Chana Masala is a popular Indian dish made from chickpeas cooked in a spicy tomato-based sauce.
This flavorful vegan and gluten-free dish is enjoyed by foodies worldwide for its rich taste and robust flavor profile.
Whether you are a fan of Indian cuisine or just looking for a new dish to cook up, chana masala is a must-try offering that will surely tantalize your taste buds.
The origins of Chana Masala can be traced back to the northern regions of India and Pakistan. It is believed that the dish has been enjoyed for centuries and has been a favorite among locals and travelers alike.
As Indian cuisine gained popularity, chana masala also became a staple in many Indian restaurants worldwide.
Today, you can find chana masala on menus around the world, from upscale restaurants to food trucks. Its popularity can be attributed to its versatility, affordability, and delicious taste.
Whether you are a vegetarian, a meat-eater, or just someone who wants to try new and exciting dishes, chana masala is definitely worth exploring.
Here is why you will love this recipe:
1. Delicious Flavor: Chana Masala is a classic Indian dish that’s full of flavor and spices. With a combination of chickpeas, tomatoes, onions, and various spices, this dish is guaranteed to be a hit with your taste buds.
2. Easy to Make: This recipe is simple and easy to follow, making it perfect for those who are new to cooking or don’t have a lot of time. You can have a satisfying meal on the table in less than an hour!
3. Healthy and Filling: Chana Masala is a great source of protein and fiber, making it a healthy and filling meal option. It’s also vegetarian/vegan-friendly, so it’s a great option for those following a plant-based diet.
Chana Masala Recipe
- 1.05 lb (476.3 g) chickpeas drain and rinse
Spices and Gravy
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 2 cup (2 ) onion finely, chopped
- 2 tsp garlic paste
- 2 tsp ginger paste
- 400 g chopped tomatoes
- 2 tsp tomato puree
- 2 bay leaf optional
- 2 pods (2 ) green cardamons optional
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp red chili powder
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 3 tsp garam masala powder
- 1 Cup (240 ml) water
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- 1 tsp black pepper or to taste
- Add vegetable oil to your pre-heated pan. Add the onions and sauté for three minutes.
- Add the garlic paste, ginger paste, bay leaves, and green cardamons. Sauté until golden.
- Add the canned tomatoes. Followed by salt, black pepper, ground cumin, ground coriander, red chilli powder, ground turmeric and garam masala. Stir to combine.
- Add the chickpeas, and cup of water. Cover and simmer on low heat for 20-25 minutes.
- Remove cover and stir to combine. Allow to stand for 5 minutes and it will be ready to serve with rice.
- Wash the rice.
- Bring the water to boil in a medium saucepan. Add the salt and vegetable oil.
- Stir in the rice. Reduce to low heat and cover for around 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove cover and add the peas and cumin seeds.
- Stir and cover for another 3 minutes.
- Remove cover, turn off heat and stir.
2. Use whole spices and grind them at home for maximum flavor
3. Fry onions until they are caramelized for added sweetness
4. Add ginger and garlic paste for depth of flavor
5. Use roasted tomatoes for a smoky taste
6. Roast or fry the spice mix to release their aromatic oils
7. Add a splash of lemon juice before serving to brighten the dish
8. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves for a pop of color and freshness.
Data source: USDA
Leftover Chana Masala can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Chana Masala can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Let it cool to room temperature, then transfer it to an airtight container or a freezer bag. Label it with the date and freeze.
When you’re ready to eat it, transfer it to the fridge and let it thaw overnight. Reheat it in a saucepan or microwave until it’s hot all the way through. If the dish has become too thick after freezing, you can add a bit of water or vegetable broth to thin it out.
If the Chana Masala has been sitting in the fridge for more than a day, give it a sniff test before reheating it. If it smells off or looks strange, discard it.
Chana Masala is a popular Indian dish made of chickpeas cooked in a spicy tomato-based gravy. It is not only delicious but also has several health benefits:
1. High in Protein: Chickpeas are a good source of protein, and the dish is an excellent vegetarian and vegan option to meet daily protein requirements. One cup of cooked chickpeas contains around 14.5 grams of protein.
2. Lowers Cholesterol: The soluble fiber in chickpeas has been linked to lowering blood cholesterol levels. The dish is also low in saturated fat, further reducing the risk of heart disease.
3. Rich in Antioxidants: Chana Masala contains several antioxidant-rich ingredients such as tomatoes, onions, garlic, and spices like cumin, turmeric, and coriander that protect the body against harmful free radicals.
4. Controls Blood Sugar: The fiber and protein in chickpeas help slow down the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream, making it an ideal choice for people with diabetes. Additionally, spices like cinnamon and turmeric in the recipe have also been found to improve glucose metabolism.
1. Tomato Chana Masala – This variation includes the addition of fresh or canned tomatoes in the recipe to give a tangy taste to the dish. It can be made by simmering tomatoes along with the traditional Chana Masala recipe or blending tomatoes and mixing them with the cooked chickpeas.
2. Aloo Chana Masala – This variation includes the addition of small diced potatoes in the dish along with the chickpeas. The potatoes add a thicker consistency to the gravy along with a sweet taste and more nutrition.
3. Bhatura Chana Masala – This variation is a classic pairing with Bhaturas, which are a type of fried bread. The Chana Masala recipe is prepared with additional spices like cinnamon, cloves, cardamom powder, and ginger. The dish is topped with coriander and served with deep-fried Bhaturas.
4. Punjabi Chana Masala – This variation uses a blend of whole spices like bay leaves, cumin, coriander seeds, and black cardamom along with the basic ingredients. It has a slightly different flavor profile than the traditional Chana Masala recipe.
5. Mango Chana Masala – This variation includes adding mango puree along with other ingredients while preparing the dish. It gives a slightly sweet and tangy taste to the dish and can be an excellent variation during the mango season.
6. Vegan Chana Masala – This variation excludes any animal-derived products like ghee, yogurt, or cream in the recipe, making it suitable for vegans. It uses plant-based alternatives like coconut oil or coconut cream and soaked cashews blended with water to give a creamy texture to the dish.
What To Serve With
1. Basmati rice, roti, or Naan bread
2. Vegetable samosas or pakoras
3. Raita or yogurt
4. Cucumber salad or kachumber
5. Mango chutney or pickle
6. Mango lassi or spiced chai tea
7. Roasted papadum or crispy papri
8. Tamarind chutney or mint chutney
9. Aloo gobi or bhindi masala as side dishes
10. Gulab jamun or kulfi for dessert.
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