Tomato-Chickpea Masala With Chicken 6.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; plate from Go Mama Go

Dinner in Minutes Dec 15, 2010

Look closely at the ingredient list: It's very pantry- and leftover-friendly, especially if you usually keep fresh ginger on hand. We did not scale back the recipe to 4 servings, because this is the kind of saucy main dish that's good as lunch leftovers the next day, or it can morph into a baked casserole the day after that.

The chicken adds texture and protein, but the masala could quite easily be prepared as a vegetarian dish.

Serve with jasmine or other long-grain rice (available cooked and frozen at Whole Foods Markets and Trader Joe’s).

Servings: 6
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onion
  • 3-inch piece ginger root
  • 4 medium cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 to 8 ounces cooked chicken (white or dark meat)
  • 30 ounces (two 15-ounce cans) no-salt-added chickpeas, such as Eden brand
  • 56 ounces (two 28-ounce cans) whole tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
  • 3/4 cup low-fat coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Leaves from 2 to 4 stems cilantro, for garnish
  • 2 medium lemons, for serving
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt


Heat the oil and butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat.

Meanwhile, finely chop the onions. Peel the ginger, then grate it to yield 2 tablespoons. Cut the garlic into very thin slices.

When the butter has melted, add the onions, garlic, ginger, garam masala and cayenne pepper; cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the onions have softened.

Shred the chicken (to taste), discarding any skin. Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Coarsely chop the tomatoes, reserving their juices (discard any basil leaves in the can).

Stir the chickpeas and the tomatoes with their juices into the pot. Once the chickpeas have heated through, use a potato masher to mash about half of them. Add the shredded chicken. Increase the heat to medium; once the liquid starts to bubble, cook for about 8 minutes, then stir in the coconut milk, sugar and salt. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring as needed.

Meanwhile, coarsely chop the cilantro. Cut the lemon into wedges.

Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. Divide among individual plates; add spoonfuls of yogurt to each portion. Sprinkle with the cilantro and serve hot, with lemon wedges.

Rate it

Recipe Source

Adapted from “A Bird in the Oven and Then Some,” by Mindy Fox (Kyle, 2010).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at