I'm a little pressed for time, but I want to post this recipe for you to try because it's so damn good. To that end, I'll be brief and keep the paragraphs of bullshitting to a minimum. Chana masala is a North Indian chickpea curry that may be one of the best value dishes around. It's inexpensive, simple, quick (with canned chickpeas), and of course, really tasty — this dish is much more than the sum of its parts.
The flavours should be hearty, spicy, and a little sour. Serve it with basmati rice or even more tradtionally, battura.
- 3 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 2 tbsp peanut/canola/vegetable oil
- 1/2 an onion, diced finely
- 1/4 tsp asafeotida (hing)
- 1.5 tbsp ginger & garlic paste
- 2 green chillies, chopped finely
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 cup of canned tomatoes
- 400g can of chickpeas, drained (or dried chickpeas, soaked overnight)
- 2 tsp amchur (mango powder)
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1 handful of coriander (cilantro), roughly torn up
1. If using dried chickpeas, boil for 1-1.5 hours until soft, then drain and set aside. Toast the cumin and coriander seeds and grind to a powder.
2. Cook the onion and asafoetida in the oil over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Add the ginger & garlic paste, green chilies, and ground spices from before and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the turmeric and canned tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
3. Simmer the mixture until the tomatoes break down and reduce. Salt to taste, then add the chickpeas, mango powder, garam masala, and 1/2 cup of water. Simmer for 10 minutes, until the texture is not too watery. Add the coriander/cilantro, salt to taste, and serve.