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top view close up of chana masala in a white rimmed bowl with fork and yellow napkin

Easy Vegan Chana Masala

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  • Author: Gigi & Sersie
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This Vegan Chana Masala is brimming with flavor! The warm, comforting spices will rouse your taste buds and persuade you to include this meal in your regular rotation. This recipe makes an excellent Friday night dinner or meal-prep dish to portion out and eat later. #chanamasala #healthyveganrecipes #chickpearecipes #danielfastrecipes #vegan #glutenfree #soyfree #oilfree #nooil


Units Scale
  • 1 cup brown rice (preferably brown basmati, but any will work)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and minced
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp (or a pinch) ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 Tbsp coconut aminos (or 1/2 Tbsp regular or reduced-sodium soy sauce)
  • 1 28-oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas (two 15-oz. cans drained)
  • 2 cups chopped baby spinach
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Fresh cilantro for topping


Cooking the Rice

Adding a cinnamon stick to the pot when cooking rice brings a beautiful warm fragrance to the cooked rice. The flavor is very subtle and pairs beautifully with the Chana masala spices.

  1. Rinse the rice in a fine mesh strainer.
  2. If cooking rice in a rice cooker, add 2 cups of water, 1 cup of (rinsed) rice, and a cinnamon stick to the pot and turn it on.
  3. If cooking stovetop, combine 1 cup of brown rice, 2 cups of water, and a cinnamon stick in a large pot. (Note: If your pot has a tight-fitting lid, I recommend using 1-3/4 cups of water since you won't lose as much through evaporation). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let it simmer covered for 35 to 40 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed and evaporated (Note: since stovetops vary, it's a good idea to check it after 25 minutes). When rice is done cooking, uncover and fluff it with a fork.

Making the Chana Masala

  1. While rice is cooking, preheat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add chopped onion and dry sauté for 4 to 5 minutes. Add minced garlic, ginger root, and jalapeno, along with all of the dry spices. Stir to incorporate and cook for a minute or two until fragrant.
  2. Add chickpeas, fire-roasted diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup of water, and aminos. Stir well to incorporate. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Stir in fresh chopped spinach, put the lid on, and allow the spinach to cook for one minute. Just enough to wilt. Remove from the heat and add fresh lemon juice.
  4. Serve the Chana masala over rice and top with fresh cilantro.



  1. Measuring cup
  2. Measuring spoons
  3. Microplane grater/zester
  4. Knife
  5. Cutting board
  6. Large pot with lid or rice cooker (to cook rice)
  7. Large sauté pan with lid
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Lunch/Dinner Entrée
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian