This chickpea and potato curry (Chana Aloo) is a simple and easy, comforting plant-based dish. It’s packed with flavor and comes together in just 30 minutes. Enjoy with a slice of toasted naan bread or over a bed of fluffy basmati rice!
Chickpea and potato curry (chana aloo) is a dish that originated in the Indian region of Punjab. Chana aloo is a Hindi term that means “chickpeas and potatoes,” which are staple ingredients in Indian cooking.
In this simple meatless curry, the chickpeas and potatoes are toasted in an Indian spice blend until fragrant. Crushed tomatoes and vegetable stock are added to create a thick curry sauce where the ingredients continue to thicken while all flavors deepen.
The entire recipe takes just 30 minutes to prepare and cook, making it a great option for a weeknight meal. It tastes just like what you would get at an Indian restaurant, with the benefit of being healthier. Plus, you’ll be able to control the ingredients and spice level to your tastes.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Oil: While most curry recipes use coconut oil, I prefer to use extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil is rich in antioxidants and has less saturated fat.
- Garlic & onion: They provide a deep base of texture and flavor to any curry. You can use red onion or shallot for a milder onion taste.
- Cumin seeds: Once toasted, these seeds give a unique smoky flavor to this chickpea curry – a classic in Indian cooking.
- Grated ginger: A powerful anti-inflammatory that helps with digestion and adds a natural fresh spicy flavor to the curry.
- Curry spices: A combination of dried ground turmeric, cumin, coriander, garam masala, and cayenne pepper create the base for this curry. They add spicy and smoky flavors that infuse this curry and deepen its taste.
- Canned chickpeas: I used store-bought canned garbanzo beans to keep things simple. They add a plant-based source of protein to the dish along with fiber, heartiness, and lots of texture.
- Crushed tomatoes: Give the curry a layer of fresh acidic taste that pairs well with the spicy flavors of the curry. It also enhances the sauce’s texture, making it thick once reduced.
- Potatoes: Cubed potatoes give this dish a satisfying taste and texture that will keep you fuller for longer. They also absorb the curry flavors well, making them taste great once cooked thoroughly until soft.
- Vegetable broth: I recommend using a vegetable stock low in sodium and has no added flavors. You can also use water.
- Cilantro: Used as a garnish, it adds a freshness to the chickpea potato curry that pairs well with the flavors of this dish. It also is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and anti-inflammatory properties.
How To Make
- Toast the cumin seeds: Add the oil to a large pan or pot. Turn the heat to medium and add the cumin seeds. Let them sit in the hot oil for a few seconds until they begin to sizzle and release their flavors.
- Cook the garlic, onion, and ginger: Immediately add the chopped onion, the garlic, and minced ginger. Sauté everything for 3-4 minutes until the vegetables soften and the onion becomes lightly golden.
This trio (onion, garlic, and ginger) provides the deep base flavor of most curries. Soften them for a few seconds for a lighter curry. Or cook them longer and let them caramelize for a richer and darker flavor.
- Add the spices: Then, add all the dried spices and stir the ingredients until well combined. This should take about 30 seconds.
- Toast the chickpeas and potatoes: Add the drained chickpeas and cubed potatoes to the pot and let them absorb the flavors for a couple of minutes.
- Create the curry sauce: Add the water or vegetable stock along with the crushed tomatoes and give the mixture a stir. Bring to a boil, then turn back down to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or until the potatoes become fork tender.
- Adjust seasonings and serve: Add additional salt and pepper or any other seasonings as desired. Ladle into bowls or a serving dish and top with freshly chopped cilantro. Serve with brown or white basmati rice or naan bread, and garnish with extra cilantro, lime juice, slices of red onions, and fresh chili.
How to Store
Fridge: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Reheat in a microwave or on the stovetop before serving.
Freezer: You can also freeze leftovers in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag for up to two months. Let thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat.
What to Serve with Curry
Chana aloo or chickpea potato curry pairs well with brown or white basmati rice, naan bread, and/or a simple salad on the side. If you want to make this dish into a complete meal, try pairing it with some of these sides:
- Steamed broccoli or cauliflower florets
- Vegan cucumber and tomato raita (yogurt dip)
- Green peas pulao (rice dish)
- Fruit salad or mango chutney
- Cooked quinoa or farro
- Steamed cauliflower rice
Cut the potatoes evenly: When cutting your potatoes, make sure they are all roughly the same size to ensure they all cook at the same time.
Toast the cumin: Make sure you don’t skip the step of toasting the cumin seeds. It gives the curry a richer, aromatic flavor.
Be generous with your spices: Spices not only bring flavor but texture to your curry, so use a good amount. Plus, spices can be wildly different and have more or less flavor, depending on their quality and how fresh they are (to keep their flavor for longer, store them in a cool, dry place out of direct light). You can adjust the seasonings and spices according to your tastes and desired heat level!
Why I Love This Recipe
- It’s made with simple plant-based ingredients.
- You can change up the seasonings to your desired tastes.
- The entire dish takes under 45 minutes to make, including prep time.
- It can be made in a large batch and frozen for later.
Other Curry Recipes You’ll Love
If you try this chickpea and potato curry recipe, please leave a comment and a rating and let me know how much you liked it!
Chickpea And Potato Curry (Chana Aloo)
- 2 tablespoon oil - see note 1
- 1 yellow onion - diced (you can also use red or white)
- 2 garlic cloves - minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cans chickpeas - drained or 3 cups drained
- 1 can crushed tomatoes - 15 ounce
- 2 medium potatoes - around 1 ½ cup, cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 ½ cup water - or vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons cilantro - chopped
- Cilantro leaves
- Red onions
- Fresh chili
- Basmati rice
- Heat the oil in a large pan or a pot over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and let them toast for a few seconds until they start to sizzle and become fragrant.
- Add the chopped onions, minced garlic cloves, and ginger, and cook for 3-4 minutes until the onions are lightly golden (see note 2).
- Add all the spices: garam masala, turmeric, cayenne pepper, ground cumin, and ground coriander (see note 3). Cook until fragrant for around 30 seconds.
- Add the chickpeas and cubed potatoes and toast for a couple of minutes. Then add the salt, crushed tomatoes, and a cup of water (or vegetable broth).
- Bring the curry to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low to keep it gently simmering, and cook for around 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender (use a fork to check) and the curry thickens up.
- Adjust salt to taste. If you like your curry spicy, now it’s the time to add extra chili.
- Once the curry is ready, add the chopped cilantro.
- Serve with brown or white basmati rice or naan bread, and garnish with extra cilantro, slices of red onions, and fresh chili.
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