Chana = chickpeas. Masala = a blend of ground spices used extensively in Indian cuisine. Mix them together with a few other ingredients for a heavenly vegetarian/vegan side or main dish.
So here’s a tip. When you purchase the spices and some of the other ingredients for this recipe (such as the ghee, garam masala, fresh ginger and cilantro), go to a specialty Indian/Asian store for the best deals. Not only do you have a wider selection of regional-specific ingredients, but the prices are usually much, much better than those in a traditional grocery store.
I used organic ghee (clarified butter, read more about it at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghee) for this chana masala, but for a vegan version just substitute extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil instead.
When serving chana masala as a side dish, you likely will be cooking rice as well (jasmine rice is my preference), and I like to make extra because it’s perfect for leftovers. The rice and chana masala, which gets better overnight in the fridge, heat well in the microwave for a fast lunch or dinner.