November 9, 2012

Channa Masala

Spicy Channa Masala is the second best-known Indian-fame to a foreigner, next to Taj Mahal! Every restaurant has a signature channa masala recipe of their own, and so does every house-hold! In short, channa masala is a popular spicy-tangy-aromatic masala curry cooked in a tomato based gravy that can be easily paired up with roti/rice. Of all, my personal favorite is Channa Batura, an unbeatable pair.

Last week, I made this as a side for my Tofu stuffed parathas!

Basic Info
Complexity - Easy
Prep time - 8 - 12 hrs (including the soaking time)
Cook time - 30 mins
Serves - 3-4

Garbanzo beans / Chickpeas - 1 cup
Onion - 1 no (Large sized, finely chopped)
Tomatoes - 4 nos (Medium sized, finely chopped)
Green chillies - 2 nos (vertically slit)
Ginger - 1 inch (grated)
Garlic - 2 pods (minced)
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Corainder powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Channa masala - 1 tsp (used MTR brand)
Salt - to taste
Vegetable oil - 2 tbsp
Lime juice from 1/2 lime.
Cilantro - a handful, chopped

Soak garbanzo beans in cold water overnight or for atleast 6-8 hrs. 

Drain and pressure cook the beans (with little salt) for upto 2 whistles (or) until cooked but not mashed.

Heat oil in a large skillet. When hot, add cumin seeds and let it sizzle. Then, add onion, green chillies, garlic, ginger and sauté for about 5 mins over medium heat until onion turns translucent. Turn heat down to medium-low and add coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and channa masala powder to it. Saute for a minute or two, and then add chopped tomatoes and simmer for upto 10 mins until onion & tomatoes are completely cooked with spices and oil starts to ooze out on the sides. Now, add chickpeas & water (as required). Adjust salt and let it simmer on low heat for 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat & add cilantro, lemon juice.

Serve hot with roti/rice.

I used two 15 oz cans of garbanzo beans and black beans each, as I forgot to soak garbanzo beans the previous night. So, you could also use canned garbanzo beans instead of raw ones. Use two 15 oz cans for a cup of raw garbanzo. Having said that, fresh is always the best without a doubt. So, I strongly encourage the use of raw beans unless & until you are really in a hurry and you don't have time. 

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