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Chana Masala Feature

Easy Vegan Chana Masala (Gluten-Free)

The Pesky Vegan
This vegan chana masala is spicy, hearty, and comforting. Nutritious chickpeas and a flavourful base combine for a simple, healthy, and gluten-free curry.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Gluten-free, Indian, Vegan
Servings 4
Calories 324 kcal


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or other cooking oil)
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 1-2 fresh chillies, finely sliced (more or less depending on how you like your heat)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 2x 400 g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
  • 2x 400 g tins chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 100-200 ml water (depending on how thick you want the curry to be)
  • 30 g fresh coriander, chopped (optional)
  • Juice of 1 lemon (optional)


  • Heat the oil in a large pan on medium heat. Add the onion and stir occasionally for 6-8 minutes (or until soft and starting to turn golden).
  • Next, add the finely chopped garlic, ginger, and chilli and cook for a couple of minutes.
  • Once those have softened, add all the dried ground spices (cumin, coriander, garam masala, chilli powder, and turmeric) and mix well. 
  • After a couple of minutes, stir in the tomato puree, chopped tomatoes, bay leaves, and salt. Cook for 5 minutes to allow the ingredients to blend together. 
  • At this point, you have the option to thicken the curry and make it a little smoother. Pulse a few times using a hand blender, or mash through the sauce using a potato masher. Temporarily remove the bay leaves and any additional whole spices you might have added (see notes), adding these back in once you're done.
  • Next, add in the drained chickpeas along with 100 ml of water. Stir well and cook for 10-15 minutes. If you want to loosen the sauce, add a little more water.
  • After 10-15 minutes, add the lemon juice, stir in the freshly chopped coriander, adjust the seasoning, and then serve.


Serving suggestions: Boiled basmati/white rice, naan bread, puri, chapati, creamy vegan mashed potatoes, poppadoms, roasted cauliflower, baked potato, crispy baked potato wedges, plant-based yoghurt or crème fraiche, homemade cashew cream, fresh coriander.
Pro-level spice: If you want to take this recipe up a notch, temper some whole spices in the oil before adding the onion. To the hot oil, add a cinnamon stick, 3-4 cardamom pods, 3-4 cloves, and a teaspoon of cumin seeds. Heat for 30-60 seconds, being careful not to burn them, and then proceed with the rest of the recipe (you may want to use slightly less dried cumin and garam masala). 
Dried chickpeas: Another way to improve this chana masala is to cook dried chickpeas from scratch, as these have a better flavour and texture. If doing so, replace the water in the recipe with some of the chickpea cooking water. Learn more about how to cook dried chickpeas.  
Add more veg: Feel free to add any other ingredients such as spinach, mixed peppers, or cooked potato cubes.  
Tomatoes: If you don't have tinned tomatoes, you could replace these with approx. 10 whole fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped. 
Quantity: If you want to make this recipe stretch further, simply add an extra tin of tomatoes and/or chickpeas and adjust the seasoning to taste. 
Make it healthier: This recipe is already pretty healthy, but you can swap out the coconut oil if you want to really cut down on saturated fat.  
Storage: Like many curries, this chana masala gets even better after a day or two in the fridge. Store in the fridge for up to four days, or in the freezer for up to six months. 
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* The nutrition info below is for one serving of the chana masala, based on a total of four servings.


Calories: 324kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 15gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gSodium: 898mgPotassium: 1016mgFiber: 14gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 1083IUVitamin C: 45mgCalcium: 165mgIron: 7mg
Nutrition Facts
Easy Vegan Chana Masala (Gluten-Free)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 324 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Sodium 898mg39%
Potassium 1016mg29%
Carbohydrates 53g18%
Fiber 14g58%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 15g30%
Vitamin A 1083IU22%
Vitamin C 45mg55%
Calcium 165mg17%
Iron 7mg39%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword chickpea curry, quick vegan dinner, vegan curry
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