Monday, April 16, 2018

Channa Masala - Tomato Stewed Chickpeas



1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3 cloves
2 cardamom
1 bay leaf (Indian)
1 cinnamon stick piece (1/4" to 1/2")
2 medium onion, diced
4 tomatoes, diced
1 green chile, slit lengthwise
1 inch ginger, peeled and minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 to 1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 tablespoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon chana masala mix (optional)
3 cups chickpeas, cooked until soft
1 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice OR 1 teaspoon amchur (dried, powdered mango) powder
salt, to taste
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (coriander leaves)


Heat vegetable oil in a saucepan. Add cumin seeds, cloves, cardmom, bay leaf and cinnamon stick. After 45-60 seconds, add the onion and saute until translucent and edges just start to brown (about 10 minutes).  Add the garlic, ginger and green chili and saute for about 1 minute then add the tomato.  Saute until tomato is softened (about 10 minutes). Add turmeric, garam masala, chili, coriander and cumin powders, and saute until the spices are well cooked, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and cool, then blend until it becomes a smooth paste.  Then return to the pot.  (Blending is optional - you can skip this step.) Add chickpeas and salt and add water until you reach desired consistency. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until flavors are well combined.  Last add lemon juice or amchur powder (for tangy flavor).  If using amchur powder, rub it between the palms of your hands as you add to the pot to avoid it lumping up.   Simmer for 3-5 minutes, and then stir in chopped cilantro.

Note(s): 1) To thicken the gravy you can remove some of the channa (chickpeas), puree then return to the pot and continue to simmer. 2) Those without the Indian pantry - a substitute for garam masala, try a little ground clove, cinnamon, and curry powder. Substitute cayenne pepper for red chili powder

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