Chana Masala | छोले मसाला
Updated: Oct 24, 2022
As I'd said in my previous post, Indian cuisine isn't just "curry" or Tikka Masala. And to say that Indian cuisine has many different dishes is an understatement. It draws influences from Persian as well as Punjabi, and so on and so forth. You can never find the same food from 1 street to the next.
All the spices...
And when it comes to Chana Masala, there are so many different varieties. This is my favorite version. This is not your typical orangy looking chickpea "curry"; this has a much richer and darker tone with loads of aromatic flavors. Earthy, floral and with a bit of a spicy kick.
You can find the ingredients in an Indian grocery store. You can skip some of the ingredients if you have trouble getting your hands on them. You can replace dried pomegranate seeds with the same amount of pomegranate molasses (just don't toast it together with the rest of the spices, add the molasses to the stew instead).
This dish is usually paired with bhatura to form a dish called Chole Bhature. This does take some effort, but it is worth it in the end. So, why not give this recipe a try? Here I wish all of you lovely people a Happy Diwali.
Black Cardamom, 2
Cinnamon Stick, 1
Black Peppercorns, 4
Bay Leaf, 1
Ajwain | Carom Seeds, 1/2 TSP
Cumin Seeds, 1 TSP
Coriander Seeds, 1 TSP
Fennel Seeds, 1 TSP
Dried Pomegranate Seeds, 1/2 TSP
Dried Kashmiri Chilies, 2 Adjust To Preference
Fresh Chickpeas, 175g
Dried Amla or Black Tea Bags, 2
Sea Salt, Pinch
Baking Soda, Pinch
Grapeseed / Sunflower / Canola / Peanut Oil, 2 TBSP
Red Onion Finely Minced, 1
Garlic Finely Minced, 3 Cloves
Ginger Finely Minced, 1 Inch
Tomatoes Canned, 200g / Half A Can
Tomato Puree, 1 TBSP
Garam Masala Homemade, 1/4 TSP
Turmeric Powder, 1/4 TSP
Kashmiri Chili Powder, 1/2 TSP Adjust To Preference
Ancho | Dried Mango Powder, 1 TSP
Asafoetida | Hing, Pinch
Green Chilies Deseeded Finely Sliced, 3 Adjust To Preference
Coriander Coarsely Chopped, For Garnishing
Bhatura Homemade, For Serving
Cast Iron Skillet / Pan
Heavy Sauce Pot
Please visit my "Bhatura" page for the recipe.
Please visit my "How To Make Shahi Garam Masala" page for the recipe.
Prepare the spice blend.
Toast the spices in a skillet over medium heat until aromatic.
Transfer into a spice grinder and blitz until powder forms.
Set aside until ready to use.
Prepare the masala.
Soak chickpeas in a bowl fully submerged with water, about 3 cups, overnight.
The next day, drain (discard any liquid) and wash the chickpeas under running water.
Transfer into a sauce pot.
Add about 4 cups of water, along with the tea bags or amla (if using), salt and baking soda.
Give it a stir to combine well.
Bring it up to a simmer.
Give it another stir and remove the tea bags.
Cover and cook until the chickpeas are soft and easily mashed by fingers.
*It may take up to an hour. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Add more hot water if necessary. The water level should be about 1 inch above the chickpeas.*
Pass everything thru' a sieve over a large bowl.
Set the chickpeas aside until ready to use.
Transfer the stock back into the sauce pot.
I like to add my vegetable scraps to the stock.
Give it a quick stir and bring it up to a simmer.
Simmer for about 3 to 5 mins.
Remove from heat, cover and set aside to infuse.
In a skillet over medium heat, add oil.
Once the oil is heated up, add in the onion.
Season with salt and saute until translucent.
Add in garlic and ginger and saute until aromatic.
Followed by canned tomatoes and tomato puree.
Saute until well combined.
Add in the spice blend along with garam masala, turmeric, chili, mango powder and asafoetida.
Saute until well combined and aromatic.
Drain the stock and discard the residue.
Deglaze the skillet with some of the stock.
Add in the green chilies and chickpeas.
Saute until well combined.
Add in more stock and cook to the consistency you desired.
If you like a thicker consistency, mash some of the chickpeas with a potato masher and cook the stew until slightly reduced.
If you like a more stewy or soupy, add more stock or water.
Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt.
Remove from heat and garnish with some coriander.
Serve immediately with some bhatura.
Pack fulla flavors...