Chana Masala (chickpea curry)

Soak your lentils/beans overnight (see notes). Serves 4 served with rice

A versatile dish that can be made with any beans or lentils (Vegan, Gluten Free)


1 cup dried lentils/beans of your choice (see below).

1-2 onions

3-4 cloves garlic

2 cm fresh ginger

1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes

1 T tomato puree

50-100mls coconut milk (halve if using coconut cream).

100-200g spinach

2 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp turmeric

½ tsp dried methi (fenugreek leaves)

2 tsp garam masala

1 bunch fresh coriander (roughly chopped)

This can be made with any sturdy lentil or bean – eg chana dhal, chickpeas, whole lentils, other beans.


  1. Soak the beans overnight. I usually place them in a saucepan, cover in water and bring to boil. Then turn the heat off and leave.
  2. The next morning, drain and rinse. Cover (about an inch of water above the beans) with water, and simmer for 30-120 mins until soft enough. All beans take different lengths of time, and can go from hard to soft within 15 mins! Add an onion, quartered and some veg stock or salt after approx. half an hour of cooking.
  3. At the end of cooking, you can drain and rinse again if you want. The water contains protein and FODMAPs. These can contribute to flatulence and abdominal pain in susceptible people. So, it’s up to you – drain if you are feeding someone with IBS and use the water if not.
  4. Roughly chop the onion and fry until soft in a large saucepan.
  5. Chop, grate or crush the garlic and ginger and add when onions soft.
  6. Cook for another 2-5 mins.
  7. Add the spices except the garam masala, and cook for 5 mins. Stir regularly or it will stick and smoke the kitchen out!
  8. Add the legumes, tomatoes, coconut cream and spinach.
  9. Cook for 5-10 mins.
  10. Taste. Add salt, pepper, veg stock as needed.
  11. Just before serving, add the garam masala and coriander, stir for 2 mins until just mixed/wilted.

This recipe can be modified in all sorts of ways. Use extra veges if you have them. Cauliflower and peas work particularly well.

Add chilli powder if you like it hot, or fresh chilli. If you don’t have separate spices then curry powder is good.

If you don’t have methi or coriander, don’t worry, just leave them out.


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