Sunday, February 17, 2013

Chana Masala

Chana Masala

Before my tasting partner started on his ‘vegan diet at home’ kick, I would make a vegetarian dinner at least 2 to 3 times a week, often using beans.  Garbanzo beans, also known as chick peas, are a favorite of mine, and I am always looking for a new and exciting ways to serve them.  I have been making this dish for a number of years now, and I now include it in our 'vegan diet at home' diet on a regular basis.  Chana Masala is a popular Punjabi dish in Pakistani and Northern Indian cuisine.  In my version, I make it with more tomatoes, and it results in a saucier or soupier version.  Also, I don’t have amchoor powder, which is made from unripe mangoes and is sour in taste, so I substituted lemon zest and lemon juice.  My tasting partner and I think this dish is a hit.

Recipe after the jump

Chana Masala

2 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 medium onions, minced
4 clove garlic, minced
3 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, minced (add more if you like it spicier)
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon amchoor powder  OR 1 lemon, zested
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoon garam masala
3 cups tomatoes, chopped small OR 1 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes with their juices
2/3 cup water
4 cups cooked chickpeas OR 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 lemon (juiced)

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, amchoor (if using it), paprika and garam masala. Cook onion mixture with spices for a minute or two, then add the tomatoes and 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.

Serve with Naan or over jasmine rice.  Reheats well, and is a great lunch. 

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