Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

Easy Peasy Indian Chickpea Curry


Trader Joe’s Palak Paneer is the puréed spinach with Indian spices and a soft paneer cheese dish pictured below. (P.S. I would totally buy this again), and it pairs so perfectly well with whole wheat naan and this Indian Chana Masala. It’s spiced, has a little heat and is balanced with the palak paneer. Grab some naan with dipping or scooping or serve it over rice, and you have a filling, meatless dish.

Ingredients (serves 4 with 1 c servings).

  • 2 t coconut oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 can (13.5 oz) diced tomatoes, no salt added and drained
  • Spices:
    • 1 t chili powder
    • 1 t paprika
    • 1½ t ground cumin
    • 1½ t chili powder
    • 1 t ground turmeric
    • 1/8 t garlic powder
    • 1/2 t ground ginger
    • 1/16 black pepper *
    • 1/16 t ground cinnamon *
    • 1/16 ground cardamom *
    • 1/16 t ground cloves *
    • 1/4 ground nutmeg *
  • 1 can (13.5 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 c light coconut milk
  • 1/2 serrano pepper, minced
  • 1 lemon wedge (1/6 of lemon), juiced
  • Salt to taste

* NOTE: if you have garam masala, omit starred spices and add 1 tsp garam masala. I didn’t have the spices to make it, so I improvised and the result was still pretty great. Also, authentic chana masala has coriander and fresh cilantro leaves. I made this on a whim so feel free to add either to taste.


  1. Heat a large skillet or pan over medium heat and add oil until melted. Add drained tomatoes and onions. Reduce to low heat and simmer for 8-10 min or until tomatoes have thickened and onions are tender.
  2. Stir in spices and chickpeas until spices are well distributed.
  3. Pour in coconut milk and keep curry at a simmer for another 4-5 min. Add finely minced serrano peppers during or after this step depending on your spice level. Remove seeds if you want less heat.
  4. Mix in fresh lemon juice and salt to taste.
  5. Serve as is, over rice — white, brown or cauliflower — or with naan. Serve with other Indian dishes like Trader Joe’s Palak Paneer (the spinach dish pictured below).
  6. Enjoy!

Adapted from Minimalist Baker‘s “Chana Masala.”




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