Whether it is Chickpea Masala or Chickpea Curry or Chana Masala, you are actually talking about the same thing. Our recipe is definitely one for beginners, who is a bit afraid of strong spices or hot sauce but still would like to experience a mild and easy Indian curry sauce dish. We use similar Indian spices as the authentic recipe, but slightly milder in taste as my wife also doesn’t like too spicy and too hot dishes.
What is chickpea masala anyway?
Chickpea masala is a popular dish that originates from the traditional Indian cuisine, where masala means curry. Depending on which chickpea a recipe uses you may have come across two versions: Chana or Chole. The traditional version typically includes among others onion, garlic, tomato, coriander, hot chili, ginger, dried mango powder, and garam masala. Here is a link, if you’re interested in trying an authentic Chana Masala recipe or chickpea curry recipe with coconut (Kerala Kadala).
What are the ingredients of our easy chickpea masala?
What I always say is that if you have a tasty sauce or base recipe, you can just look into the fridge and throw any vegetables you like in them, for example, broccoli and mushroom. This Indian curry sauce recipe is an ideal dish to have a quick dinner for weekdays under 30 min. By the way, this recipe is also part of our Quick Vegan Meals collection.
And yes we know the authentic Chickpea Masala recipe doesn’t have anything else but chickpeas in it. However, we think that you can enjoy it with broccoli and mushrooms too. Not to mention, you can also try this recipe with cauliflower or leafy greens or potato or pumpkin instead. Endless possibilities and combinations.
Now let’s talk about the Indian curry sauce. I used tomato sauce (unsweetened unseasoned tomato puree) as a base and added mixed curry spice, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, sweet paprika powder, and cumin (all included in McCormick Everyday Essentials Pack). If you are new to Indian food, don’t be skeptical, these spices are a great match. None of them overpowers the others or the veggies in this meal. In the end, it will be like a mild chickpea tomato curry.
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How to make chickpea masala?
This recipe is really just a one-pot India curry sauce recipe with vegetables for busy weekdays. All you need to do is cook the broccoli, the mushroom and the canned chickpeas in the tomato cream sauce and they are ready to be served.
Step 1 – Cook the vegetables for the curry
Start with onion, garlic, then broccoli, and mushroom. I hate mushy veggies, so I always leave the broccoli a bit crunchy. This way you have something to bite on and enjoy the different textures.
Step 2 – Make the Indian curry sauce
Add the tomato sauce (unsweetened unseasoned tomato puree) and all spices: mixed curry spice, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, sweet paprika powder, and cumin (all included in McCormick Everyday Essentials Pack). Simmer the sauce on medium heat for approx. 10 minutes. You can already smell the different spices.
Step 3 – Turning your meal into a chickpea masala
When the broccoli reached the desired crunchiness and the mushrooms are also soft and spongy, you can add the canned chickpeas.
If you prefer to use dry chickpeas, be sure to soak and cook them beforehand. As this is a quick under 30 minutes recipe, the soaked chickpeas will not be ready just by cooking in the tomato sauce.
Final step – Get your Indian curry sauce even milder
I also added vegan cooking cream for even milder flavors for my wife and for any newcomers to Indian cuisine :). See how the sauce changed color from red to orange? Your easy chickpea curry is ready in exactly 1 minute.
Serve it with rice. Good appetite! I hope you will enjoy it!
This Chickpea Masala recipe is vegan, vegetarian, nut-free and WFPB-friendly (whole foods plant-based) if you skip the frying. However, it is only gluten-free if you pay attention to what kind of curry spice mix you use. I use certified gluten-free Fuchs Curry Mix, but on Amazon, I found that McCormick’s Curry mix is available. It is not labeled as gluten-free, but here is a letter from McCormick about how they label their spices.
If you try this recipe, let us know. Leave a comment and rate it below.
Shop this recipe
Wok | Canned chickpeas | Tomato sauce | Vegan cooking cream | McCormick Everyday Essentials (including Ground Cinnamon, Cumin, Cayenne, Turmeric, Ginger, Chili Powder, Curry Powder, and Sweet Paprika)
What more you need to try it? If you’re ready, watch this short video:
Easy Chickpea Masala with Broccoli and Mushroom
- Chop onion and garlic. Cut broccoli and mushroom into smaller pieces.
- Preheat a wok or a frying pan at medium heat and add olive oil. Start with adding the onions. Once it's almost sauteed you can add the chopped garlic cloves. Sautee them together for a minute.
- Add chopped broccoli and mushroom and fry them for a couple of minutes stirring continuously.
- Add tomato sauce and pour hot water until vegetables are covered.
- Right after, add all seasoning: sweet paprika powder, curry, turmeric, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. The amounts of spices I used will result in a medium intense curry flavor.
- Now simmer on medium heat (not boiling) the broccoli and the mushroom in the sauce. As we prefer broccoli to stay a bit crunchy, we cook them for approx. 10 mins.
- When you like the texture of the broccoli, you can add the canned chickpeas and dairy-free cooking cream and bring it to boil. The chickpeas don't really need to be cooked as they are canned and ready to eat.
- Serve them with rice. Good appetite!