Sweet Potato Chana Masala

This post may contain affiliate links.

A pot of chana masala on a table in a campervan

First and foremost, let me be clear that is not meant to be an authentic chana masala recipe. This version was born on a chilly, breezy afternoon while camping on California’s stunning Lost Coast. We had spent the afternoon hiking amongst candelabra redwoods, eating wild blackberries and taking in the unbelievable beauty of the Sinkyone Area. There weren’t many people around since it was the middle of the week so there was total solitude.

This patch of the California coast is in the middle of nowhere with two of the best amenities in a place that beautiful: zero reception and zero light pollution. Luckily, we stocked up on groceries on the way and the loose plan was chana masala because the day was fuss-free and dinner needed to match. I opened up the “pantry” to find two beautiful, forgotten sweet potatoes. They needed to be used. Why not? Couldn’t hurt. I began constructing our meal while we chatted about our day and snacked. Pretty soon, dinner was simmering away on the stove while we headed off for a golden hour walk on the beach.

QSG Quick & Easy Meals

Quick and Easy Camping Meals

Save time at the campsite and get our best menu ideas for your next campout (without the fuss)!

We had gotten to wash the day off of ourselves in a crystal clear (frigid) creek and the whiskey gingers we sipped eased all existing ‘crinkles’ in our muscles. We made our way back to our ’87 Westfalia Vanagon and the smell of dinner waiting for us relaxed us further. It just so happens that the Pacific Ocean air and a pot of sweet potato channa masala compliment each other beautifully.

Ingredients for chana masala on a table in a campervan A bowl of chana masala on a table in a campervan

Ingredient Notes

‣ If you’ve never used spice mixes from the Indian market before, hopefully, this recipe will make you want to start! It’s definitely worth your while to order a box from Amazon or make a trip to an Indian/International Market. That way, you can have something different on the rare occasions where PB&J just doesn’t sound good for dinner. It’s also a great way to put a spin on pretty much any combination of veggies and proteins without having to keep all of these spices on hand separately. If, for some reason, you absolutely cannot get your hands on chana masala powder, 1 Tbsp chili powder + another Tbsp of equal parts cumin, garlic, clove, and turmeric will do the trick.

‣ For an extra boost of nutrition, throw in some kale, spinach or your favorite leafy green at the end and stir until wilted.

Chana masala on a bed of rice in a bowl

A bowl of chana masala on a table in a campervan

Sweet Potato Channa Masala

Author: Shruthi Lapp
5 from 2 ratings
Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
4 servings


  • 3 tablespoons neutral flavored oil
  • salt
  • 1 medium onion, , diced
  • 3 green chilis, , halved with stem OR 1 jalapeño pepper, halved with the stem (optional)
  • 1-2 tomatoes, , diced OR 2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes, halved OR 1/2 cup canned tomato of any kind
  • 2 tablespoons MDH Channa Masala Powder
  • 2 sweet potatoes, , peeled and cubed into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 (14 oz) cans chickpeas


  • Lime Wedges
  • Thinly Sliced Red Onion
  • Cilantro

Stove Top Rice

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 ½ cup water, or stock
  • ½ tablespoons grass-fed butter


To Make the Chana Masala

  • Over medium heat, sauté onion, jalapeño and a pinch of salt until onions are golden.
  • Add 2 rounded tbsp chana masala powder and tomatoes, sauté until a thick paste is formed.
  • Add sweet potatoes, stir to coat the potatoes evenly, put on the lid and let it steam for about 5 mins.
  • Remove lid, add the two cans of chick peas with liquid + whatever else you need so that the sweet potatoes are submerged. If you choose to drain the chickpeas, about 2 cans worth of liquid + 1 tsp of salt should do it.
  • Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, reduce, simmer for 30 mins and stir halfway through. The sweet potatoes should start to break down pretty easily with a few stirs. This is when you can fish the peppers out and adjust salt as needed. We prefer a little more salty than sweet but it’s up to you.
  • Spoon over some piping hot, buttery rice and garnish with red onion, cilantro and a squeeze of lime. You can also eat this with minute rice, your favorite store-bought naan, or even toasted hamburger/hot dog buns for an exotic “sloppy joe” experience.

To Make the Stove Top Rice

  • Bring rice and liquid to a boil over high heat.
  • Once boiling, stir in butter while loosening any rice stuck to the bottom.
  • Turn the heat down to low, put on the lid and set a timer to 12 mins.
  • Give it a quick fluff with a fork just before serving.



Sharp knife & cutting board
Pot with a lid
Wooden spoon
Bowls & utensils for serving


Replace the butter in the rice with oil.

Nutrition (Per Serving)

Calories: 375kcal

*Nutrition is an estimate based on information provided by a third-party nutrition calculator

Print This Recipe

A bowl of chana masala on a table in a campervan

About The Author

Shruthi Lapp has been living, working and food-ing in her ’87 Westfalia Vanagon since April 2016. Her most treasured on-the-road companions are her cast iron skillet, a camera and a good cup of coffee. She is currently exploring and eating her way through South America. Follow along @holidayatsee or at holidayatsee.com
Subscription Form Bottom of Post

Save this post!

Enter your email and we'll send this post to your inbox! Plus, you'll receive our newsletter full of great tips for all your outdoor adventures.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. stephanie cabrera says:

    Just followed!! Saw the images Katch posted! I can’t wait to follow your journey! we plan to do the same in October and hit the road. Also I need to make this soon, sooo yum!5 stars

  2. Chava Mazal says:

    This sounds absolutely delicious! I’m not the biggest fan of sweet potato, but I’m really trying to like it. Perhaps this is the recipe to change my mind!

  3. it`s looks like delicious and I really loved Indian dish

  4. Have made this a number of times now – camping and at home. To ease the outdoor preps, I’ve used a can of Trader Joe’s green chilis and Salsa Verde salsa instead of onion and jalapeño and mix up my spices at home. So thankful for all the recipes – and really, any meal made outdoors is great!5 stars