May 16

Easy Chole Masala Recipe (Vegan Chickpea Curry)

My pregnancy cravings have shifted away from anything with noodles and mushrooms to super crunchy salads and have now settled on rich curries served with rice.

The first time I enjoyed a Chickpea Masala was on our amazing holiday in Alvor just before I became pregnant with our first. I was keen on adding more vegan meals to my diet and dragged John across the village to find an Indian restaurant I had found on TripAdvisor.

Luckily it was worth the trek! Chole masala or chana masala is a vegan stew like curry which is extremely flavourful, easy to make, not overly spicy, and the perfect hearty plant-based meal.

I cooked so many of these after we got home! I hope you enjoy this too, it's perfect for Meat Free Mondays!

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Chole masala is typically made with a healthy mixture of chickpeas (chole), tomatoes, onion, chilli, garlic, ginger and spices. The spices of typically include coriander seed, dried mango powder (amchur), crushed pomegranate seed (anardana), and garam masala. Chickpeas add plenty of fibre, texture, and protein, and puréed tomatoes add body and richness.

If you have a big enough pan, make double or treble the recipe and eat it slowly over the course of an entire week. It tastes even better the next day when the chickpeas have really absorbed the spices. It also freezes well.

I always want to hear/see how my recipes turn out for you. If you make this, please post a picture of your meal on Instagram and tag me @PilatesBarreDlk or #VitalityNutritionProg. I share on my stories!

Ingredients: serves 4

  • 2 tins chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda
  • oil for frying (rapeseed)
  • 1 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 large Onion, grated
  • 2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely grated
  • 1 fresh chilli, finely chopped (optional)
  • 2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Fresh coriander leaves to garnish
  • Lime wedge

How To:

  1. Drain and rinse the chickpeas then soak in water along with the bicarbonate of soda. Leave for 10 minutes, then drain and rinse thoroughly.
  2. In a wok, add 1-2 tbsp of oil. Once hot, add the grated onions. Fry the onions until golden and the raw scent is gone.
  3. Add the grated ginger, (chilli) and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes until the smell of ginger-garlic goes away.
  4. Now add the tinned tomatoes, stir and simmer for a full 15 minutes on medium-low until their raw scent is completely gone. Cover the pan to prevent splashes from the bubbling.
  5. Add the dried spices and stir for a 1-2 minutes.
  6. Add the prepared chickpeas, stir till all the chickpeas are coated with spices, around 2 minutes.
  7. Cover the pan and let it simmer at medium-low flame for around 30 minutes. The sauce will thicken over the 30 minutes so add water accordingly. It can be as thick or thin as you like.
  8. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt for saltiness, chilli (powder) for heat, or a bit of sugar for sweetness and to offset the heat of the chillies.
  9. Serve with wholegrain rice and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

Tips from Emma:

  1. Practice patience. Let the tomatoes and onions cook really well and then simmer the chickpeas with the spices for a longer time, it tastes much much better.
  2. A pinch of turmeric can be added to a rice dish to enhance its colour.
  3. You can chop the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli together in a blender to use as a paste.

I really hope you enjoy this!

Emma xo

Meet Emma

Hi, I am Emma McAtasney, I earned my credentials through Precision Nutrition. the world leader in nutrition education for fitness professionals. Precision Nutrition regularly improves their curriculum based on the latest in nutrition, exercise, and psychology research. Their mission is research-driven, life-changing nutrition coaching for everyone.


In addition, I am a NCEHS personal trainer, BASI Pilates teacher, prenatal and postnatal exercise specialist and founder of a boutique Pilates studio in Dundalk, Ireland.


I have loved all things health and fitness since I was a teenager. I especially love working with my clients (from all over the world) in creating a lifestyle that gives us a strong and healthy body, inside and out!

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