Quick and Tasty Chana Masala

This week, the Culinary Medicine team presents a recipe for Quick and Tasty Chana Masala!

Quick and Tasty Chana Masala

Chana Masala Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1⁄2 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium serrano or jalapeño pepper, minced (remove ribs and seeds to tame the spice level)
  • 1⁄4 tsp. salt, to taste
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced (1-inch piece)
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1⁄4 tsp. ground turmeric
  • Pinch of cayenne (optional)
  • 14 oz. can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 14 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)
  • Lemon wedges, for garnish (optional)


  1. Cook the rice according to package instructions if not already cooked. Set aside.
  2. In a medium Dutch oven or large saucepan, warm the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion, serrano, zucchini and salt. Cook until the zucchini is tender and the onion is turning translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in the garam masala, coriander, cumin, turmeric, salt and cayenne (if using), and cook for another minute, while stirring constantly.
  4. Add the tomatoes and their juices.
  5. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the chickpeas. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook, reducing the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, for 10 minutes or longer to allow the flavors to develop.
  6. Season to taste with additional salt, if desired. If it’s not spicy enough for your liking, add a pinch of cayenne.
  7. Serve over prepared rice and garnish with a lemon wedge or two and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro leaves if desired.

Directions for Boil in Bag Brown Rice:

Boil: Pour about 4 cups (1 quart) of water into medium saucepan and submerge 1 bag of rice (use about 3 quartz of water for 2 bags). Bring water to a boil and boil uncovered 8-10 minutes.
Microwave: In a 2-quart microwave-safe bowl, submerge 1 bag of rice in about 4 cups (1 quart) of water. (We do not recommend using the microwave to cook multiple bags.) Microwave on high 10 minutes.
Remove bag from water with fork and drain. Cut open bag and empty rice into serving dish. Fluff with fork and add salt and butter if desired. Each bag makes about 2 cups. Microwave ovens vary. Cooking times are approximate. Cooked rice can sit in hot water with the heat off for up to 30 minutes.

Adapted from: https://cookieandkate.com

Culinary Medicine Series

Culinary medicine blends the art of food and cooking with the science of medicine. Discover how eating high-quality meals can help prevent and treat disease while restoring well-being. From our home to yours! Join registered dietitians virtually each week as our team guide you through recipe hacks, how to use pantry staples, and the latest nutrition research.

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