Vegan Chana Masala (No Onion No Garlic)

Chana Masala, conjures up images of fragrant bowls of flavoursome chickpeas in steaming hot gravy from your favourite kitchen or, local Indian eatery. As per Hinduism, there are certain days when onion and garlic should not be consumed, whether for religious reasons or, health reasons… I haven’t figured out yet!

So, here’s an onion and garlic free recipe for Chana Masala every bit as good as the onion – garlic version.

We need,

For the Chickpeas:

  • Dried White Chickpeas – 1 cup, soaked 8 to 12 hours
  • Water – 3 cups

For the spice mix:

  • Cinnamon stick – 1 inch piece
  • Green Cardamom – 5
  • Cloves – 5
  • Black cardamom – 1
  • Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Coriander seeds – 2 teaspoons
  • Carom seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Fennel seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Bay leaf – 1 medium


For the gravy:

  • Oil – 2 tablespoon
  • Fresh Ginger, chopped – 1″
  • Fresh Turmeric, chopped – 1″
  • Green chillies, chopped – 2 or more, to taste
  • Tomato paste – 3 tablespoons



  1.  Rinse the soaked chickpeas in fresh water.
  2. Cook the chickpeas with salt in water. I used my pressure cooker to do this in approximately 12 – 15 minutes.
  3. Dry roast the spices and grind to a fine powder.
  4. In a deep pan heat oil and roast the spice mix powder until fragrant.
  5. Add the ginger, turmeric, green chillies and tomato paste and roast well until cooked.
  6. Add the steamed chickpeas into the gravy and coat well.
  7. Check salt and mix in water if needed

Garnish with dried Fenugreek leaves and freshly chopped coriander.

Enjoy hot with steamed rice or, puffy Naan bread!

So please tell me dear reader, what your favourite onion and garlic free recipe is, in the comments below.



I am an enthusiastic plant based home cook and baker who delights in sharing my creations on unsuspecting non vegans, when they least expect it! When not recipe developing, testing or making, I’m found organising and/ or writing, the two other passions of my life ❤️