Chana masala

The guardian has a great recipe for chickpea and tomato curry.


  1. 450g drained cooked chickpeas (or 200g dried, soaked overnight then cooked in fresh water until tender)
  2. 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  3. 1 tsp cumin seeds
  4. 1 large onion, finely chopped
  5. 6 garlic cloves
  6. 25g root ginger
  7. 30g fresh coriander
  8. 2-4 green chillies, finely chopped, seeds and all
  9. 1 tbsp ground coriander
  10. 1-2 tsp chilli powder
  11. 1 tsp ground turmeric
  12. 400g tin of plum tomatoes, mashed
  13. 1.5 tsp fine salt
  14. 1 tsp garam masala (to make your own)
  15. 1 tbsp lemon juice


Put the drained chickpeas in a pan and add 500ml water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes then drain, retaining the cooking water.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pan over a medium heat and when hot, add the cumin seeds. Fry until aromatic, stirring, then add the onion and turn the heat down. Cook until golden brown, stirring regularly. Meanwhile use a pestle and mortar or stick blender to mash the garlic, ginger, 25g fresh coriander and chillies into a paste.

Put this into the pan and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring so it doesn’t catch, then add the ground coriander, chilli power and turmeric (and a splash more oil if necessary) and cook for a couple more minutes.

Stir in the mashed tomatoes, chickpeas and their cooking water and salt. Bring to a lively simmer, then turn down the heat to medium low and cook for 20 minutes or until thickened.

Stir in the garam masala and lemon juice, then allow to cool slightly before serving scattered with the remaining coriander leaves.


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