Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Chana Masala

Chana masala is one of the first Indian foods I tried, and I still love it just as much as that first taste (out of a can, so not even that great of a version). According to some of my Indian friends, it's the equivalent of macaroni and cheese. Homey, comforting, but maybe not something that adults eat all the time. And, it's true. When I'm in our local Indian fast food place, I always see the little kids eating chana. No matter, the stuff is GOOD. And I am not too proud to eat little kid food (who am I kidding? I make mac and cheese for me as often as for my boys). Anyway. All that to say, this is good stuff, and if you've never had Indian food, it's a good starting place.

Chana Masala
courtesy of Smitten Kitchen

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 medium onions, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 fresh jalapeno, minced
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon amchoor powder (I was out, but it is very good if you have it)
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garam masala
4 cups tomatoes, chopped small or 1 28-ounce can of whole tomatoes with their juices, chopped small
1/3 cup water
4 cups cooked chickpeas
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 T lemon juice

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion, garlic, ginger and pepper and sauté over medium heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Turn heat down to medium-low and add the coriander, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, amchoor (if using it), and paprika. Cook onion mixture with spiced for a minute or two, then add the tomatoes and any accumulated juices, scraping up any bits that have stuck to the pan. Add the water and chickpeas. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, then stir in salt, lemon juice, and garam masala. (The garam can get bitter if added at the beginning)

I served this with basmati rice, sliced cucumbers, and a tamarind/apple butter chutney (literally half and half apple butter and tamarind paste--easy, but really good).

Today, I'm linked to Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam. I get new ideas each week over there. It's fun to see what other people are cooking.

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