Chana Masala

Here’s a low-fat, low sodium version of a favorite Indian recipe. A lengthy simmering is what builds complex layers of flavors, and adding basmati rice and chapatis completes the meal perfectly. Ulhaas!

Chana Masala
Serves 4

1/4 cup almonds
2 five-inch pieces ginger, peeled
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 medium yellow onion
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided, plus more to taste
1/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock
2 15.5-ounce cans unsalted chickpeas
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar or honey
1-1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon quality curry powder
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 (16-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1-2 large russet potatoes, parboiled* and cut into 3/4″ cubes
1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas, thawed
1 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems

Naan (Indian flatbread)
Brown basmati rice, cooked

Pulse almonds, ginger, and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add onion and pulse again until finely chopped.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high and add vegetable stock, chopped onion mixture, and pepper. Cook a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened and translucent. Add the chickpeas, tomato paste, sugar, and all spices. Cook, stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 30-45 minutes. Add coconut milk, potatoes, and peas, and cook, stirring occasionally, until warmed through, about 1 minute more.

Remove from heat and stir in lime juice. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Divide among 4 large shallow soup bowls, using the basmati rice as a base under the curry, top with cilantro, and serve with naan.

 Inspired by a recipe on

*To parboil potatoes, cut them in half and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Continue boiling for about 10 minutes. Test potatoes with the tip of a sharp knife–if it goes in with only slight resistance, they’re done.