Masala Vegan

Plant based recipes inspired by spices and green living!

Lentils & Beans Main Meal Restaurant Recipes

Vegan Chana Masala (No Onion No Garlic)

Bowl of Vegan Chana Masala

 Vegan Chana Masala, onion & garlic free version

Chana Masala, conjures up images of fragrant bowls of flavoursome chickpeas in steaming hot gravy from your kitchen or, favourite local Indian eatery. There are also a few versions of packed vegan Chana Masala versions available, who I do not recommend due to, (in my opinion) flat taste and lacking in flavour. Chana Masala is easy to make at home, economical, full of protein and has a great flavour profile when freshly prepared.

As per Hinduism, there are certain days when onion and garlic should not be consumed, whether for religious reasons or, health reasons… is the part 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. Don’t be put off by the long list of spices, once everything is organised this recipe is ready under an hour. Double the recipe for delicious leftovers in a couple days or, freezes well too.

We need,

For the Chickpeas:

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

For the dry 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 the Vegan Chana Masala hot with steamed rice or, puffy Naan bread!




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 ❤️