Warming up the Winter with Spicy Comfort Foods

Channa Masala

This is the time of the year, where as it gets darker and colder that we turn to our comfort foods. These comfort foods have the reputation of being high fat, high sugar, processed foods that often perpetuate the cycle of binge and compulsive eating.

Making Channa Masala tonight at home, I thought I would share the recipe with you. Its quick, easy and I make a big batch because it tastes even better for leftovers!

Lets start with a grocery list:

Find an Indian grocery store near you:

You can purchase spices like cumin seed, turmeric powder here but usually packaging is large.

Chick peas (canned or dried)

Ghee in a glass bottle





Chole Masala mix

Your Grocery Store:

Small glass bottles in spice section-

Cloves and cinnamon bark

Cumin seed


Tomato sauce


Here's the recipe:                                                   

1 32oz can of chick peas (quick) or soak chick peas a day ahead).

2 T oil (I like the mild flavor of avocado).

1 tsp of ghee.

2 cloves.

1 1/2inch piece of cinnamon.

1/2 teaspoon of cumin seed.

1 teaspoon of chole masala powder.

1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder.

1 medium onion finely chopped.

1 clove of garlic crushed (or more if you enjoy a stronger taste).

1 teaspoon of puree ginger.

4oz of tomato sauce.

1/2cup water.

1/2 teaspoon salt.

2T of chopped coriander to garnish.



Heat the oil and ghee in a saucepan.

Throw in the cloves and cinnamon followed by the cumin seed. Move away until you hear seeds pop.

When cumin seed pop, throw in the onion, ginger and garlic.

Sautee until translucent, then add chole masala powder and turmeric powder. Stir for 2 minutes.

Add tomato sauce and stir in chick peas. Add water.

Add salt  to taste and let simmer. Adding another clove of crushed garlic adds more garlic flavor to those who like a stronger taste.

You can add more water keep the tomato base thin like a soup or you can mash the chickpeas or add a tablespoon of mashed potato for a thicker stew-like sauce.

The ingredients have many benefits from high fiber in the chick peas, prebiotic benefits in the onions and garlic and the anti- inflammatory benefits of ginger and turmeric.

You can :

  • add spinach to increase fiber and iron  in the dish

  • add chicken to add protein

  • add pureed fresh tomatoes if you have the time

  • use organic versions of all the ingredients

  • blend the onion, tomato, garlic, ginger mixture before you add the chick peas for a smoother sauce.