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+ servings
5 from 5 votes

Simple Slow Cooker Chana Masala

Author - Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
Yields: 4 -6 servings


  • 1 tablespoon neutral flavored vegetable oil, such as safflower or grapeseed
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly minced ginger or 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 28 ounces whole, peeled tomatoes
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas (2 cans, drained and rinsed)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon salt or to taste (I use 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt)
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups water, more as needed
  • For serving: plain vegan yogurt, fresh cilantro, cooked rice, homemade naan or chapati


  • Optional: heat the oil in a frying pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the onions. Sauté the onions till they're gently browning, about 7-8 minutes, stirring continually. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Transfer the onions and garlic to your slow cooker. Add the tomatoes, then crush them with a spoon or a potato masher in the slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients. (Alternately, if you don't want to sauté the onions and garlic, begin by crushing the tomatoes in the slow cooker, then add the rest of the ingredients.)
  • Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours.** If the mixture is too thick for your liking, you can thin it with additional water. Taste and adjust salt. Serve.


*For an oil free version, sauté with water or simply add all ingredients aside from the oil to the slow cooker
**If you don't wish to use a slow cooker or don't have one, sauté the onions and garlic as instructed in a large saucepan or wide, deep skillet. Add the tomatoes and remaining ingredients as instructed. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Uncover and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Taste, adjust salt, and serve as desired.