Sweet Potato Chana Masala

By • November 25, 2012 22 Comments

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Author Notes: These days, with deadlines looming, I've been desperate for quick recipes using ingredients at hand. Chana Masala has been on this list for years, a recipe inspired by Molly Wizenberg and massaged over the years to satisfy this household. Just lately it's been feeling a little one note, so on a whim, I added diced sweet potato for a happy new twist. Add serrano based on your own preference for heat, or omit it if you like. Serve this with rice, naan or grilled flatbreads.MrsWheelbarrow

Serves 2 with leftovers for lunch

  • 1 cup diced sweet potato (one medium large)
  • 1 tablespoon clarified butter or grapeseed oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and minced (to taste, an entire chile is spicy)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can garbanzo beans (15 oz), drained and rinsed
  • 1 pint crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup rough chopped cilantro
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt, full fat
  1. Microwave the sweet potato with 1/4 cup water for three minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat the clarified butter in a three quart lidded stockpot or saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and saute over medium heat until well caramelized.
  3. Add the coriander, cumin, cardamom, garam masala, and ginger and toast in the butter and onions for a minute or two.
  4. Add the serrano and cook for two minutes until it has wilted a bit.
  5. Add the garbanzo beans, tomatoes, salt, and sweet potatoes and bring to a boil. Turn down to a slow simmer, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Remove the cover. Stir in the yogurt and cilantro and cook for five more minutes, or until piping hot.
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Comments (22) Questions (4)

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6 months ago Joyce Parkes

Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe.. its just perfect and I invested in a container of ghee (clarified butter) before I cooked. I used 0% greek yoghourt and added to the individual dishes. And five generous servings with only a little green salad on the side ... will be taking my spices for this away on an apartment holiday for the month of March.. Nb.. I made this the night before I wanted to eat and it looked rather unappetising.. however by the next am it had 'gelled' and the consistency was terrific.

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6 months ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

Hi Joyce, Thanks for the nice comment! I just love this dish. It's so quick to make and so completely satisfying. I, too, take a little bit of spice mix when we rent a house during the summer. This meal makes everyone happy.

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6 months ago Julie Waters

My yogurt curdled a little when I added it. I have a gas stove and the "low" setting is still quite hot; could this be why it curdled? Luckily, it still tastes great!

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6 months ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

Yes, probably it was a little too hot. Next time, take the dish off the heat and then stir in the yogurt!

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over 1 year ago Hummusforall

Any advice on the best way to make this the night before?

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over 1 year ago IrishJenn

Okay. I made this tonight and my husband and I ate it until we were stuffed! It was so, so, so good. It will be in our permanent rotation. I ended up not using clarified butter to caramelize the onions because I don't know how to clarify butter (and I'm also kind of lazy) and it turned out fine. YUM! Thank you.

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over 1 year ago IrishJenn

Oh! And I used 2% yogurt instead of full fat, because the grocery stores around here don't stock full fat greek yogurt, for some reason. No matter. It was still amazing.

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over 1 year ago MQAvatar

IrishJenn, if you try to carmelize the onion and garlic with non-clarified butter, then you risk burning the milk solids (plus the taste will be different).

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over 1 year ago IrishJenn

Forgive me if this is a silly question, but why clarified butter?

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over 1 year ago MQAvatar

IrishJenn, if you try to carmelize the onion and garlic with non-clarified butter, then you risk burning the milk solids (plus the taste will be different).

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over 1 year ago IrishJenn

Thank you. I've never clarified butter before. I'll give it a go.

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over 1 year ago bistrobistro

I am looking forward to making this for lunch tomorrow!! Looks incredible.

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over 1 year ago re-arranging_jars

I used ras al hanout in place of the garam masala, (just what I happened to have on hand) and it was sooo good! I think the dish was too hot when I added my yogurt though because it broke. Next time I will cool it off more before adding, or temper it in.

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over 1 year ago sanjog

An easy version of this recipe is using Sukhi's Classic Curry Sauce. A one-step cooking sauce that is as authentic as what I had on my dinner table in India. You can buy it from their website. All you do is add sweet potatoes, garbanzo's and water to it and you have an authentic delicious meal :)

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almost 2 years ago Anna Pieta

By pint of tomatoes, do you mean fresh or a can. If its a can, small or large?
Thanks

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9 months ago KatiePete

This is probably too late but for others: I used a typical can- the one that fit in your hand- not the large wide ones but not the short squat ones. Here in Australia it's 410g. I also added some vegetable broth to thin it.

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about 2 years ago food52fan

MrsWheelbarrow, thank you for sharing this awesome recipe!! And your hilarious tips! The recipe looked so delicious that I doubled it before even trying it the first time! I am so happy to have leftovers for tomorrow. I served this dish with the cucumber and avocado salad on Food52, warm naan, and some minted iced tea.

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about 2 years ago Cinnamin

Wow I like the spin you've put on it with the sweet potatoes! I always make a plain vanilla chana masala, I'll try this variation next!

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about 2 years ago Deanna Witkowski

I almost forgot to add the ginger as it wasn't included in the directions (but was included in the list of ingredients).

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about 2 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

thank you for letting me know.

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over 2 years ago gigi.hotchkiss

Thanks for sharing this recipe. I made it for lunch this week, and it is delicious!!

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over 2 years ago Kathy Cooks

sounds divine! I will definitely try this..Thanks.