While still being nutritious for my body, of course! Chana Masala is one of my favourite chickpea dishes and so naturally, this little combo fell together!

This meal only takes about 30 minutes to make, start to finish. Quinoa is a kitchen staple for me. Although it’s a seed, in meals quinoa is often used similarly to grains such as rice and bulgar wheat, and is packed with protein. There are three varieties to choose from: white, red, and black. I used white quinoa in my recipe but feel free to substitute any of the other varieties as they are all good options. Also, if you are not familiar with Indian cooking, then there may be a few spices you will need to invest in before you get started. Once all of your ingredients are in order, it is incredibly easy to prepare. Here are a few of the spices I use most often when cooking indian cuisine:

  • Curry Powder
  • Turmeric
  • Cumin
  • Garam Masala
  • Cardamom
  • Cinnamon
  • Coriander
  • Red Chili Powder

I actually stocked up on nearly all of the spices above while traveling through Southern India last year. The spice markets were amazing! However, it took me a while to learn how to cook with them. There was a lot of trial and error if I am honest but when used right, the flavour Indian spices bring to food is incredible. I love to toss broccoli and cauliflower with some olive oil and then sprinkle in curry powder and red chili powder before roasting them in the oven for a nice little kick.

Spiced Quinoa Ingredients

1 cup of Quinoa

2 cups of Water

Garlic Powder, Paprika, and Chili Flakes to taste (I recommend 1/2 teaspoon each)

Pinch of Salt

Sliced Avocado on the side

Chana Masala Ingredients (Inspired by BBCGoodFood)

1 can of Chickpeas

1/2 a can of Chopped Tomatoes

1/4 cup of Water

1 Onion, finely chopped

1 tspn of Minced Garlic

1 Green Chili, finely chopped

1/2 tsp Grated Ginger (Optional)

1/2 tsp of Garam Masala

1/2 tsp of Turmeric

1/4 tsp of Red Chili Powder

2 tbsp of Olive Oil

Fresh Coriander to taste (chopped)


To start, chop your onion and fresh coriander.

In a pot, bring two cups of water and 1 cup of quinoa to a boil. Add in the garlic powder, paprika, chili flakes, and salt, then cover and let simmer for 18 minutes. The quinoa will be fluffy in texture when its done. If the water doesn’t seem to have fully absorbed, give it 3 more minutes!

In another pot, heat the olive oil on medium. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic and let them cook for about 2 – 3 minutes. Then add the dried spices and chopped tomatoes. Let them cook for 2 more minutes. Then add the can of chickpeas and 1/4 a cup of water. Cook, stirring often, for 20 minutes and you should notice the sauce will start to thicken! Just before it’s done sprinkle in the freshly chopped coriander.

Serve the spiced quinoa and chana masala with half a sliced avocado on the side. I like to drizzle a little chili oil and sprinkle some freshly ground black pepper on the avocado. Enjoy!


René Daniella


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