Sweet Potato Chana Masala Recipe on Food52 (2024)

Make Ahead

by: MrsWheelbarrow



10 Ratings

  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Serves 2 with leftovers for lunch

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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

  • Test Kitchen-Approved

What You'll Need

  • 1 cupdiced sweet potato (one medium large)
  • 1 tablespoonclarified butter or grapeseed oil
  • 1 cupdiced onion
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 teaspooncoriander seed
  • 1/2 teaspooncumin
  • 1/2 teaspooncardamom
  • 1 1/2 teaspoonsgaram masala
  • 1/2 teaspoongrated fresh ginger
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and minced (to taste, an entire chile is spicy)
  • 1 teaspoonsalt
  • 1 can garbanzo beans (15 oz), drained and rinsed
  • 1 pintcrushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cuprough chopped cilantro
  • 1/3 cupGreek 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.


  • Indian
  • American
  • Cilantro
  • Cumin
  • Bean
  • Sweet Potato/Yam
  • Cardamom
  • Coriander
  • Make Ahead
  • Winter
  • Diwali
  • Vegetarian

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Mia Roope

  • Tina Heaney

  • Velvet Hawrylenko

  • Joyce Parkes

  • Julie Waters

Recipe by: MrsWheelbarrow

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34 Reviews

ghainskom September 3, 2023

This gets tastier the longer it sits. Doubled the sweet potato amount and might or might not double the spices next time too. Used jalapeno instead of Serrano and happy I didn't skip it. A keeper.

KatieAPete August 22, 2023

This is my most cooked recipe. This meal had gotten me through my PhD and postdoc, and is still a staple. It truly is the highest ratio of delicious+nutritious to effort of any recipe I have found. I can’t say enough good things about this recipe! When I am feeling extra lazy (which I usually am) I use dry spices in place of the fresh pepper and ginger. Great one for a slow cooker!

MrsWheelbarrow September 3, 2023

Hi there! Thank you so much for such a nice message. I posted this recipe so many years ago! I’m glad it’s entered your kitchen and found a happy place.

rjkrath March 25, 2021

Quite tasty! Used only 1/2 tsp garam masala and doubled all the rest of the spices (used ground coriander instead of seeds since the crunch bothers me) due to preference in flavors. Doubled the sweet potato amount as well.

Nicole March 10, 2020

Amazing flavor!
I don't have a microwave so I simmered the potatoes for 15 min before adding the garbanzo beans. I also didn't have any peppers but added some chili powder for a kick of heat. I also didn't have yogurt but did not miss it - topped it with some carrot greens pesto instead

Elryn1 May 6, 2018

This is delicious! I made this in the Instant Pot and it turned out great.

First I heated the grapeseed oil using the Sauté button, added the diced onions and stirred until soft and starting to brown, Then I put everything except the tomatoes in the IP with 1/2 cup of water, and stirred. Then I put the crushed tomatoes on top without stirring. Manual button 3 min. Quick release.

Mia R. May 2, 2017

I just did this recipe, Delicious! I made a few arrangement though and had it with Naan. I added an Extra Red Bell Peper, and two extra fresh tomatoes. I removed it from the fire before I added the yogurt which I would recommend to everybody: wait until it's a bit colder to mix it so that it doesn't crumble.

Tina H. January 31, 2017

Absolutely delicious! I used tomatoes from my garden that I had quartered and frozen and butternut instead of sweet potato. I added some green beans and could have thrown a couple of more items in to get all the veg that we like.
So good, we'll be eating this again!
Thank you for the recipe!

shortnsweet August 25, 2016

very healthy, and very yummy--definitely greater than the sum of its parts!
if you don't have a microwave (I don't) just add the potatoes to the pan a little earlier (I added them with the chile) and simmer a touch longer.

I also only had DICED tomatoes in the pantry--I mashed them up a little in the can and thought they'd be alright, but there still wasn't enough liquid. I grabbed a bottle of white wine (vinho verde, actually) that I had open in the fridge and added that--perhaps about a half a cup? It was delicious, and cooked down to just the texture in the picture.

Velvet H. March 10, 2016

Oh wow! That was good, and I forgot to put in the cilantro and yogurt! Will try and remember to add them tomorrow when I have some leftovers. Thanks for a quick, easy, delicious recipe.

ghainskom January 26, 2016

Fast and yummy. Perfect for lunch with some naan bread. Will consider replacing garam masala with ras el hanout next time!

Joyce P. January 26, 2015

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.

MrsWheelbarrow January 26, 2015

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.

Julie W. January 19, 2015

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!

MrsWheelbarrow January 19, 2015

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

Hummusforall March 27, 2014

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

IrishJenn February 18, 2014

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.

IrishJenn February 18, 2014

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.

MQAvatar February 17, 2014

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).

IrishJenn February 16, 2014

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

MQAvatar February 17, 2014

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).

IrishJenn February 17, 2014

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

Jenny A. October 10, 2021

E. Indians use clarified butter in their recipes so this makes it more authentic. It's only a tablespoon so I doubt it matters much. If you live in a place with diversity, you can buy it in the grocery stores.

bistrobistro February 4, 2014

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

re-arranging_jars December 23, 2013

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.

sanjog November 14, 2013

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 :)

Anna P. October 7, 2013

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

KatiePete November 2, 2014

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.

Sweet Potato Chana Masala Recipe on Food52 (2024)
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