Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Chana Masala

Chana Masala Curry is a staple in our house, we make it every week since it's so healthy. Chana or chickpeas are high in protein which is why this dish is so important for a predominantly vegetarian diet, it's good for diabetics too.

This recipe was originally posted by Krissi of Skelekitty fame and you can find the original post by clicking on this link: Krissi's Chana Masala Recipe on Modern Rosies, we used large white chickpeas to make this curry. These days, it's not unusual for me to be standing outside my home and smell the delicious aroma of chana masala coming from my neighbour's kitchen as I secretly (and feverishly) pray that my dear friend may pass on some of her dinner to me so I can rest easy for the night!!

Thanks Krissi for letting me post this recipe here!

"Chole" ("Chana Masala")
  • Chickpeas
    3 Cups canned for those of us short on time and patience OR 1½ Cups, dry, for the hard-core cooks among us
  • 3-6 cloves garlic
  • ginger root (fresh) approximately equal to amount of garlic
  • 1 green Thai chili optional
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, whole
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds, whole
  • asafoetida powder optional
  • chana masala spice powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp tumeric optional
  • up to ½ tsp chili powder (omit if using Thai chili)
  • 1 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 med onion, diced
  • 3 large Roma tomatoes, chopped roughly
If using canned chickpeas, rinse them WELL and discard all the liquid.

If using dried chickpeas, soak them overnight in plenty of water, then cook on the stovetop or in a pressure cooker with a pinch of salt until cooked all the way through, but not mushy.*  
You’ll get about 3 cups cooked.  Drain and reserve a cup of the liquid.
Bindavi's cooking instructions are for "three whistles" on her Mom's whistling pressure cooker, which are often seen in Indian kitchens and at estate sales, but thanks to the magic of the interwebs, U.S. customers can easily acquire them too.

Image by Sara Ataie
Mash garlic and ginger into paste using a mortar and pestle.

In a pot or large saucepan:

Warm cumin seeds in a few tbsp of oil, when they sizzle, add fennel seeds.

Add garlic/ginger pasteasafoetida powder and onion.  Sautee onion until translucent and slightly brown on edges.

Add chopped tomatoes, 1 C water (or water reserved from cooking chick peas), saltchana masala spicecoriander powdercumin powderand tumeric.  If using chile powder, sprinkle overtop to taste.

Stir together, then add chick peas and combine all ingredients well.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for approximately 30 minutes.  This is the best time to adjust your spices.

Our pot of chole, bubbling away!  Mmmmmm!

Serve over rice or with naan.  You can also garnish with anything you like including cilantro, yogurt,  fresh tomatoes, chives or whatever strikes your fancy.  Bindavi seems to prefer naan from one of our local restaurants and yogurt (and I'm inclined to agree with her!).

NOTE: By the way, you can also make this recipe using Kidney Beans instead of chick peas - if you do, it's called "Rajma."


Enjoy!



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