Chana Masala

As much as I loved our two week trip to see the sun in the Caribbean, it has been so nice to be back home where I can make whatever I want in my own kitchen. I’ve eaten my fair share of rice, beans, and pig in the last few weeks and I’ve been itching to make some simple vegetarian dishes with fresh vegetables. A few months ago, I noticed a chana masala recipe on the Smitten Kitchen food blog and decided to give it a go this afternoon. I’ve never been disappointed with anything on her website and I’m happy to report that this dish was another winner. My friend Lakshmi gifted me with the awesome 660 Curries cookbook last year for my birthday but I’ve been too intimidated to do anything more than read it. (Sorry L!) However, after trying this one tonight, I think I’m ready. Stay tuned…

I had most of the ingredients in my pantry at the start though I had to buy some fresh ginger and a chili pepper. My quest to find amchoor powder (dried mango powder) was unsuccessful after trying two stores in the Mission. I’ll keep searching and will try this again once I find it.

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 fresh, hot green chili pepper, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1 tablespoon amchoor powder (I omitted this since I couldn’t find it)
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 cups tomatoes, chopped small or 1 15-ounce can of whole tomatoes with their juices, chopped small
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 4 cups cooked chickpeas or 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Juice of half a lemon

Heat oil in a large skillet. Toss onion, garlic, ginger, and pepper in a food processor and mince. Add to skillet and heat until browned, about 5-7 minutes. Turn heat down to medium-low and add the coriander, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, cumin seeds, amchoor (if using it), paprika and garam masala. Cook onion mixture with spices for a minute or two, then add the tomatoes and any accumulated juices, scraping up any bits that have stuck to the pan. Add the water and chickpeas. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, then stir in salt and lemon juice. Eat or reheat when you are about to eat. I made mine two hours before eating it and was pleasantly surprised at how the flavors continued to intensify over time. Can’t wait for leftovers tomorrow!

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One thought on “Chana Masala

  1. Yes my curry puff, you must venture into those 660 curries. So much yummy to explore. Your channa masala looked wonderful!

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