Chana Masala starter

Gerla de Boer Flamingo starter

India is a country, which I have visited quite a few times. I love authentic Indian food, but I do like it with a twist too. The inspiration for this Chana Masala starter is from one of my local favourite Indian restaurants, Navadhanya. The chana masala is part of their tasting menu, which I highly recommend.

Chana Masala Starter with Flamingo peas 

You can use regular chickpeas for this recipe, but I use the delicious and delicate Flamingo pea for this. They are much crunchier, have a delicate flavour and the colour is slightly pink. 

Gerla de Boer Flamingo Peas
The delicate pink Flamingo peas

What are Flamingo peas?

The award-winning company Hodmedod’s are growing a new pea, a pink one! This lovely small, slightly pink pea has been aptly called the Flamingo Pea. They were offering everyone 400 packs to anyone who wanted a 500g pack of the Flamingo Peas to trial. They were completely free, but in return, they wanted feedback. That was an offer hard to resist and a nice challenge to create some tasty recipes.

More recipes with the Flamingo pea

Head over to this page for more recipes with this delicious pink pea. Don’t have the Flamingo pea?  You can use chickpeas or white beans instead. 

Bon appetite!


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Gerla de Boer Vegan recipe

Chana Masala starter

  • Author: Gerla de Boer
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: starter
  • Method: stove
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Diet: Vegetarian


The inspiration for this starter is from one of my local favourite Indian restaurants, Navadhanya. The chana masala is part of their tasting menu, which I highly recommend.


  • 150 gram cooked Flamingo peas
  • prepare the Flamingo peas 7 hours before you start this recipe 
  • how to prepare Flamingo peas –  instructions
  • 1/3 Chana masala recipe from Rick Stein
  • springs of coriander for decoration
  • 1.5 tbs Greek or coconut yoghurt 
  • 1/2 ts honey
  • pinch of salt
  • liquid tamarind for decoration


  • put a few peas on the side to use for decoration
  • make the Chana Masala ( use 1/2 a tin plum tomatoes for this recipe and mash the tomatoes). Make sure it is well spiced as the heat of the sauce will tone down as it is served cold.
  • put the Flamingo peas in the finished sauce, transfer it to a container and chill it at least for 1 hour before serving
  • mix the yoghurt, honey and salt and put on the side
  • decorate the plate with liquid tamarind ( stripes)
  • put a timbale shape on a plate, fill it with the Chana masala and push it down.
  • use a slicer to lift it on the plate and remove the timbale shape
  • put the sweet yoghurt on top of the Chana masala and spread it out, so it covers the top
  • garnish it with Flamingo peas and coriander 
  • put the liquid tamarind in a squeeze bottle and decorate the plate


If you don’t have Flamingo peas, you can use chickpeas.

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