This chana masala recipe is a dry preparation, different from the regular chickpea curry recipe that we make with chola- bhaturas or rice. Tangy and spicy, it is more like a chana chaat cooked to make a sabzi. And all it takes is 20 mins.
This chana masala dish was part of a home challenge. I was once having this conversation with a friend about how I want to write a small booklet with some simple recipe and gift it to all my friends and cousins. Hardly anyone cooks at home and the common-most reason I get is that cooking takes a lot of time. He replied saying, “Of course it takes time! For me just making poha takes 45 mins!”
45 minutes is enough to cook a meal for 2 people. And to prove it, I made this chana masala and fresh chapatis, from scratch (including kneading the dough), within that much time.
The trick to cooking, as I learned after observing my mom, is multitasking. There is really no clear boundary between preparation and cooking. I don’t need to have all my veggies chopped and spices measured in separate bowls (like they show in cooking shows!) before putting the pan on heat. For ex. while the onion is getting cooked, there is enough time to chop the tomatoes. For measuring spices, I have a 1/2 tsp measure in my spice box, so I can measure and add spices directly into the pan. The only short cut I took here was using canned chickpeas.
Chana Masala Recipe
By Ashima Goyal Siraj
Preparation time: |Cooking time: |Serves: 2
250 gm canned (or soaked overnight and boiled) and drained chickpeas
1 green chilli
3 cloves of garlic
1 inch ginger
a pinch of asafoetida
1 tsp cumin seeds
Salt to taste
2 tsp chana masala
1/2 tsp chaat masala
1 tbsp tamarind paste
2 tbsp vegetable oil
few sprigs of fresh coriander leaves to garnish
- Peel and chop ginger, garlic and chilli.
- Heat oil in a kadhai/ wok. Add asafoetida and cumin seeds.
- While the oil is heating start chopping the onion.
- When the seeds start to sputter, add the chopped chilli, ginger and garlic. Sauté for a minute. Finish chopping the onion.
- Add the chopped onions to the oil. Mix well and let it cook for 3-4 minutes.
- In that time, chop the tomatoes and coriander leaves.
- When the onions start to brown, add the chopped tomatoes, salt and chana masala. (Here is the recipe for my mother’s homemade chana masala) Mix well and let it cook for a couple of minutes. Add a little water if the masala is sticking to the pan.
- Open, drain and wash the canned chickpeas in running water. Add the chickpeas and tamarind paste to the onion-tomato mixture. Mix well and cook covered for about 5 minutes. Open and stir in between so that the sabzi doesn’t stick to the pan.
- Sprinkle chaat masala and toss well. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with chapatis.