No need to meal prep because this version of the classic chickpea dish from India and Pakistan is ready, start to finish, in just 40 minutes. Yes! Just 40 minutes is all it takes for you to have a satisfying, taste-bud-pleasing, dinner on the table.

chickpeas and tomatoes in a white dish set on a white plate with homemade naan bread.

So, what is Chana Masala?

Chana Masala is one of those dishes that’s unassuming at first, but blows you away with just one bite. This chickpea-based dish is best described as a stew-like curry.

Traditionally Chana Masala is made by cooking a paste of onions, chiles, garlic, and ginger in oil before adding a mix of spices which often includes coriander, turmeric, and cardamom (to name a few).

Diced tomatoes, chickpeas, and broth are added to the pan then simmered until the sauce has thickened and the chickpeas have softened. Cilantro and a bit of lemon juice are often added for a fresh finish.

Chana Masala is spicy, but not too spicy, oh-so savory, and packed with so much flavor.

How is this chana masala quicker?

To streamline the process a bit I’m skipping the step of making a paste and just adding the vegetables right to the pan. And using Garam Masala, an Indian spice blend, is a great way to flavor this dish without having to buy 10 different spices.

Throughout the recipe I deglaze the pan with bone broth, both because it’s functional and a great way to add flavor with minimal effort.

And since this dish is all about packing as much flavor in as possible, I’ve made it with Pacific Chicken Bone Broth. Can you use regular chicken broth? Sure, but there are so many great reasons to use bone broth.

First off, and most obviously, it adds a ton of flavor! But beyond that, it also adds a good amount of protein, 9 grams in just 1 cup.

I love using Pacific Bone Broth because they value and prioritize quality and wholesome ingredients like ZK does. Their bone broth is always made with chicken or turkey bones, onions, apple cider vinegar, and spices—simple and back to the basics, which is what I like!

chickpeas and tomatoes in a white dish set on a white plate with homemade naan bread.

What to serve with Chana Masala?

I love to serve chana masala with my homemade naan bread (purchased will do) or Cilantro Lime Rice—both are great for counterbalancing the bold flavors of the Chana Masala. 

chickpeas and tomatoes in a white dish set on a white plate with homemade naan bread.

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chickpeas and tomatoes in a white dish set on a white plate with homemade naan bread.

Make sure to tag me @ZESTFULKITCHEN ON INSTAGRAM or comment below if you make this Chana Masala.

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chickpeas and tomatoes in a white dish set on a white plate with homemade naan bread.

Quick Chana Masala

  • Author: Lauren Grant of Zestful Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 23 servings (3½ cups) 1x
  • Category: Lunch & Dinner, Side Dish


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 cup chicken bone broth or low-sodium broth of choice, divided
  • 1 serrano chili, seeded, and minced (1–2 teaspoons depending on preference)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh garlic
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces)
  • 2 cans chickpeas (14.5 ounces each), rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 lime, juiced (2 tablespoons)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium-high. Add onions and cook until translucent and golden brown, 5 minutes. Deglaze pan with ¼ cup bone broth and cook until completely evaporated, about 1–1 ½ minutes.

Add serrano, ginger, garlic, garam masala, and turmeric; cook 1 minute. Deglaze pan with ¼ cup broth and cook 1 minute. Stir in remaining ½ cup bone broth, diced tomatoes, and chickpeas.

Bring mixture to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, until chickpeas have softened and liquid has thickened, 15–20 minutes. Off heat, stir in cilantro and lime juice; season chana masala with salt and black pepper to taste.

Serve with homemade naan (or purchased), or cooked basmati rice.


To make this recipe vegetarian, use vegetable broth.

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine,,, and more.

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  1. This looks so yummy! I love that it is made with lots of pantry staples, too! I went out and bought this bone broth right after reading your post. I love that it adds extra protein. Who knew! 🙂

    1. Totally agree—any dinner that can come together quickly from the pantry on a weeknight is a win! Isn’t bone broth such a great staple to have on hand!? The added protein is perfect for plant-based dishes like this!