Channa Masala

Brent and I love Indian food so we’re trying to reproduce favorites like tofu and peas makhani and veggie pakora. This post is about my personal favorite, chickpeas masala. I’ve been working on this for a while and it’s still not quite right but it’s definitely good enough to share.
You’ll need the following.
2 cups of dry chickpeas, soaked OR 1 28 ounce tin of chickpeas, drained
 1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 large onion chopped into long thin strips
3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite-sized chunks (or other vegetables; mushrooms, kale, etc. We’re adding broccoli and mushrooms.)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger
1/4 cup tamarind or equal volume of reconstituted soup base (juice from a lime and the zest also works but I recommend tamarind)
1 tbsp chopped hot pepper (more if you want, we used jalapeño)
1 heaping tablespoon cumin powder
2 heaping tablespoons coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 pinch nutmeg
1 pinch of cinnamon
1 pinch of crushed fennel seeds
1 pinch cumin seeds
1 pinch fenugreek seeds ( optional)
corn or safflower oil
salt, pepper
In a very large pot, add 2 or 3 teaspoons of corn or safflower oil. Once the oil is hot, add the seeds and stir lightly for half a minute, until they begin to sputter. Add the onion and stir until they’re lightly browned, add ginger, garlic and pepper.
Mix well and add the tomato, tamarind and paste. Stir over heat until the oil starts to separate from the mixture and form a sheen of bubbles on he surface. If you’ve got a hand blender, now is the time to use it. Blend until the larger chunks have been broken down. This step isn’t necessary but I like my channa sauce smooth. Then add the spices and stir them into the sauce, adjusting as necessary. If you don’t feel like adding all those spices individually, you can use your favorite curry powder and salt to taste but I can’t guarantee you it’ll taste like you might expect.
Once the sauce tastes like you want it to, stir in the chickpeas. Depending on your vegetables, stir them in so they’ll be tender but not overcooked when you serve them. Alternatively, you can steam or saute them and stir them into the chickpeas and sauce before serving.
Fresh mint and/or cilantro make a great garnish. We served this over quinoa but jasmine rice also makes a great starch to eat all this deliciousness with. It’s also awesome stuffed into a pita and will make a mess all over your face. This recipe is getting closer to what I expect from an Indian restaurant but it’s not quite there yet. I suspect it might be mint and lemon zest. If you figure out what we’re missing, let me know!
This is Christie and Brent, signing off!
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4 thoughts on “Channa Masala

  1. Healthy and good – love Indian food!

  2. WOAH!! I LOVE Channa Masala and even more so looking at these photos! I love your broccoli addition – brilliant! Can’t wait to give it a whirl. 🙂

  3. Somer says:

    Dude that photo of Brent sticking his nose in it to get a whiff of the aroma tells you how good it is!

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