My über favorite dish in the Indian cuisine repertoire is chana masala! I love love love chana masala! I don’t think I can express how much I love this dish…so, naturally, I have to make it myself so I don’t rely on restaurants all the time..better for the budget and better for the waistline. So after trying out several permutations of this dish to much displeasure, I called upon Jo for the recipe that could end the search.. And I think we’ve done quite a tasty job. This dish is quick and easy, a sure-fire solution for any “no time to cook night”!
1 can chickpeas, or 1.5 C cooked fresh chickpeas
1 can tomato paste, 6 oz
1 can diced tomatoes, 15 oz
1 med onion, finely diced
3-5 cloves garlic
1 hot pepper
2 tsp coriander
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cardamom
salt and pepper to taste
*optional spices: dash garam masala, 2 or 3 whole cloves
added at very beginning, up to 1 tsp cumin seeds or coriander
seeds at beginning, cayenne, 2 bay leaves
1 C water or broth
fresh cilantro – add about 2 TBSP during the simmering, about 5-10 minutes before it’s done; then add another 3 TBSP while it’s sitting for the 5-10 minutes; garnish with yet even more fresh cilantro
1. Sauté onion, garlic and any seeds you’re using.
2. After a few minutes add hot pepper. When onion becomes translucent, add tomato paste and then slowly add diced tomatoes (with their juice) while stirring.
3. When all tomato stuff is in, add water/broth, chickpeas and spices.
4. Simmer 12 minutes. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes to thicken before serving. Serve with brown saffron rice or Indian-spiced green beans and some naan!
Yummy variations/additions: You could add in some diced potatoes (but be aware that will increase the timing of the dish, add them at the beginning with the onion and simmer for 25 minutes instead of 12), you could also add in some broccoli and/or peas for a vegetable masala. If you added a splash of coconut milk, you could turn it into a creamy masala.