Chana Masala

Image courtesy Chef Melanie daPonte
Image courtesy Chef Melanie daPonte

There will always be Indian food in my weekly meal rotation. Why? Because it’s delicious and nutritious, and need not be spicy to be enjoyed, although I do like a little fire myself!

This is a perfect transitional dish for those curious to try Indian flavors. It’s a simple, yet flavorful tomato sauce with chickpeas and warm Indian spices, brightened by a splash of lemon juice and fresh cilantro. What’s not to love?

Chana Masala


2 tsp. ground Cumin
½ tbsp. ground Coriander
½ tsp. Turmeric powder
¼ tsp. Fennel seeds, chopped
¼ tsp. ground Cardamom
⅛ tsp. Cinnamon
⅛ tsp. Cayenne pepper
pinch Cloves

1 large Onion, sliced in chunks
1 Jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
1 tsp. Minced garlic
½ tbsp. Ginger, fresh
⅛ cup Cilantro, chopped
1 ½ cans Tomatoes, diced
1 can Chickpeas
½ tsp. Agave nectar
½ tsp. Tamarind paste (optional)


Blend spices together and toast lightly in a skillet over medium heat, stirring often, careful not to burn. Add the coconut oil and sweat the onion over medium-low heat until softened. Add jalapeno, garlic and ginger and sauce briefly before adding the tomato and chickpeas. Then simmer for 20 minutes. Finish with cilantro, agave, salt and pepper.: