Easy Channa Masala



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This chickpea channa masala is a healthier version of the classic Indian dish. Serve with brown rice and vegetables for a flavorful meal that’s packed with plant-based protein.

Today’s post makes me incredibly happy for a couple reasons. One, my good friend (both online and in real life), Gina of The Fitnessista, has a new book out! I’m so pumped for her. And two, there’s healthy Indian food involved.

Hello there channa masala.

Channa Masala served with brown rice on white plate and colorful placemat.

Back to that deliciousness soon, first let me tell you more about Gina’s new book. It’s titled HIIT It! and in the intro of the book Gina says, “This isn’t a ‘diet book’ and it’s not a workout book. Though I hope you find new diet strategies and tons of new workouts, the goal is to help you create the best lifestyle for YOU.” I think those two sentences explain the book and Gina’s approach to living a healthy lifestyle quite well.

Channa Masala served with brown rice on white plate and colorful placemat.

I’ve had the book for a couple weeks now and tried a few of the recipes including the channa masala.

Isaac and I love Indian food so when I saw channa masala in the recipe section I jumped at the chance to make it. We eat Indian out often (Lehja is our favorite spot), but we don’t cook it at home much because for some reason Indian cuisine seems kind of intimidating to me. Maybe all the spices!? That said, Gina’s recipe was really easy, took less than 20 minutes and tasted delish! Oh, and the recipe made a ton. We took a portion to our NYE party to share with everyone and still had leftovers for healthy meals over the next couple days. It was great. Definitely a must-try recipe.

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4.34 from 3 votes

Channa Masala

This chickpea channa masala is a healthier version of the classic Indian dish. Serve with brown rice and vegetables for a flavorful meal that’s packed with plant-based protein. Vegan.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings


  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, optional
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 14-16 oz cans of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 1 28 oz can of peeled tomatoes
  • juice of one lemon
  • for serving: steamed vegetables, rice, or quinoa


  • In a large saute pan, cook the onions, garlic and ginger on medium heat in a little olive oil or butter until translucent.
  • Next, add the spices (cumin, turmeric, coriander, garam masala, cayenne, salt and pepper) and use a wooden spoon to stir and coat the onion/garlic mixture.
  • Add in the chickpeas and tomatoes, reducing the heat to low. Use a spoon or spatula to break up the tomatoes into the mixture. Allow to cook on low for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the stove and sever over steamed vegetables, brown rice or quinoa.


Tip: This mixture freezes extremely well! It’s also delicious cooked in the slow cooker. I add a bunch of vegetables (chopped zucchini, squash, carrots) to the mixture and add the beans right before serving (since they’re fully cooked and turn into mush when cooked for too long). Set it on low for four hours and enjoy an Indian-spiced veggie dinner.


Serving: 1/6 recipe without rice or vegetables | Calories: 270kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 5g | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Channa Masala
Did you make this recipe?Mention @eatingbirdfood and tag #eatingbirdfood!

If you’re looking for new workout ideas, recipes or a little extra motivation this January, be sure to check out HIIT It! Learn more about it here and/or buy directly from Barnes & Noble or Amazon.

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

More about Brittany
Chicken fajita filling on a sheet pan with a wooden spoon. Tortillas are resting on the bottom of the sheet pan.
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Recipe Rating


  1. Yum! This looks so good! That book looks amazing too? Does it have plans it in or just exercises! I love HIIT, it is definitely effective. Thanks for the review.

  2. Yum! You know I love Channa Masala 🙂 And that book looks good! That might be a good January motivator to get back into a regular workout routine!

  3. Delicious! Thank you for sharing!

    [note: you forgot to mention when to add the lemon juice. I added it at the same time as the chick peas and the tomatoes and it came out great!]

  4. 4 stars
    Lots of flavor! I will make it again, but I’ll probably use crushed tomatoes so there’s a little more sauce. I did try to break apart the tomatoes a bit, but texture-wise, I didn’t get the tomato chunks small enough for my preference.

  5. 4 stars
    I tried this recipe last night and it turned out great! I did need to make a few tweaks though… at the end, my mixture seemed too liquidy so I simmered it to reduce it down for awhile until it got to be the thickness I wanted. My sauce ended up being very acidic, I think it was the canned tomatoes that I used (store brand) probably weren’t the best or that my lemon was large and pretty ripe so maybe it yielded more juice than the recipe intended. So at the end I added some coconut sugar a little bit at a time until it balanced out. I am not sure how much I ended up adding since I did it gradually, stirring and tasting, but I would guess it was upwards of two tablespoons. At the end, I also stirred in a tablespoon of butter. It turned out amazing! I served it over brown rice. This was my first time trying to cook indian at home and you made it so easy and approachable! Thank you Brittany! This recipe will definitely be in rotation.

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