Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Chana Masala - Chickpea Stew with Tomatoes

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I seldom prepare Indian food as my family not fans of spices and spicy food. As a child I being expose to chilies and I love spicy food. However due to health problem I have reduced my chili consumption. No more chilies in every meal like older days.

I love dishes flavoring with spices. For me it is kind of comfort food and has great sensation eating them. Although it is time consuming in the preparation it is worth the effort.  

I'm glad I tried this chana masala. I received good feedback for this dish. Like other Indian cuisine this recipe uses garam masala which I can't buy at my place. After knowing its' ingredients I prepared garam masala on my own. It basically contains coriander seeds, cardamom pods, peppercorns, fennel seeds, cloves, cumin, bay leaf and few more. It may different in every household as they have their own special mix of spices. These spices are toasted and ground to a fine powder. Do refer Wendy's post on how to prepare garam masala.

According to Wiki, Chana masala also known as chole masala or channay (plural) is a popular Punjabi dish in Indian cuisine and Pakistani cuisine. The main ingredient is chickpeas cook together with onion, chopped tomatoes, coriander seed, garlic, chillies, ginger, dried mango powder (amchur), crushed pomegranate seed (anardana) and garam masala. It is fairly dry and spicy with a sour citrus note. I used whatever spices I can find along with some curry leaves.

Adapted with changes from Smitten Kitchen
Chana Masala
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 medium onions, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 fresh, hot green chili pepper, minced
2 springs of curry leaves

1 tablespoon ground coriander (used seeds and ground)
2 teaspoons ground cumin (used seeds and ground)
½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (omit)
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1 tablespoon amchoor powder (omit)
2 teaspoons paprika (omit)
1 teaspoon garam masala

5 medium size tomatoes, chopped small
2/3 cup water
2 cups dried chickpeas (soaked overnight and cook with pressure cooker till soft)
½ teaspoon salt
½ lemon (juiced)

1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion, garlic, ginger and pepper and sauté over medium heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Add in curry leaves and stir to mix.

2. Turn heat down to medium-low and add the coriander, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, cumin seeds, amchoor, paprika and garam masala. Cook onion mixture with spiced for a minute or two.

3. Then add the tomatoes, 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.

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest - Indian Subcontinent hosted by Chef and Sommelier


  1. Hi Vivian! Thanks for your support! Love it! :D

  2. I only developed a liking for chick peas a few years ago. Now, I love them so this looks tempting to me.

  3. Hi Vivian, it has been awhile I didn't see you posting recipes. Now I see all is alright with you. I eat chickpeas either boiled or steamed. With the spices these chickpeas should be good.

  4. hi vivian, i thought of making this earlier too, bought a can of garbanzo beans but nvr made it, so now i guess will either save that beans to make this later or make hummus.


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