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Creamy White Bean Chana Masala

I love garbanzo beans and I love to experiment with how small tweaks can sometimes make big differences with the texture or flavor profile, especially with this particular ingredient. This dish is born out of one of those "I want to try that" tweaks -- adding an equal amount of white beans to garbanzo beans when making chana masala. The result? Super creamy Chana Masala. This is a great combo!

With a dish like this, I really like to focus on the "sequencing"of steps because that can really result in everything done and sitting down to eat in an hour. So this is what I do, when I'm looking for efficiency.

I start with washing and rinsing garbanzo beans, add a couple of cups of water, set the timer for 20 minute and get them to boil. It can either be beans that I soaked the night before or canned beans.

Once that is boiling, I cut and peel the onions, peel the garlic cloves and ginger root. All pieces should be big enough for your food processor to handle pureeing. Puree the ingredients.

As soon as they are pureed, get a wok on the burner at medium to high heat, add the oil. Once the oil heats up and then the onion, garlic, and ginger mixture. Turn the heat down to a medium. You will keep it at this temperature for the entire duration that you cook the masala.

Quickly rinse the tomato and the food processor. Give the tomato a quick chop and puree it, ready to add as soon as the mixture starts to brown.

While you are waiting to add the tomatoes, get the rice prepped and ready. I highly recommend trying out the Hassle Free Basmati Rice. It's good for anytime but especially if you are pinched for time or want to get the kids involved to help with the meal. If you have a little more time, maybe you can try the Jeera Matar Pulao, or Basmati rice flavored with cumin seeds and cooked with peas.

Once the onions have browned, add the tomato puree. If you can remember, my biggest tip here would be to rinse the food processor immediately. This will save you at least 15 minutes on the back end, trying to clean a tomato crusted food processor container.

Mix in the tomato puree with the mixture in the wok. It will take at least another 10 minutes for this to get fully cooked before it is ready for the beans. Stir occasionally. Add another tablespoon of oil or ghee.

It is super important not to rush this step of cooking the tomatoes here because it really makes a difference.

The main idea is to make sure that the water is completely evaporated from the mixture...the signal you will get when that happens is that the oil starts seeping out of the edges of the moisture. Every time. So if you aren't seeing that, you haven't waited long enough :). Now if you REALLY don't want to wait, you can speed up the process here with pasta 3/4 cup pasta sauce instead of the fresh tomato puree but that can result in the Masala being a tad on the sweeter side.

Once the tomato onion mixture is cooked, with oil seeping out/bubbling from the sides, add the garbanzo bean and white beans. Really scrape out the bottom as you try and integrate the beans with the tomato onion mixture. Once that is done, add all the spices. Stir and mix well and continue to cook for 3-4 more minutes.

At this point, you can go two ways.

If you want a dry Chana Masala, which is a version often eaten with paratha or chapati, then continue to cook this for 10 more minutes. Remove from stove and serve with some type of flat bread. Corn Tostadas are a great alternate, gluten free option, if you did not want to do a wheat based flatbread or rice.

If you want a Chana Masala curry or something that is a bit "saucy", then add two cups of water, bring to a boil and cover. Cook for 15 minutes and then you are ready to pour it over any type of rice, quinoa or shredded cabbage.

Check out the partial slides for this dish. I lost focus at the end and forgot to take a picture of what it looks like after cooking covered for 15 minutes. It has a bunch of pock mark in it, like gophers have been through a dry patch. Sorry if that analogy is gross. Complain to me in the comments!


  • 4 tablespoons cooking oil or ghee

  • 1 14 oz can garbanzo beans (1/2 cup dry beans soaked)

  • 1 14 oz can white beans (1/2 cup dry beans soaked)

  • 1 large yellow onion

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1/2 inch ginger root

  • 2 roma tomatoes pureed

  • 4 teaspoon LCY Go to Curry Mix (cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, chili powder and salt)

  • 1 teaspoon LCY Garam Masala

  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel powder


  1. Open, drain and wash the can of garbanzo beans. Empty can into a 4-6 quart pan, fill with two cups of water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes.

  2. Open, drain and wash the can of white beans. These will be added to the garbanzo beans after the 20 minutes.

  3. Peel and chop onion in big pieces. Peel garlic cloves and ginger root. Put all ingredients into a food processor and blend till smooth.

  4. Add two tablespoons of oil or ghee into a wok on medium high. When oil starts to get wavy, add the onion, garlic, ginger puree.

  5. Cook till the puree is reddish brown. Then add the tomato puree.

  6. Cook for another 8-10 minutes till the tomato integrates well and oil started leaving the sides. Stir frequently.

  7. Check the garbanzo. Drain and place back in pan. Add the white beans to the garbanzo.

  8. Once the tomato onion paste is well browned, add the garbanzo & white beans to wok.

  9. Add the LCY Go to Curry Mix, LCY Garam Masala and the fennel powder to the wok. Stir and mix well.

  10. Add two cups of water.

  11. Bring to a boil, cover and seal the wok well. Cook for 15 minutes.

  12. At the end of 15 minutes, takes the cover off and cook uncovered for 5 minutes longer.

  13. Garnish with cilantro if desired.

  14. Serve with rice or toast.

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