Today’s chickpea curry recipe is an Indian-inspired vegetarian masterpiece. An all-star cast of bright, warming, and aromatic spices transform humble chickpeas and potatoes into a total flavor explosion. Plus, it only takes about 30 minutes to make!
Calling all curry lovers! If you’ve never had chickpea potato curry, you are in for a treat. Chickpeas and potatoes team up with powerhouse spice blends garam masala and curry powder to create a hearty and comforting dish that will fill you up without weighing you down.
This chickpea curry recipe is also gluten-free and vegetarian. This makes it an ideal choice when I’m having dinner guests with dietary restrictions or preferences. It is packed with tons of plant-based nutrition and just as much dynamite flavor. Make chana aloo masala for your next meatless Monday.
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Potatoes – I recommend New or Gold variety potatoes for their superior texture and buttery sweet flavor. You can substitute in a 15 oz can of cubed potatoes for convenience if needed.
- Ghee – Accentuates the other flavors in the dish in addition to its own nutty, buttery taste. Butter can be used in its place.
- Onion – Adds a deep earthy sweetness and a pop of pungency.
- Garlic – Brings a dose of pungent, sharp, and zingy flavor.
- Curry Powder – Slightly hot, slightly sweet, and features a menagerie of spices including turmeric, cumin, ginger, mustard, black pepper, cinnamon, cayenne, and more. Find it in the spice aisle or check out my recipe for a killer DIY version.
- Garam Masala – Earthy, warming, and aromatic, it features spices like nutmeg, mace, star anise, cinnamon, cumin, and coriander. You can find it in the spice aisle, but I highly recommend checking out the link to make your own.
- Cayenne – Offers an extra dash of fiery heat and spicy flavor.
- Chickpeas – Mildly sweet, earthy, and nutty. I usually use canned chickpeas but dried chickpeas can work. Use a heaping ½ cup of dried bean in place of the 15 oz can and be sure to soak them ahead of time.
- Fenugreek – Has hints of maple along with a subtle sweetness and bitterness. If you can’t find it, fennel seeds can be used in place. Just be sure to use them sparingly as they can easily overwhelm the dish.
HOW TO MAKE CHICKPEA CURRY
1. Prepare the Potatoes. Peel and cube the potatoes, or go directly to step 2 if you are using canned potatoes. Cook the cubed potatoes in a heavily salted pot of boiling water for about 6 minutes. Once the potatoes are fork-tender, drain them in a colander and set aside.
2. Saute the Onion & Garlic. Melt the ghee or butter in a pot set over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onions and saute until the onions turn translucent.
3. Add Spice Blends. Toss in the garam masala, cayenne pepper, and curry powder. Mix to combine and cook on medium for 2 minutes. Then, add the canned tomatoes along with their liquid and cook for another 2 minutes.
4. Puree the Sauce. Use an immersion blender to puree the mixture, or skip this step and leave it chunky.
5. Combine the Ingredients. Add the chickpeas and cooked potatoes, then stir to mix thoroughly. Cook for another 5 minutes before adding the fenugreek. Stir the fenugreek in thoroughly, reduce the heat to low, and cook for an additional 5 minutes. The sauce will thicken as it simmers.
6. Ladle & Serve. Serve in bowls with generous helpings of warm pita bread.
What Is Chana Masala Spice Made Of?
The phrase “chana masala” translates literally to mean “spicy chickpeas” and is the name of the dish as a whole. It also refers to a common Indian spice blend. Chana Masala Powder is actually a combination of several different spices including chili peppers, asafoetida, fenugreek, green cardamom, and mango powder. Its flavor profile is sweet, spicy, sour, and savory all at once.
However, this chickpea potato curry recipe — and many others — use a combination of Garam Masala and Curry Powder to achieve the desired chana aloo masala flavor. You’ll also find an extra dose of cayenne for its heat and fenugreek for its complex flavor. Feel free to use either the Chana Masala Powder in lieu of the spices in the recipe card or as written.
Why Is My Chickpea Curry Bitter?
The two most common reasons for a bitter chickpea curry include burnt garlic and spices or too much fenugreek.
Keep a close eye on the onion, garlic, and spices during the cooking process. Things can turn from perfectly toasted to scorched in an instant.
If fenugreek is the culprit, lessen the amount you include next time, or try fennel seeds for a sweeter flavor. In both cases, start slow and add more if desired. It’s far easier to add more spice than to remove it.
What To Serve With Chickpea Potato Curry
This hearty chana aloo masala makes a satisfying snack or light lunch all by itself. It also fits beautifully into a larger meal. Here are a few ideas for inspiration.
- Serve it with a flatbread like Roti Indian Flatbread or Garlic Naan Bread.
- Enjoy alongside rice like Jasmine Rice, Basmati Rice, or this Persian Saffron Rice.
- Add some veggie sides like Green Beans or Pan Roasted Carrots.
- For extra protein, pair this dish with Persian Chicken Kabob or Tandoori Chicken.
Potato Chickpea Curry (Aloo Chana Masala)
- If using canned potatoes go to Step 2 or peel and cube the potatoes. Cook in heavily salted water for 6 minutes or until fork tender, drain.
- In a pot over medium high heat melt the ghee or butter. Saute the onion and garlic for several minutes, until onions are translucent.
- Add the curry powder, garam masala, salt and cayenne powder. Stir to mix and continue to cook on medium for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their liquid and cook another 2 minutes. At this point you can use an immersion blender to puree or leave chunky.
- Add the cooked potatoes and chickpeas, stirring to mix thoroughly and cook another 5 minutes. Add the fenugreek and stir through. Lower heat to simmer and cook 5 minutes, sauce will thicken. Season to taste and ladle into bowls and serve with warm pita bread.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.