Chana Masala - Lip smacking Chickpeas Curry



I love chana masala..He loves chana masala... Our all time favorite. Simply perfect for chilly winter days. Those weekends when you crave and need a hot meal to feel a little fulsome. I bet, this spicy wonder, when served with puffed puris or super puffed bhaturas, hits the correct spot and leaves you fully satisfied, and that's for what spices are!!
Super healthy, as it incorporates protein rich chickpeas and mouthwatering, for all the hidden hint of spices added.
I have served this spicy wonder chana masala with spinach pooris (deep fried puffed Indian bread, with spinach worked into the knead). Spinach Pooris!! No one eats chana masala with spinach pooris!! I do. As my Mom always says, adding spinach can make any dish more healthy, and I blindly follow her :-)
Though I don't mind using store bought spices, though these days I prefer the organic ones from 24Mantra or Sanjeevani organics, but for this recipe of Chana Masala, I tried my hands on making home-made chana masala powder. Its super easy with magical aroma. I love that smell of freshly grinded spice powders.




Ingredients:
  • 2 Cups cooked Chana { Soak 2 cups of dry channa(chickpeas) in water with a pinch of baking soda overnight or atleast for 8 hours. Take them in a pressure cooker, add salt, one teabag(optional) and just enough amount of water to cover the chana and pressure cook them until they are just tender (Take care not to overcook it ). Drain the chole(chanas) and reserve the water left. And if you're like me, go to WholeFoods, and pick up your favorite Chickpeas or Garbanzo Beans Cans(ready to use) }
  • 1 Big Onion chopped
  • 2-3 cloves freshly chopped Garlic
  • 2 Ripe Tomatoes crushed
  • 1 Cup boiled Potatoes
  • 2-3 Green Chilis
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger Paste
  • 1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander-Cumin powder
  • 1 pinch Turmeric (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Jaggery/brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Cooking Oil
  • Chopped Coriander leaves for garnish
  • 1/2 Lime Juice
  • 1 pinch Turmeric (optional)
  • Few Pieces of Whole Garam Masala
  • 2 tsp Chana Masala Powder ( Procedure shown below )
For Tadka (Tempering)

  • Tadka Pan
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • One small Onion, super finely chopped
  • Kashmiri Lal Mirch powder 
  • a pinch of garam masala powder
Directions for Chana Masala Powder:

Dry Roast the following ingredients for 8-10 minutes on low heat, except turmeric, and grind into a fine powder :
  • Few pieces of Whole Garam Masala(Cardamom, Cinnamon & Cloves)
  • 3-4 Whole Dry Red Chili
  • 1 tsp Coriander Seeds
  • 1/2 pinch Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds



PREPARATION TIME: 15 MINUTES COOKING TIME: 10-15 MINUTES
Directions:
  1. Heat oil in a saucepan and add cumin seeds & whole garam masala. Let it change its color may be for for 1 minute. Add chopped garlic. Fry for a minute. Add chopped onions and saute till they turn golden brown.
  2. Add the Ginger paste and chopped green chilis and saute for 1-2 of minutes.
  3. Then add all the dry powders including chana masala powder and fry for 1-2 minutes by adding 1 tsp of reserved water.
  4. Add tomatoes and 2 tsp of prepared chana masala. Saute for 4-5 minutes till they are nicely mushed up and the mixture starts leaving the oil.
  5. Add the boiled chanas or the canned chickpeas(drained and washed in cold running water) to the mixture and mix gently so that chole are properly coated in the mixture.
  6. Add the boiled poatao and the reserved water, depending on the gravy you need, add salt to taste.
  7. Simmer the stove and cook covered for 10-12 minutes or pressure cook for two pressures. 
  8. Leave unopened for a minimum of 10 minutes. 
  9. In a small tadka(seasoning) pan, melt one teaspoon of butter, add finely chopped onions. Saute for less than a minute. Add Kashmiri Lal Mirch powder and a pinch of garam masala powder. Remove from heat. Wait for a few minutes and let Kashmiri Lal Mirch powder leaves the beautiful bright red color in the tadka pan. Add this seasoning to your prepared chana masala and garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves.
  10. With the help of a potato masher, you can mash a few chanas and the boiled potatoes you've added to change the texture of curry you have. This step is completely optional. I love to do this step. 
  11. Serve it with pooris, bhatura, chapatti or rice with sliced onion and lemon wedge by the side.

Anshu Bhatnagar

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