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  • Chana Masala
    Curried Chickpeas

    YIELD: 9 CUPS / 2.1 L
    TOOLS: You’ll need a heavy-bottomed, 6-quart / 6-L stockpot or Dutch oven with a lid and a 6-quart / 6-L sauté pan.

    Need I say more? This is one of the most-loved Indian vegetarian dishes beyond India’s borders. The key spice that goes into it has the same name as the dish, which is a little confusing. But there’s nothing confusing about the outcome—it is deliciously addictive. My family needs a good, spicy Chana Masala at least once a week.

    • 3 cups /570 g kabuli chana (dried white chickpeas), picked over, washed, soaked overnight, and drained
    • 8 cups /1.9 L water
    • 3 tablespoons /45 mL vegetable oil, plus more if needed
    • ½ teaspoon hing (asafetida)
    • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
    • 1 heaping teaspoon cumin seeds
    • 2 tablespoons Chana Masala
    • 1 medium yellow onion, finely minced
    • 1 tablespoon water, plus more if needed (optional)
    • 1 (2-inch / 5-cm) piece ginger, peeled and grated or minced
    • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and grated or finely minced
    • 1 large tomato, finely diced
    • 1–6 fresh Thai, serrano, or cayenne chiles, stems removed and diced
    • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon red chile powder or cayenne pepper
    • Brown or white basmati rice, Roti, Naan, or Bhatura, for serving
    1. Combine the kabuli chana and the 8 cups / 1.9 L of water in a heavy-bottomed, 6-quart / 6-L or larger stockpot or Dutch oven over medium–high heat and bring to a boil.
    2. Reduce the heat to medium–low and simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the chickpeas soften. Remove from the heat, cover, and set aside to cool slightly while you prep the remaining ingredients. You can also cook the chickpeas in a 3½-quart /3.5-L slow cooker. Use 3 cups / 570 g dried kabuli chana and 5 cups /1.2 L water and cook on high for 4 hours.
    3. Drain the kabuli chana and reserve the chickpeas and cooking liquid in separate bowls. Keep about 4 cups / 950 mL of cooking liquid and discard the rest; if there’s not quite that much, make up the difference with water. Set aside.
    4. In a 6-quart / 6-L sauté pan over medium–high heat, warm the oil. Add the hing, turmeric, and cumin seeds and cook for 40 seconds, until the cumin seeds sizzle and turn reddish-brown. Stir well, add the Chana Masala, and cook for 30 seconds.
    5. Add the onion to the sauté pan and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. If the mixture gets dry at this point, add 1 tablespoon of oil or water. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 1 minute.
    6. Add the tomato and fresh chiles to the sauté pan and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. You’ll start to see the oil pull out of the mixture at the edges. Add the Garam Masala, salt, and red chile powder and stir until combined.
    7. Slowly add the reserved liquid from cooking the kabuli chana to the sauté pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium–low and simmer for 5 minutes, until the mixture starts to thicken slightly.
    8. Add the chickpeas and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. There should be some liquid to this dish; if it is too dry, just add a little more water and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
    9. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately with the brown or white basmati rice, Roti, Naan, or Bhatura.

Indian For Everyone by Anupy Singla. Copyright © 2014 Anupy Singla. Published by Agate Publishing. All rights reserved.

© 2016 Alta Editions LLC.