Thursday, February 21, 2013

Chana Masala ( Chickpeas ) without onion , garlic

Chana or chole as they are popularly known , is one supremely popular dish of Indian cuisine. There are many, many  versions of this dish available across India.
Mostly chanas are cooked with lots of onion , garlic , ginger and tomato. My version is without onion and garlic with just a tbsp of oil.


Serves 6-8
Kabuli chana.            2 cups (350gms)

Bengal gram dal.       1 handful (35gms)
Oil.                          1 tbsp
Baking soda.              A pinch
Salt.                         To taste
Tomatoes.                1 large (130gms) finely chopped
Ginger paste.            1 tsp
Water.                     4 cups  + 1 cup.
Cumin seeds.            1/2 tsp
Asafoetida.               A large pinch
Bay leaf.                   1
Tamarind chutney.     2 tbsp

Spice mix
Coriander seeds                  1 tbsp

Cumin seeds.                      1  1/2 tsp
Cloves.                              3
Peppercorns.                      6
Cinnamon  stick.                 1"piece
Whole red chillies.             3
Pomegranate  seeds (dry).   1 tbsp

Chopped coriander.              2 tbsp
Ginger julienes.                    1 tbsp
Green chilly                          1 slit into 2
  1. Wash and soak chana and Bengal gram dal overnite in sufficient water.
  2. Dry roast all spices under spice mix, cool and grind to a fine powder.
  3. Boil  chana with 4 cups of water, 1 bay leaf, salt, 1 tea bag, and a pinch of baking soda till soft and mushy.
  4. Discard bay leaf and tea bag.
  5. Crush a few chanas with the back of a ladle.
  6. Add powdered spices and mix well.
  7. Heat oil in a pan.
  8. Add asafoetida and cumin seeds.
  9.  When cumin seeds turn golden tip in chopped tomato and ginger paste.
  10. Fry till tomatoes turn soft and mushy. Keep smashing them with the back of a ladle.
  11. Add these to boiled  chanas.
  12. Add 1 cup of water and tamarind chutney. Give it a boil. This will give you a thick gravy. You can add more water depending upon how thin a gravy you want.
  13. Taste and adjust salt.
  14. Garnish with ginger julienes, chopped coriander and slit green chilly.
  15. Serve hot with  any Indian bread of your choice or rice.

If you don't have tamarind chutney, add 2 tbsp tamarind paste, 1 tsp of sugar and 1/2 tsp of roasted cumin pd.
Taste and if you want tangier add some lemon juice or tamarind paste.
You can altogether omit tamarind chutney and add tamarind  paste or lemon juice as per your taste.
This is a medium spiced dish , if you like more chillies you can add 1 more whole red chilly to spice mix.