One of my favorite curries to make is this vegan chana aloo masala — otherwise known as Indian chickpea and potato curry.
If you like a good tomato-based curry that’s packed with warming spices, bright herbs, and a kick of chili, then this is the recipe for you.
Plant-based, super delicious, and easy to make, this recipe for chana aloo masala will likely become a staple in your Indian recipe repertoire. Whether you’re throwing it together for a weeknight dinner or pairing it with other Indian dishes and naan for a family-style dinner party, this chickpea and potato curry is always a winner.
What’s in Vegan Chana Aloo Masala (Indian Chickpea & Potato Curry)
The best thing about this curry (other than how delicious it is), is you probably have most of the ingredients in your spice cabinet, pantry, and refrigerator.
This curry relies on both fresh veggies and canned goods. It incorporates fresh onion, garlic, jalapeño, potatoes, lemon, ginger, turmeric, and cilantro, as well as canned tomatoes, canned chickpeas, canned tomato paste, and store-bought vegetable stock.
Though, if you want to go the extra mile and soak your chickpeas, make your own stock, et cetera, be my guest! And alternatively, if you want to use dried powders of ingredients like ginger and turmeric, you can do that too.
There are a lot of herbs and spices going on in this curry, which gives it a warming, deeply satisfying flavor. We’re talking about cardamom, cloves, coriander, cinnamon, cumin, garam masala, bay leaves, chili flakes, and more.
Like where I’m heading with this?
The Method: How to Make Vegan Indian Chickpea & Potato Curry
To begin, heat oil in a pot, and sauté the onion, garlic, and jalapeño.
Next, stir in your curry paste, and fry off for a couple of minutes, until fragrant.
A note on curry paste: Our spice cabinet is always stocked with whole spices, as well as their already-ground counterparts. When I’m making a curry, I often like to toast any whole spices I have and use my mortar and pestle to grind them into a paste, along with any pre-ground spices, and fresh ingredients such as ginger and garlic. Using a mortar and pestle to make a curry paste beforehand will give your curry more depth of flavor. And because it only takes a few extra minutes, I think it’s worth it. However, you can skip this step if you wish; simply use powdered spices instead – I detailed how you can do this in the recipe notes below.
Next, stir in the tomato paste, and continue stirring for a few minutes, until paste has cooked down. Stir in the potatoes, coating them with the curry paste, so that they can begin to absorb the flavors.
After about three minutes, add in bay leaves, a cinnamon stick, vegetable stock, canned tomatoes (my preference is to puree them first), and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then turn down to medium-low heat.
When the potatoes are almost finished cooking, stir in the chickpeas, lemon juice, agave, and more salt and pepper to taste. Note that you may need a decent amount of salt to bring out the flavors of the potatoes, chickpeas, and tomatoes. Once the potatoes are totally cooked through, your curry is finished!
Serve over basmati rice and garnish with fresh cilantro (and maybe top with some unsweetened coconut yogurt). And enjoy!
Vegan Chana Aloo Masala Recipe
And there you have it. That’s my recipe for Indian chickpea and potato curry.
Easy to make and packed with flavor, this curry makes for a supremely satisfying dinner. It’s also makes for an epic lunch of leftovers because the flavors just intensify in the fridge.
Now dig in!
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.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: Main Course
- Cuisine: Indian
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)
To make the curry paste:
- In a pan, toast all whole spices and seeds on low heat until fragrant, agitating the pan regularly.
- 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:
- 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.
- Add in curry paste, stirring constantly until fragrant. Add in tomato paste, and continue stirring for 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in potatoes, coating them with the contents of the pot. Allow to absorb the flavors for about 2 minutes, stirring as needed.
- 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.
- 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.
- Serve over basmati rice and top with cilantro. Enjoy!
- 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.):
On the lookout for other globally-inspired recipes? Click here to discover some of my other favorites!