Thursday, August 4, 2011

Chana Masala (Chickpea curry)

A delicious, fragrant, spicy chickpea stew. Yes, this recipe has a long list of ingredients (mostly spices), but it's very easy and comes together in about 30 minutes. This is great right out of the pan, but gets even better the next day as leftovers after the flavors have had time to meld. Adapted from Smitten Kitchen (, which, by the way, is a fantastic recipe site.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 medium onions, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon ground coriander
4 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons paprika
1 tablespoon garam masala
2 cups tomatoes, chopped small or 1 15-ounce can of whole tomatoes, chopped small
2/3 cup water (you can also substitute juices from the tomatoes or liquid from the canned or cooked chickpeas for extra flavor)
4 cups cooked chickpeas or 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon salt
lemon juice, optional

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion, garlic, ginger and pepper and sauté over medium heat until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Turn heat down to medium-low and add the coriander, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, paprika and garam masala. Cook onion mixture with spices for a minute or two, then add the tomatoes, scraping up any bits that have stuck to the pan. Add the liquid you're using and chickpeas. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, then stir in salt. You can finish with a squeeze of lemon juice if you like, though I didn't and it was still delicious!

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