Tofu Chana Masala

Chana Masala is a dish from Indian and Pakistani cuisine. It literally means “mix-spiced small-chickpeas” – or at least this is what I learned from google, because unfortunately I am not familiar with the language 🙂 It happens to be one of my favourites when it comes to Indian food, although it’s a really tough competition!

This is the chana masala that I currently do at home – which is no doubt much simpler than the original and proper recipe, but still very tasty. I normally use chickpeas only, but I had a tofu leftover that I really needed to use so I added it in and the end result was actually quite good. It’s obviously an optional, but give it a try if you are looking for the extra-protein boost (or if you happen to also have tofu leftovers :).


Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil (divided)
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves of green garlic, minced (or regular garlic if you can’t find green)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (I used fire-roasted)
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 8 oz. (200 g) firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • half cup water
  • 2 cups (380 g) white rice, boiled


Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, garlic and cumin seeds. Cook for some minutes until the onions soften.

Meanwhile mix the spices (coriander, turmeric, paprika, chili powder but not the garam masala) into a small bowl. Add to the pot and stir to incorporate to the onion and garlic mixture. Add the tomato paste and a little of oil (if the mixture looks too dry).

Mix well, then add the diced tomato, chickpeas, salt and half a cup of water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer for 20 minute, until the sauce thickens.

Meanwhile, drain and pat the tofu dry. Cut into it 1-inch squares. Heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet and toast the tofu until golden. When the chickpea stew has reached the right consistency, stir in the garam masala, the lemon juice and the tofu. Let it cool slightly and serve with the boiled white rice.




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