Chana Masala – Chickpea Curry

Chana Masala – Chickpea Curry is a delicious mix of fruity, sweet flavors and a slight spiciness. The sweet potatoes are also full of healthy vitamins A and B and minerals like iron, magnesium and potassium.

I like to cook with dried chickpeas. What makes dried chickpeas particularly attractive to me is the completely different texture and taste difference. They just taste better. They are also a bargain if you have to pay attention to your wallet.

Chana Masala - Chickpea Curry

Recipe: Chana Masala – Chickpea Curry

Quantity: 4-6 servings


4 tbsp ghee, butter or sunflower oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
2 medium-sized onions, diced
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 cm fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
2 fresh red chili peppers, finely chopped
2 dried red chili peppers, ground
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp coriander, ground
½ tsp turmeric or 1 piece of fresh turmeric, finely chopped
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
400 g dried chickpeas or 800 g soaked chickpeas
3 tbsp tomato paste
100 ml chickpea cooking water
1 cinnamon stick
250 ml coconut milk
1 tsp garam masala
Fresh coriander
Lemon juice


  • Firstly sort the chickpeas and clean them of dust or dirt. Small stones or pebbles, for example, can accidentally get into the package. Or the chickpeas are wrinkled. Then wash thoroughly.
  • Afterwards cover the chickpeas in a sufficiently large saucepan with two to three times the amount of water. Soak overnight for 12 to 24 hours. The chickpeas swell up a lot. If they don’t, then they were either too old or something was wrong. Most important is here: Do not use those chickpeas. See also notes.

Now you can prepare the Chana Masala – Chickpea Curry.

  • At first, boil the soaked chickpeas in lightly salted water until they are soft. The entire cooking time is approx. 90 – 120 minutes.
  • In the meantime, wash, clean and cut the vegetables. In addition, grind all the dried spices, except the mustard seeds, in a mortar.
  • After the chickpeas have cooked for about 1 hour, heat the oil or fat in a large saucepan. Roast the mustard seeds. They start jumping when they are done.
  • Then add the onions and fry them until they are soft. Next add the garlic, ginger, turmeric and chili peppers for a few minutes. Stir in the freshly ground coriander and cumin and leave for another minute.
  • Add the sweet potato and carrot cubes and brown them.
  • Add the chickpeas as well as the tomato paste, cinnamon and water to create a thick, creamy sauce. Simmer the chickpeas and vegetables on a low heat for approx. 30 minutes until soft. Stir occasionally and add some water if necessary.
  • When the chickpeas are soft, add the coconut milk, garam masala and salt to taste. Let the curry simmer for about 5 minutes on a low flame that the flavours can blend into each other.
  • Chana Masala – Chickpea Curry is served with fresh coriander and a dash of lemon juice.


Fresh or whole dried spices simply taste better. Grind them yourself in a mortar.

Do not bring coconut milk to the boil, otherwise it will separate. But no worry. It doesn’t look nice, but it still tastes delicious.

Caution: Do not eat chickpeas raw!
Many chickpeas contain poisonous phaseolins. Metabolic disorders and poisoning can occur. If the chickpeas are soaked, the vegetables wash out the harmful substances that are toxic to us. Then pour away the soaking water.

My rule of thumb is 100 g dried chickpeas, equivalent to around 200-250 g soaked chickpeas. The weight doubles, roughly calculated, if you soak the chickpeas overnight.

You can read more about soaking legumes in the following post: How to … soak dried legumes, beans or peas?

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