Chickpea is a common staple in Indian households. Chana masala, a popular curry made from chickpeas, can be enjoyed with plain rice or various types of Indian bread such as chapati, poori, naan, etc. The dish can be dry or semi-dry and has a moderate level of spiciness with flavors of coriander and cumin seeds along with a tangy hint. It can be served as both a main course or a tea-time snack. Here is my mom’s take on the recipe.
Things you need:
1. Potato (Optional)
2. Green Bell Pepper / Capsicum (Optional)
7. Coriander leaves
Chickpeas / Chana / Kabuli Chana (~300 g)
Whole spices like Cloves (4), Cardamom(4), Cinnamon (2 small sticks), Bay leaf(4)
Ground spice like Cumin powder + Coriander powder (total 10-12 g in equal ration), turmeric powder (~3 g), Red Chili powder (~1.5 g), special chana masala spice(8 g), salt, sugar
Tamarind pulp (Mom used raw mango pickle in place of tamarind)
Baking Soda, Tea bag
- Soak the chickpeas over-night. Few people add baking soda at this stage, mum does not do that.
- Boil the chickpeas with a tea-bag and a little salt. The tea-bag is just for the dark color, trust me you won’t taste the tea in the final dish! You can skip the tea-bag if you want.
- Strain the chickpeas after they have become soft. 6 whistles worked for us in the pressure cooker. Keep it aside, straining the water.
- Finely chop onion , garlic and ginger. Fry the ginger separately. Then fry the onions and garlic until golden brown. Ginger may get burnt if fried along with onions.
- Roughly chop 4 tomatoes, add 2 green chilies. Grind them adding tamarind pulp and the fried onion-garlic-ginger. This paste will a smooth gravy.
- Cut small cubes of potatoes, shallow fry them with a pinch of salt.
- Hit some cooking oil in a pan. Tamper the whole spices- cardamom, clove, cinnamon sticks and bay leaf. Take them out and boil them in 300-400 ml. water.
- Add cumin seeds and green chilies (optional) to the same oil.
- Add the tomato paste to the oil and stir on medium flame.
- Add turmeric powder, chili powder salt, cumin powder, coriander powder, chana masala spice and salt to the gravy. Cook it until the gravy starts leaving the oil.
- Add the boiled chickpeas to the gravy. Mix until well combined.
- Add the flavor infused boiled water (from step 1) to the chickpea. Throw the whole spices away.
- Let it simmer on medium-high heat for 10 minutes.
- Add the fried potatoes and bell pepper/ capsicum to the gravy.
- Add salt and sugar to cut the sourness from tamarind.
- Keep it on medium heat for another 5-10 minutes, for the gravy to get absorbed in the chickpeas and potatoes.
Chana masala is ready to be devoured. Garnish it with some fresh coriander leaves/ cilantro.
Thanks for reading, check out another recipe here-