Chana Masala is one of my favourite Indian dishes. It’s a superhealthy, hearty and spicy vegan curry, just the right type of food for a cold weather hikes.

Chana Masala is really easy to make.  Explore your local Indian grocery store, get necessary ingredients and follow our instructions.

Chana Masala Recipe

* Serves 2-3 * One-Pot* 100gr/3.53oz * 399kCal*

You’ll need:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
1 teaspoon Chana Masala powder
1 can (400g/14oz) canned tomatoes (crushed)
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste
1 can (400g/14oz) canned chickpeas, drained
1 tablespoon coriander leaves, chopped
1 cup dehydrated cooked basmati or jasmine rice

chana masala ingredients

At home:

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add onions, garlic and ginger; cook, stirring until onions are soft and translucent.

chana masala step 1

Tip in masala powder. Stir well. Heat for another minute together to release the aroma.

chana masala step2

Pour the diced tomatoes together with juice into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Season to taste with salt and sugar.
Turn heat down to a medium-low. Put a lid on and leave to cook for 10 minutes.

chana masala step3

Add chickpeas and coriander leaves; stir well.  Simmer for another couple of minutes.

chana masala step4

Remove from the heat and cool thoroughly.
Spread Chana Masala mixture on dehydrator tray covered with a non-stick sheet or parchment paper.

chana masala on dehydrator tray

Dehydrate at 63C/145F for 8-10 hours until brittle.

Divide dried meal into equal portions (about 2/3 cup each) and put into a zip-lock bags. Add to each portion 1/3 cup of dried cooked rice.

On the trail:
To rehydrate 1 portion:

Pour Chana Masala and rice mixture into the pot; add 1 cup water and stir well.
Place pot over medium heat and bring to a boil.
Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand another 5 minutes to rehydrate meal completely.
Serve with tortilla or chapati.

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16 Comments

  1. Greg on February 16, 2021 at 11:33 pm

    The plug in won’t let me “reply” but I used canned chickpeas.

    I’m going to make this tonight, without dehydrating.

    • Tanya Krezevska on February 22, 2021 at 9:09 am

      No problem at all. It’s just a metter of weight. If you are planning to hike just for 1-2 days, you can use canned food instead of dehydrated.

  2. Greg on December 30, 2020 at 7:29 pm

    The flavors are there, but the chickpeas never fully rehydrated.

    I followed this recipe and dehydrated it at 145F for 8hrs like the instructions state. I live in Florida where the humidity is high, dehydrating typically takes longer than instructions say.

    On the trail I brought a cup of water to a hard boil, poured it into a Ziploc bag with the dried chana masala, then placed it in my koozy for 30 minutes.
    When it was time to eat, the dish was piping hot and flavourful, but the chickpeas were still firm.

    For the second batch, I let it soak in a pot of water for 30 minutes. Then I cooked it at home on my stove while following the instructions. They were a little softer than what I experienced on the trail.

    Next time I’m going to dehydrate this meal for only 5-6hrs.

    Regardless if that works or not, this is a tasty recipe to make at home and NOT dehydrate.

    • Tanya Krezevska on January 18, 2021 at 12:31 pm

      Hi Greg! I never had a problen to dehydrate and rehydrate Chana Masala. What kind of chickpeas do you use? For better result I’d recommend to use canned ones.

  3. Megan on August 30, 2020 at 4:09 am

    I made my go-to chana masala recipe, dehydrated it until brittle (which took twice as long as you noted, more like 23 hours @ 125F). Tried re-constituting it at home, to make sure it would work, and thank goodness our first attempt wasn’t in the back country! Everything went wrong—we burned through our fuel canister (running it at medium); the chickpeas never fully softened. We needed closer to 2cups water: 2/3 cup brittle. After running out of fuel, we finished cooking on our indoor stove and it took closer to 20 minutes, and the chanas were *still* not thoroughly softened.

    What am I missing? Did I massively over-dehydrate it? Does yours still have moisture left when it’s at the brittle stage? How do you not burn through fuel while cooking for 10+ minutes?! That seems crazy to me, but I suppose I’m more accustomed to recipes that reconstitute via soaking, and require much less fuel.

    • Tanya Krezevska on August 31, 2020 at 10:35 am

      Hi Megan! For better rehydration (especially if you’ve overdried your food), try to soak meal a bit in water, and then cook.

  4. Julia on March 13, 2020 at 3:38 pm

    How long can this be stored? Ex in fridge or pantry?

    • Tanya Krezevska on March 13, 2020 at 6:07 pm

      Hi Julia, the shelf life of dehydrated food depends on many factores. If it was dried properly, packed into vacuum-sealed bags and kept in the fridge, it can last years!

  5. Natasha on August 1, 2019 at 11:35 am

    We can’t wait to eat this on the trail! One question: On recipes like this one that have a serving size larger than 1, are the calories/nutrition information listed for the whole dish, or per serving?

    • Tanya Krezevska on August 1, 2019 at 4:24 pm

      Hello! Nutrition information shown in recipe is per portion (serving).

  6. Meena s. Arbooj. Nasik india on November 22, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    Hi Tanya krezevska, namaste ,I am from India (Maharashtra state ,city Nasik.) I like your dehydrated Backing meals chana masala receipe.Iwant to learn dehydrating only vegetarian vegetables,curry fruits and grain receipe. What is fees pl. tell me. Tank you so much.

    • Tanya Krezevska on November 22, 2018 at 8:06 pm

      Namaste! Glad to hear you like the recipe. Chana Masala is one of my favorite recipes too. if you’d like to learn how to dehydrate veggies, fruits and grains, you can join our food dehydrating class here: https://www.trail.recipes/food-dehydrating-class/. Cost is 12$ only for lifetime access.

  7. Kathy on August 19, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    This is delicious! I made a second batch with ground meat instead of garbanzos (due to H food preference) and it was delicious also. I know-not authentic, but it sure tasted good. Thank you for posting this.

    • Tanya Krezevska on August 20, 2017 at 9:21 am

      Thanks, Kathy!

  8. Claire Bodkin on May 25, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    hello! first of all, recipe is delicious – mine is in the dehydrator right now after some taste testing, can’t wait to see how it turns out!

    i wanted to comment that the recipe calls for canned diced tomatoes but the photos show what i think might be crushed tomatoes. i used canned diced tomatoes and i’ll report back (with pictures if that’s possible??) to share how it turned out. i think it will be more dry crumbled mix, less bark.

    thanks for the blog and recipes!

    • Tanya Krezevska on May 25, 2017 at 4:55 pm

      Hi Claire! Thank you for the comment. You can use both diced or crushed tomatoes in this recipe. And you are right, the difference will be only in texture. Eager to see how your’s turns out. Share pictures on your social networks and tag us in order we can see them too!

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