Cooking with Alison

Chana Masala Recipe (chickpeas)

In Indian on October 22, 2010 at am

Chana masala is an Indian dish that consists mainly of chickpeas and tomatoes.  It is mildly spiced and is slightly sour in taste.  What I love about this recipe is that the tartness comes from amchur / amchoor powder, which is ground, dried mangoes!  (You could also make this using lemon juice, but I highly recommend getting the amchoor.)  All of the people that tried this asked for the recipe.  See here for tips on how to get the most flavour out of your Indian spices.

Photo below:  For my friend’s birthday, I made homemade Indian takeout and we had dinner at her place.  I made fast-cooked beef “borma”, tarka dall and chana masala (and rice, of course).

Chana Masala Recipe

makes 2 servings (this recipe doubles well); adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 (19 ounce) can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee (recipe here)

1/2 of a 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes (and the liquid)

1 small onion

2 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon fresh ginger

1/2 tablespoon amchoor / amchur powder (or substitute with the juice of 1/2 a lemon; add the juice after the chickpeas are done cooking)

1/2 tablespoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne, red chili powder, or dried red chili flakes (or to taste)

coarse salt

Optional for garnish: fresh cilantro, chopped

Use a food processor to shred the onion, ginger and garlic.  In a medium sized, heavy bottomed pot (I used a ceramic dutch oven), heat the oil (or melt the ghee) over medium heat.  Cook the onion, garlic, and ginger until browned, about 5 minutes.  Then add the spices and cook for a minute or two, stirring constantly.  Add the tomatoes and juice.  Scrape up any bits that have stuck to the bottom of your pot.  Then add the chickpeas.  Mix everything together and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.  I prefer chana masala that is thick.  But you could add some water if you prefer a saucier dish.  Add salt to taste and serve hot with rice.  Garnish with cilantro if using.  When making Indian food, I like to throw a few pods of cardamom in with the water that I cook the rice in.

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