Chana masala is a famous North Indian dish composed of chickpeas, tomatoes, onions, and an aromatic spice blend. It is a popular dish in many Indian households and is also known as chole masala or channa.
Chickpeas are boiled until tender before being cooked in a spicy tomato-based sauce to make chana masala. Cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger, garlic, and garam masala, a blend of ground spices that may contain cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and other aromatic components, are common spices used in chana masala.
Typically, chana masala is served with rice or flatbreads such as naan or roti. It can also be served with a side of yogurt, pickles, or chopped onions for extra taste and texture.
Chana masala is a filling dish strong in protein, fiber, and other critical elements. It is also a terrific vegetarian or vegan option and can easily be adjusted to suit different preferences by altering the spice level or adding additional veggies such as potatoes or spinach.
Ingredients for chana masala
- 250 gm chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- Salt, to taste
- Cilantro leaves, chopped for garnish
Instructions for chana masala
- In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil.
- Sauté the onions until softened and gently browned.
- Cook for 1 minute after adding the ginger and garlic.
- Cook until the chopped tomatoes have softened and the mixture has thickened.
- Combine the cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, cayenne pepper, and garam masala in a mixing bowl. Stir
- everything together and heats for 1-2 minutes, or until the spices are fragrant.
- Stir in the chickpeas to coat them with the spice mixture.
- Add 1/2 cup of water, bring to a boil, and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- You can alter the spicy level to your desire by adjusting the amount of cayenne pepper used in the recipe.
- If you like a saucier consistency, add extra water.
- You can also customize the recipe by adding other vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, or spinach.
- The key to making flavorful chana masala is to use high-quality, fresh spices. You can either grind your own spices using a mortar and pestle or buy pre-ground spices from a reputable source.
- If you’re short on time, using canned chickpeas is a great way to save time and effort. Simply rinse and drain the chickpeas before adding them to the skillet.
Chana masala pairs well with steamed rice. It also goes well with flatbreads such as naan, roti, or chapati. You can either buy pre-made flatbreads or make them from scratch.
A side of yogurt helps to balance the spiciness of the chana masala and adds a cooling note. You can serve plain yogurt or raita, which is a yogurt-based dip made with cucumbers, tomatoes, and spices. A simple salad made with chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions dressed with lemon juice and salt is a refreshing accompaniment.
- Is chana masala healthy?
It can be a healthy dish, as it’s high in protein and fiber and contains a variety of vegetables and spices. However, the amount of oil and salt used in the recipe can affect its overall nutritional value.
- How do I make chana masala less spicy?
If you prefer a milder flavor, you can reduce the amount of cayenne pepper or omit it entirely. You can also add a dollop of yogurt or cream to the dish just before serving to help cool down the spiciness.
- Can I make chana masala ahead of time?
Yes, you can make it ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can also freeze it for longer storage.
- What can I substitute for chickpeas in chana masala?
If you don’t have chickpeas on hand, you can substitute them with other beans such as kidney beans or black beans. However, the flavor and texture of the dish may be slightly different.
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