geht’s zur deutschen Version.

Today, I’m sharing Dan’s delicious chana masala with you. The recipe and notes are all his. It’s one of my absolute favourite of the many amazing Indian dishes that he makes. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

If, like me, you often find yourself wanting a curry but feel in the mood for something other than veg, then chickpeas are an excellent place to turn. Key to chana masala is getting the desired chickpea firmness, something which you have much more control over if you boil your own chickpeas after soaking them overnight. This was the first curry I made that includes asafoetida – this spice has a very distinctive aroma, and is quite potent, hence the small amount used here. Initially I refrained from adding coconut milk to my version of chana masala, not wanting to follow too much the standard curry restaurant approach to the dish; however, the creamy texture really does work well. Since the chickpeas come with plenty of this creaminess, this is perhaps a dish especially well-suited to serving with naan bread, which can then be used to dip into and mop up the sauce. Ideally, of course, you’d also have some leftover vegetable curry from a previous evening: chana masala is an excellent accompaniment to the vegetable jalfrezi, for example.  

Serves four with rice or naan. 60 minutes.


  • 3 Tbs sunflower oil
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • ⅛ tsp asafoetida
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 400g tinned tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 Tbs peeled and minced fresh ginger (about a 1-inch piece)
  • 1 Tbs pressed or minced fresh garlic (about 5 cloves)
  • 2 tsp green chilli paste
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 cans (14 ounces each) chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 190 g /1 cup dry chickpeas soaked overnight and then cooked in boiling water for 2 hours)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • A handful of chopped fresh coriander, to serve
  • 1 tsp garam masala, to serve


  1. Heat the sunflower oil (3 Tbs) in a large pan over a high heat and add the mustard seeds (2 tsp), and once crackling add the asafoetida (⅛ tsp). Reduce the heat to medium-high and mix in the chopped onions and fry until transparent and turning golden around the edges. Add chopped tomatoes and cook for further 5 minutes, before adding the ginger, garlic, green chilli paste (2 tsp), turmeric (2 tsp), red chilli powder (1 tsp), coriander (1 tsp), cumin (1 tsp), and salt (½ tsp). Keep stirring and cook for further 5 minutes.

  2. Add the chickpeas to the pan and stir well. Add the coconut milk. Lower the heat and let it simmer for 5–7 minutes. Serve with fresh coriander leaves and garam masala (1 tsp).