Chaana Masala is one of our family favorite and I make this at least once a week. It is not only healthy and nutritious but also easy to prepare.

Now that I have few years of cooking experience I can now proclaim that it is easy to prepare. This was not the case earlier and I used to stay from such recipes thinking that they were way too complicated. I distinctly remember how I learnt this recipe.

It was about a year and half after my marriage and that was about the equivalent amount of solo cooking experience I had. My cousin was visiting us for a few days and was on her way to Georgia to pursue her dental studies. She is about 6 years younger to me and I treat her like my baby sister. I tried to impress on her what ever half baked cooking I knew, never realizing all the time that she knew much more cooking than me.

Now we had some more family come over and I was stuck wondering what to cook. She came to the rescue and surprised all of us by making Vegetable pulav, Chana Masala and a salad. Needles to say I was astound but also learnt the recipe from her. I have been making it ever since.

Channa masala (also known as chole) is a North Indian/Punjabi dish which consists of chickpeas./Garbanzo Beans. It is fairly dry and spicy with a sour taste and pairs well with Rotis/ Phulkas, Baturas or even Rice. This tastes good when it is cooked ahead of time at least 4-5 hours or even more before serving. This gives enough time for the spices to blend together.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chickpeas/ garbanzo beans(dry or canned)
  • ¾ cup chopped onions
  • 2 medium tomatoes / 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 2-3 broken cinnamon sticks
  • chilli powder as ( per taste)
  • 2-3 tsp chole masala (any brand)
  •  2-3 garlic pods (grated)
  •  1 inch ginger (grated)
  • Handful of chopped coriander for garnish
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil

 

Method:

  

  • Puree the tomatoes in a blender and keep aside (skip this if using tomato paste). Grate the ginger and garlic and keep aside.
  •  If using the dry variety, make sure to soak the beans overnight or for about 8-10 hours in enough water.
  •  Pressure cook the beans using sufficient water. Keep aside.
  • Take a heavy bottom pan, add the oil. Next add the ginger and garlic and sauté until the garlic turns light brown.
  • Add the cloves and cinnamon and stir for a while. Now add the onions and stir until it turns transparent.
  • Add the tomato puree/tomato paste, salt and cook until the raw smell of tomato is gone. Add more oil at this time.
  • Add chilli powder, chana masala powder, and mix well. Add more oil at this time if dry.
  • Add the cooked beans along with the water and continue to cook covered. Simmer for a while until the gravy blends with the beans.

Finally garnish with coriander leaves before serving. Do not forget to serve some chopped raw onions and slice of lemon. Yumm!

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