Ask a North Indian about Chana Masala and all you will hear is “mmmm”. This vegetarian dish is a hot favorite of many of us. We team it up with rice, paratha, rotis, naans, bhatures, and possibly everything.
Prep time: 50 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Degree of difficulty: Moderate
9 ounces (250 grams) chickpeas
4 tablespoons mustard oil (use can also use vegetable oil or olive oil)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
4 whole cloves
4 cardamom seeds
4 medium onions, diced
2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
4 medium tomatoes, diced
1 tablespoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons red chili powder
Sea salt, to taste
Coriander leaves or mint leaves (for garnish)
1. Soak the chickpeas in water overnight. Rinse, then boil with 1 teaspoon salt for about 30 minutes, or until they turn soft. (Many would say that boiling with salt may increase the cooking time but I haven’t experienced that so far. They cook well and the salt seasons the chickpeas, which makes them taste better than those without salt.) After the chickpeas are boiled, drain and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and cardamom seeds; cook until they turn golden brown. Now add the diced onions and cook until they turn soft. Now, in goes the ginger-garlic paste and let it cook for about 2 to 3 minutes.
3. After this, add the coriander, black pepper, turmeric, and the red chili powder. Stir for a minute and then add the tomatoes. Lower the heat and let the spices cook in the tomatoes for about 10 minutes. Cover the pan with the lid and keep stirring in between at an interval of 2 minutes for even cooking.
4. Now, after the spices are well cooked, add the boiled chickpeas and a little salt to suit your taste. Mix well and the Chana Masala is ready to be served. I avoid adding water to it as the onions and tomatoes blend well during cooking and give it a great texture. Serve hot with paranthas, Indian breads, naans, or anything of your choice. Garnish with coriander leaves or mint leaves.
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