Saturday, May 14, 2011

Chana Masala

A few weeks ago my friend Sweta picked up some authentic Indian spices for me, and today I cooked some authentic Indian food, mostly following the recipe on the back of the box. It was a good recipe--not the Indian equivalent of Ritz Cracker Apple Pie--and I'll tell you what I did.

  • 1 and 1/4 cups dried chickpeas
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp. Punjabi chhole masala (Sweta got Badshah brand for me)
  • dried chile to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • half of a 28 oz. can of tomatoes, crushed
  • chopped cilantro
  • salt, vegetable or peanut oil

Cook the chickpeas until soft with the garlic, and optionally with half the onion, chopped. The box says, "Pressure cook for three whistles," but I don't know how to convert a whistle to different units, so you're on your own. The box also says to cook the chickpeas with a small cloth containing tea leaves, which I didn't do but am interested to try.

Chop the onions as finely as you can, or turn them to mush in a food processor. In a large pot, sautée the onion puree in oil over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it starts to color. Add the spices and sautee for a few more minutes. Add the chickpeas with some of their cooking water, and scrape everything off the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes, and some salt. Cover and simmer for fifteen minutes. Serve with rice, garnished with cilantro.

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