Chana Masala

NickyDi's Chana Masala

(Chole Masale  /Chickpeas cooked with spices)

Cook time: 90 mins plus (12hrs soaking time if using dried Garbanzo beans)  
Serves: 4
    • 200g (1 cup) of Dried Garbanzo beans (Chickpeas) {soaked overnight in 3 cups of boiling water & then boiled on medium flame for 40-60 mins before cooking. In case you forgot to do this step you can still enjoy this dish using this emergency method I sometimes resort to if I'm in a bind. But I don't prefer it as the Chickpeas don't get enough time for proper hydration which produces nice plump chickpeas. Fast cooking  breaks the beans down and makes a mush sometimes. It's ok if you're just making it for yourself and not having company over. But for perfect looking Chickpeas, I recommend soaking overnight and then using the pressure cooker for 7 whistles. This will speed up the process.}
    • **Alternatively you may use 2 (15oz can) Garbanzo beans (Chickpeas)
    • 2tsp Black Tea ** (The tea is an optional step. You will find many recipes without this addition on the internet. But my family has been making Chana Masala with this addition for generations and we love it!! )
  • 1 muslin teabag ** 
  • 1tsp salt
  • 4 cups of boiling Water
  • Rinse the Garbanzo beans and place in the pressure cooker. Add the tea to the muslin tea bag(or cheesecloth made into a bundle)  and place over the Chickpeas. Add salt. Pour the water over it and close the lid carefully. Let it cook for 7 whistles, turn off the heat, remove the pressure cooker from the hot stove to a cool one, we don't want it to get burned. And allow the pressure cooker to sit for 20-25 mins to let the steam release naturally. Once you are certain all the steam has been released, remove the lid and check for doneness. If the Chickpeas still feel a bit undercooked, don't worry, we can cook it again once we have cooked it in the spices. Transfer the chickpeas to a bowl. Rinse the pressure cooker and set it on medium flame. Alternatively you may use another pot. (But why make so many dirty dishes!!)
    (If you're using canned Chickpeas, rinse several times before cooking. Place Chickpeas in a medium saucepan and add the black tea in the muslin bag. Place this over the chickpeas and add 1tsp salt, plus 2 cups of water. Boil on medium flame for 30-40 mins. You will notice the chickpeas will begin to stain.  Remove from heat, transfer the chickpeas to a bowl and set aside. 
    • 2 tbsp Canola/Vegetable Oil
    • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
    • 1 tbsp Ginger (grated)
    • 1 tsp Garlic (grated)
    • 3/4 cup  *Red Onion (finely chopped) {1 medium onion when finely chopped will produce 1.5 cups. Save the other half for the "Garnish".
    *I prefer Red Onions for their extra spicy flavor but yellow and white onions can be used in place of it. It will just be sweeter in flavor.) 
    • 2 med. Tomatoes (finely chopped) {I like to use Plum Tomatoes or Tomatoes-on-the-vine) 
    • 1tbsp plus 2 tsp NickyDi's Chana Masala  
    • The remainder 3/4 cup Onion (finely chopped)
    • 2tbsp Cilantro (fresh, chopped)
    • 1Cayenne Chili / Thai Serrano (finely chopped)
    • 1/2 Lime (cut into wedges). 
    Heat the 2tbsp oil in the pot on medium flame, until the oil is simmering, add 1 tsp of Cumin seeds and let it sizzle for 30 seconds. Once the cumin seeds have browned a bit, add the finely chopped onions and stir well to combine with the oil. Let it cook , stirring occasionally to make sure it cooks evenly. (About 4 mins) Add the ginger and garlic, stir to combine and continue to cook stirring occasionally for another 8-10 mins. Until the mixture is fragrant and golden brown. 
    Now add the chopped Tomatoes, stir well to combine & let it cook for another 2 mins. Add 1tbsp plus 2 tsp NickyDi's Chana Masala. Stir well to combine and cook for another 4 mins or until the oil starts to collect on the edges. Keep the stove at medium flame so the spices don’t burn, stir if you’re concerned. 
    Add the cooked Chickpeas. Stir well to combine. Cook for another 10 minutes to let the chickpeas soak up all the flavor. Stirring every 3-4 mins. Turn off heat. 
    Mix all the ingredients of the garnish in a small bowl. Serve the garnish on the side. Squeeze some lime juice over your Chana Masala.  
    Serve hot with some Rice, Cucumber Raita and Poori (Fried whole wheat bread (recipe coming soon!!)

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