When I was growing up, I always thought cooking Indian food was complicated. I’d always watch my mom and be amazed at how she never used anything to measure and essentially just ‘eyeballed’ it. All the different spices. All the different vegetables. And of course, all the different ways to cook it! Since then, I’ve learned the basics but I’ve also realized there’s no ‘right’ way to cook Indian food. It all comes from experimenting, smelling and tasting to adjust to your perfect dish.

Once kitchen staple we absolutely need to have is a mortar and pestle. The way it just crushes and grinds ingredients together…the flavours are literally infused into one another! You can buy one at any home store and IKEA even sells it. But beware, one stop at IKEA and I’ll be leaving with a whole cart full of things.

When I put together this recipe, I wanted something simple to follow. Nothing too crazy. This dish is so easy to make on any weeknight and the ingredients are super easy to find! My rotis may not be round but this dish is the bomb!! 🙂


  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 green chili, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp of canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tbsp of tomato paste
  • ¼ tsp of turmeric
  • ½ tsp of chili powder
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1 tsp of garam masala
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 2 15oz cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • handful of fresh cilantro, chopped


  1. Grind the ginger, garlic and fresh green chili in a mortar and pestle until a paste has developed
  2. Heat oil over medium heat in a large fry pan. Add in chopped onions and cook until golden brown.
  3. Add in ginger,garlic and chili paste. Stir until combined. Add in fresh tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir and cook for 8 minutes. Thick sauce will develop.
  4. Add in the remaining spices (turmeric, chili powder, cumin, garam masala) and salt. Simmer for a minute or two.
  5. Add in the chickpeas. Cook for another 5 minutes. Top with fresh cilantro.
  6. Enjoy with some piping hot rotis,some fluffy naan and of course some basmati rice 😀

Chana Masala