Spicy Chana Masala

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Chickpeas with attitude…

Cayenne pepper brings the sizzle to this chana masala recipe. This chickpea-based Indian favorite is delicious served simply with naan bread or try it atop rice or couscous to make more of a meal of it. It’s a perfect side dish for Indian meals, especially if you’re looking for something that’s not breaded and fried.

There’s an exotic mix of spices here beyond fiery cayenne and chili powder, including garam masala, amchoor powder (also known as mango powder), ginger, and turmeric. It’s a bold turn for chickpeas, so feel free to adjust the spice proportions of each to your liking.

spicy chana masala

Spicy Chana Masala

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  • In a pan over medium heat, heat the vegetable oil, then sauté the garlic and onion until fragrant and slightly softened (approximately 5 minutes).
  • Lower the heat, then add the tomatoes, ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne pepper powder. Stir occasionally for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Lower the heat to low, then add the chickpeas, water, chili powder, amchoor powder, garam masala, paprika, and lemon juice. Stir to combine.
  • Cover the pan and allow the chickpea mix to simmer for 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove the cover and add the jalapeño pepper and grated ginger. Stir until the ginger is fragrant (approximately 30 seconds to one minute).
  • Add the salt and stir to combine. Add addition salt, cayenne pepper, or other seasonings to taste, then serve.


You can use the whole tomato in the recipe if you prefer a more tomato-y chana masala. 
Did you make this?Mention @PepperScale or tag #PepperScale so we can see what you made!

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on August 17, 2019 to include new content.
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