20-Minute Meal: Tikka Chana Masala

Indian food warms my soul! It’s my go-to carry-out meal on a Friday night when I have no desire to cook and I want to veg-out in front of the T.V watching reruns of The Office.

In an attempt to control the ingredients going into my Indian food and eating healthier overall, I made the decision to begin cooking my own Indian dishes like this Tikka Chana Masala.

Tikka Masala is typically made with chicken, while Chana Masala is made up of primarily chickpeas. So I paired the two together to create a plant-based and vegan Tikka Chana Masala that only takes 10-20 minutes to prepare.

If you have minimal time or don’t feel like dedicating more than 10 minutes to meal prep, then use the slow cooker directions below. For a more hands-on approach, you can cook on the stovetop in just 20-minutes!

My favorite way to eat the Tikka Chana Masala is with whole wheat Naan bread or serve it over steamed rice. Get the recipe below!

Ingredients (makes 6 servings)

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion (chopped)
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh ginger (peeled & grated)
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. garam masala
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper*
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 15oz. cans chickpeas (rinsed & drained)
  • bay leaf
  • 1 15oz. can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch**



  1. Combine all the ingredients from the oil to the bay leaf in a slow cooker. Cook on high for 3½ hours.
  2. Then stir in the coconut milk. If the sauce needs thickening, whisk in the cornstarch. Continue cooking for about 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and serve warm on Naan bread or over Basmati rice. Enjoy!


  1. In a large pot over medium heat, add the oil and the onions. Sauté until the onions are translucent – about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and the ginger. Cook for 1 minute or until fragrant.
  2. Then add the tomato sauce, spices, chickpeas and bay leaf. Increase the heat and bring the sauce to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 12-15 minutes.
  3. Bring the heat to low and stir in the coconut milk. Whisk in the cornstarch if the sauce needs thickening. Cook for more minutes. Remove the bay leaf and serve the Tikka Chana Masala with Naan bread or over rice. Enjoy!

*For a mild dish, omit the cayenne pepper.

**Only use the cornstarch if the sauce needs thickening.

Comment below if you made this dish or plan on doing so? I always love hearing your feedback for these recipes!

If you are following the SBH Plant-Based 21-day Meal Plan, one serving of the Tikka Chana Masala is approximately:


  • 2 Healthy Fat servings
  • 1 Vegetable serving
  • 1.5 Meat/Dairy Alternative servings

Nutritional Note: One serving is approximately 332 calories. 

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I'm Sara Heilman

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