Chana masala is my favourite Indian dish. A flavour-filled combination of tomatoes, chickpeas and spices.
Finding a recipe however, that has enough flavour to satisfy me has been a challenge. Until today, when I found a surprisingly spicy recipe in a rather unlikely place... Good & Cheap - Eat Well on $4/day. This is a great cookbook that was produced to show that families can eat healthy even when limited to a food stamp budget. I encourage you to visit the website to read the story of how this book came to be created; it's quite inspiring.
This recipe came from the 2nd edition of the book, which you can now find locally at Well Read Well Fed right here in Collingwood. [Added bonus: for every copy you buy the publisher will donate a copy to someone who really needs it!]
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
1/2 tsp salt - plus more to taste
1/2 Tbsp ghee, or 1/2 Tbsp butter + a splash of olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed
1 tsp grated ginger
1/2 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped - remove seeds for less heat
1 cup puréed tomatoes - canned or freshly blended
2 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained & rinsed
Garnish: chopped fresh cilantro
1: Combine coriander, turmeric, cayenne, garam masala, paprika and salt in a small bowl
2: Melt the ghee in a saucepan over medium heat. Once it begins to sizzle, add the cumin seeds and stir for ~5seconds until you can smell them. Add the onion and sauté until it's a little soft, 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the ginger and jalapeño and cook for 1 minute longer.
3: Add the spice mix from step 1 to the saucepan in step 2... then add puréed tomatoes.
4: Stir gently to combine all ingredients. Put a lid on the pan and let everything cook 5-10 minutes.
5: Add the chickpeas and 1/2 cup water. Stir. Bring it to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes and then squish some of the chickpeas with the back of a spoon (or potato masher), to thicken the sauce.
Serve over rice.
- these flavourful recipes always, to me, taste better the following day; time allows the flavours to meld together better. Store in fridge overnight then reheat before serving; add water or coconut milk for added moisture.
- while I love to purchase organic spices from our local food co-op, these spices are also all available at Bulk Barn. If you find you like the flavours I recommend trying smaller batch specialty brands, such as Arayuma.
- I tend to be liberal with my measuring of spices!
- my favourite rice for serving with Indian dishes is black rice, also called Forbidden Rice.
- great suggestion from a reader: add a can of coconut milk. I added a 1/2 can the following day and like the creaminess of the combination.
- next time: I will use less than the called-for 1/2 jalapeño, as I found the heat overpowered the flavour of the rest of the spices.
कृपया भोजन शुरू कीजियै !