Sunday, January 1, 2012

Chana Masala (Chickpea Curry)

This dish is so 2011.  That joke never gets old.  And Scot has already used it at least three times.

I have emerged from hiding.  While I was in hiding, I found lots of shareable recipes.  This just happens to be one of them.  Remember back when I confessed my love for Indian food?  That Chicken Tikka Masala was so delicious, but lacked two things I love about most Indian food...that is, being healthy and vegetarian.  Chana Masala is just the solution.  

This dish is very comforting and warm.  Warm as in hot.  Be careful with the cayenne.  The recipe calls for 1/2 tsp, which is quite a lot.  I would recommend starting with about 1/8 tsp if you aren't a spicy head.  I used the full 1/2 tsp and water was required while eating.  But in a wonderful way.

PS:  Did everyone eat black eyed peas to bring in the New Year?  I did.  And boy am I feeling lucky and ready to tackle 2012.  (I haven't showered in 3 days)

PPS:  I promise to post more.  My schedy has worked itself out and now I am like...totally going to post everyday.  


Chana Masala (Chickpea Curry)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 medium onions, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 fresh, hot green chili pepper, minced
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (this is potentially quite spicy, you might want to use less)
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1 tablespoon amchoor powder (see note)
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 cups tomatoes, chopped small or 1 15-ounce can of whole tomatoes with their juices, chopped small
2/3 cup water
4 cups cooked chickpeas or 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 lemon (juiced) (or a whole lemon if not using the amchoor powder)

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, cumin seeds, amchoor (if using it), paprika and garam masala. 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 and lemon juice.

Eat up or put a lid on it and reheat it when needed. Curries such as this reheat very well, later or or in the days that follow, should it last that long.

(Servings: 6, Prep time: 10 min., Cook time: 30 min., Difficulty: Easy)

foodforscot Ratings:

Shanon (taste):  8/10
Scot (taste):  7/10
Effort:  2/5
Dishwashing Effort:  2/5


  1. Oh wow. I just re-discovered this blog. I re-love it. So, comments.

    I have not read your other Indian Food post, but if you're looking for awesome Indian recipes, I highly recommend Quick & Easy Indian Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey. It's my most used cookbook. Anything by Madhur Jaffrey is amazing. She's really an amazing woman. This article about her was literally inspirational -

    Also, asafoetida powder is the secret to all Indian cooking. It's missing from this recipe, but in India, it's essential to the fried spice paste that serves as the base of most recipes. When you use it for the first time, you'll realize it's the thing that's been missing all along. You can find it at Indian grocery stores or most co-ops, if you don't have it already.

    Lastly (I promise), if you want to be a serious Indian cooking Dahlsim, you need one of these: . I have one for savory spices (black mustard, asafoetida, cumin, tumeric, garam masala, chili, bay) and one for sweet spices (ginger, cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, sugar, jaggery). It really makes the whole process much easier and they look awesome.

    Can't wait to keep reading your posts!


  2. Okay, so I know I emailed that I would make this, but now after reading this recipe in detail, I'm probably just going to continue to buy it from Trader Joes...