This chana masala will make you reevaluate your life. Okay, maybe not. But it raises some important questions, such as: “How can something be this delicious?” and “How can I stop myself from eating the entire pot in one sitting?”
I made this chana masala partly because I’ve been craving it, and partly because I bought a 3-tier stainless steel tiffin and I wanted to use it. Granted, I could put anything inside. But the inaugural lunch didn’t seem complete without chana.
My favorite part about this dish (besides the way it tastes) is that it comes together in one pot. I’m a fan of recipes that minimize dirty cookware because I hate doing dishes.
My least favorite part about this dish is mincing onion and garlic, but today I found it therapeutic. Maybe it’s because I sensed how delicious the end result would be. Maybe it’s because it’s Sunday and anything seems better than going to work the next day. For whatever reason, it was a less painful experience tonight.
I would recommend making this chana masala as soon as possible. I paired mine with basmati rice and store bought naan, but it would taste delicious on top of almost anything. Why does chana masala ice cream sound good right now?
Before I get too carried away, here is a song that reminds me of this chana masala. It’s spicy and not afraid to make a statement.
Chana Masala (adapted from Minimalist Baker)
3 Tbsp ghee
1 red onion, finely diced
1 Tbsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp sea salt, divided, plus more to taste
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2-3 fresh green chilies, sliced with seeds
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 28-oz can pureed or finely diced tomatoes
2 15-oz cans chickpeas, slightly drained
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp lime juice, plus more to taste
Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add ghee, onion, cumin, and 1/4 tsp salt.
Pulse garlic, ginger, cilantro, and green chilies in a small food processor until they form a paste. Then, add the paste to the pan with the onions.
Next add ground coriander, chili powder, and turmeric and stir to coat. Add a little more ghee at this point if the pan is looking dry.
Next add pureed tomatoes and chickpeas and remaining 1/2 tsp salt. If the mixture looks a little too thick, add up to 1 cup water (I added ~1/2 cup (120 ml)). You’re looking for a semi-thick soup consistency at this point, as it will cook down into more of a stew.
Increase heat to medium high until it reaches a rolling simmer, then reduce heat to low or medium-low and maintain a simmer (uncovered) for 15-20 minutes, or until thick and stew-like. Stir occasionally.
When the chana masala is thickened and bubbly, taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt for saltiness, chili powder for heat, or a bit of sugar for sweetness and to offset the heat of the chilies.
Remove from heat and add lime juice and garam masala. Stir to mix, then let cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!