Vegetarian Chana Masala with Spinach Recipe

A plate of vegetarian chana masala with pitas
Shaiith/Getty Images
Ratings (15)
  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 3 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
414 Calories
18g Fat
53g Carbs
16g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Chana masala with spinach is a vegetarian variation of a traditional and popular Indian food dish. If you don't have all the spices on hand, it's ok to omit one of them without too much trouble, but don't omit more than two or you will have a completely different (and bland!) dish on your hands. For a heartier chana masala, toss in some tofu with the chickpeas and serve over rice.

Simple Indian vegetarian recipes such as this one make it so easy to have a home-cooked Indian meal with very little effort. A more traditional chana masala recipe would call for a few ingredients that can only be sourced either online or at a local Indian grocery, such as amchur (dried mango powder), and sometimes pomegranate seeds. This vegetarian and vegan recipe is simplified for western cooks, with more common spices and ingredients you can find at most well-stocked large grocery stores.

A dish like this really should be served with either plain white rice, simple Indian basmati rice or perhaps Indian lemon rice or, if you want the extra protein boost, quinoa. Chana masala is perfect for freezing and taking to the office for lunch later, so make a double batch if you'd like!


  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 can chickpeas in water (also called garbanzo beans) or 1 1/2 cups precooked + 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice from one lemon (approx 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 large bunch of spinach or two handfuls, rinsed

Steps to Make It

  1. In a large skillet or frying pan, sautee onions and garlic in olive oil until soft, about 3-5 minutes.

  2. Add chickpeas straight from the can, including all the water.

  3. Add lemon juice and spices, cover, and simmer about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding more water if needed until chickpeas are cooked and soft.

  4. Reduce heat, add spinach and cover. Allow spinach to wilt for 2-4 minutes.

  5. Serve immediately and enjoy your chana masala!