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Vegan Chana Aloo Masala (Indian Chickpea & Potato Curry)

Craving an Indian curry for dinner? This vegan chickpea and potato curry is full of flavorful spices, super healthy, and easy to make. Also known as Chana Aloo Masala, this tomato-based curry incorporates the flavors of cumin, cinnamon, clove, star anis, cilantro, and more.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Chana Aloo Masala, Chana Masala, Curry, Indian Chickpea and Potato Curry, Indian Curry, Vegan Curry, Vegan Dinner Recipes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

To make the curry paste:

  • 3 whole cardamom pods
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • ½ star anis (break one star in half)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp whole black pepper
  • 1 tbsp garam masala pre-ground spice blend
  • ½ tsp cinnamon pre-ground
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger grated
  • 1 tsp fresh turmeric grated

To make the Chana Aloo Masala:

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 jalapeño diced
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 3 ½ cups canned tomato sauce (28 oz. or 800 g. can)
  • 1 carton vegetable stock (32 oz. or 1 L. carton)
  • 2 bay leaves dried
  • 1 cinnamon stick lightly crushed
  • 5 medium potatoes peeled, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 cans chickpeas/garbanzo beans liquid drained (15 oz. or 425 g. can)
  • ½ lemon juiced
  • 1 tsp agave nectar
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

Instructions

To make the curry paste:

  1. In a pan, toast all whole spices and seeds on low heat until fragrant, agitating the pan regularly.

  2. Add all curry paste ingredients (whole spices, ground spices, garlic, ginger, turmeric) into a mortar and pestle. Grind until you have reached a fine consistency. This should take about 3 minutes.

To make the Chana Aloo Masala:

  1. Over the stove's medium heat setting, heat coconut oil in a large pot. Add in onion and jalapeño, and sauté until the onion is translucent.

  2. Add in curry paste, stirring constantly until fragrant. Add in tomato paste, and continue stirring for 2-3 minutes.

  3. Stir in potatoes, coating them with the contents of the pot. Allow to absorb the flavors for about 2 minutes, stirring as needed.

  4. Stir in tomatoes, vegetable stock, bay leaves, and cinnamon stick. Bring to boil, turn the stove down to medium-low heat, and allow to simmer uncovered for about 25 minutes, or until potatoes are nearly cooked through.

  5. Stir in chickpeas, lemon juice, agave nectar, freshly cracked black pepper to taste, and salt to taste. Note: you may need a decent amount of salt to properly flavor the potatoes, chickpeas, and tomatoes. Continue simmering for about 10 minutes, until potatoes are totally cooked through.

  6. Serve over basmati rice and top with cilantro. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • Click here to purchase garam masala on Amazon. This Northern Indian spice blend is crucial to Chana Aloo Masala. Depending on where you live, you may not be able to find this in your local grocery store. 
  • If you don't have whole spices, simply use dried whole spices and add them into the pot at the same step as you would the curry paste. Here are some rough guesses for dried powdered spices. (Note: I have not actually measured nor tested this.):
    • 1 tbsp garam masala powder
    • 1 tsp cardamom powder
    • 1/2 tsp cloves powder
    • 1/4 star anis powder
    • 1 tsp cilantro/coriander powder
    • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
    • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper 
    • 1 tbsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp ginger powder
    • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder