Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, onion, cumin, and one-third of the salt (1/3 tsp as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
Add garlic, ginger, bell pepper, and green chili and stir. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
Next add chicken breast (or omit if not adding — you’ll double up on chickpeas later), ground coriander, chili flake, turmeric, and paprika and stir to coat. Add another one-third of the salt (1/3 tsp as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Sauté for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
Next add diced tomatoes (optional: purée one of the cans of tomatoes in a small blender before adding for a creamier sauce). Then add chickpeas, garam masala, coconut sugar, and remaining salt (1/3 tsp as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size).
Increase heat to medium high until it reaches a rolling simmer, then reduce heat to low or medium-low and maintain a simmer (uncovered) for 15-20 minutes or until thick and stew-like. Stir occasionally.
Add coconut milk and stir to combine. Simmer for 5 minutes on medium-low heat. Then taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt to taste, chili flake (or a pinch of cayenne) for heat, coconut sugar for sweetness, cumin or paprika for smokiness, or garam masala for a more spiced / earthy flavor.
Garnish with fresh cilantro and jalapeños for added heat (optional). Can be enjoyed as a stew, or with white or brown rice or cauliflower rice. Another favorite is serving over roasted sweet potatoes.
Leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator up to 4-5 days, or in the freezer up to 1 month.
*DIY Garam Masala (amounts as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size): 2 small dried red chilies, 1 tsp black peppercorns (or 1/2 tsp ground black pepper), 1 tsp cumin seeds (or 1/2 tsp ground cumin), 1 tsp cardamom pods (or 1/2 tsp ground cardamom), 1/2 tsp whole cloves (or 1/4 tsp ground cloves), and 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg. Add to a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and grind/mix into a powder. *Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with the lesser amount of coconut sugar and without optional ingredients. *Loosely adapted from our Easy Chana Masala.