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Shortcut Oil-Free Chana Masala (Chickpea Curry)

This recipe was inspired by a Chana Masala I had recently at the Sarasota VegFest that was so creamy, thick and spicy that I had to find out how to make it at home. In searching for how to make it, I found out that the traditional Indian way requires frying the spices in oil (or ghee), boiling some of the vegetables, a blender and more steps.

Ain't no new vegans got time for that!

I like to make things as delicious as possible but also as easy as possible (without including oil) to make going vegan for health easy and accessible for anyone who wants to give it a try, regardless of their cooking skills. I also like to add as many veggies as possible, so I added grated carrots to provide some of the sweetness from the sugar in the original recipe.

This is a fantastic whole food, no-oil, high protein, high fiber delicious dish perfect for those trying to lose weight and prevent and reverse chronic disease.

This is by no means the traditional dish, but my beautiful shortcut, oil-free Chana Masala was born...and came into my world with a bang!

Vegan Cooking Level: Beginner


1 medium onion, diced

5 garlic cloves, finely grated

2-inch nub of ginger, finely grated

2 carrots, grated

1 28-ounce can (3 cups) chopped tomatoes and their juice

2 cans chick peas, drained, separate a 1/2 cup and set aside

1 tsp. cumin

2 tsp. curry powder blend

1 tsp. garam masala blend

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (or more to your taste)

1 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cups veggie broth (or water)

1/2 cup unsweetened plant milk

juice of one whole lime or lemon (or more to taste)

optional: chopped cilantro on serving

How to whip this up

Step 1: Saute onions, garlic, carrots and ginger in a few teaspoons of veggie broth until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add tomatoes and the spices and the reserved 1/2 cup of chickpeas. Cook on low but gently bubbling, for 20 minutes.

Step 2: Use an immersion blender right in the pot to blend the mixture into a thick sauce (to the consistency you like). Add the rest of the chickpeas, the veggie broth, plant milk and cook another 10 minutes until the chickpeas are hot and soft.

Step 3: Finish with the juice of the lime or lemon, a drizzle of coconut milk. Add more coconut milk for a creamier curry. to your taste...Sprinkle with cilantro, more lime or lemon, or more coconut milk upon serving!

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