Simple Supper Friday: Chicken Chana Masala

Chicken chana masala.

I’m so excited! I now only have one more week of regular classes, then finals. Woo hoo! On the downside, three of my four finals are comprehensive exams. Not fun, but I’ll survive and am not focusing on the downside. Another fun thing? I’ve started receiving big packages in the mail. Specifically, wedding shower gifts. It’s super exciting! I’m having a wedding shower back in Michigan at the end of the month, but some people are sending their gifts directly to me, so I don’t have to have things shipped back or checked on the plane. It’s much appreciated, but obviously, I’ll do whatever I need to do.

On that note, I’m going to have to start making room, especially in the kitchen, for our new things. I love getting rid of stuff, especially when it’s being replaced with something nicer. All in all, this whole process is really exciting, and I’m so grateful that we’re doing a small, private ceremony and a celebratory party back home. With my family helping arrange the party in Michigan, and things in line out here, there really isn’t any stress. Jesse and I are very blessed.

Meanwhile, this is a chana masala-inspired dish. As a former vegetarian, I used to love chana masala when I’d go out for Indian. Since I avoid chickpeas (and other legumes), which are used in chana masala, I substituted chicken instead, which seemed to work well. I wanted a touch of creaminess to mellow out the spices in the dish, so I also added some coconut milk, which isn’t typically used in chana masala. I am a sucker for coconut milk in dishes and besides, I thought it made the dish taste better.


  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed ghee
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 14.5 oz can unsalted diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • Dash of cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Unsweetened coconut flakes for garnish, optional


  1. Melt the ghee in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute a couple minutes. Then, add the chicken pieces. Continue to cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the spices and sea salt, and stir. Then, add the tomatoes and coconut milk. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 10-12 minutes. Add a bit more coconut milk, if needed.
  3. Serve over steamed greens or cauliflower rice and garnish with unsweetened coconut flakes, if desired. Fresh cilantro would also serve as a lovely garnish.

Yields: 3 servings


11 thoughts on “Simple Supper Friday: Chicken Chana Masala

  1. rockyscafe March 8, 2013 / 10:30 am

    Looks yummy! Here I was wondering what to have for dinner tonight and you solved that problem for me. Fortunately, I have all the incredients at home and don’t even need to run to the store! Have a great weekend!

    • paleoinpdx March 8, 2013 / 10:39 am

      Aw, shucks…I’m happy I could help 😉

  2. Rhiarti March 8, 2013 / 12:55 pm

    Oh my word, that looks delicious! Very best of luck with your finals, and hurrah for wedding shower gifts!

  3. Shonnie March 8, 2013 / 4:48 pm

    Best wishes on your finals

    • paleoinpdx March 8, 2013 / 4:54 pm

      Thanks, Shonnie. I appreciate it!

  4. Megan March 11, 2013 / 11:40 am

    Good luck on your finals!! I was actually just putting together my shopping list when I ran across this post, I now have chicken and a can of tomatoes on there, perfect addition to my meals for the week!

  5. Luv What You Do March 17, 2013 / 3:34 pm

    I love the idea of a simple Friday meal because I never want to cook by then.
    This looks fantastic. We love Indian food in our house!

    • paleoinpdx March 17, 2013 / 4:52 pm

      Exactly! That’s the whole idea behind my Friday posts. Thanks for your kind words 🙂

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