Dec 19, 2006

Chana Masala

Chana Masala
I grew up in a small town near Mangalore in a Konkani family. My mom always cooked authentic Konkani food. She never has garam masala in her kitchen, even till today. In fact, my mom hates the smell and taste of Garam masala, she finds it very strong and pungent. When I moved out of my town to pursue studies and career, I was introduced to a variety of north Indian and non Konkani dishes by my friends. It was amazing to learn so many new things and tastes.

My mom in law thought me a basic gravy with tomatoes using Garam Masala. She used to make egg curry with that recipe.
I started using that recipe to make many different side dishes. Once I happened to make Chana with it and it was a hit. My friends have liked it a lot. Recently I came to know it is the standard basic recipe and its quite a common recipe among many people. I also read similar recipes on many food websites.

1 onion
1-2 tomatoes
1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste, optional
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp jeera
1/2 potato, optional
3/4 cup kabuli chana or 1 tin canned chick peas

Soak chana for 8 hrs or overnight. Wash, rinse and drain water a couple of times. Pressure cook diced potatoes and chana in little water and cook till tender.

Heat 2 tsp oil in a pan, splutter jeera, add chopped onion and saute till light brown. Add ginger garlic paste and powders, fry for a minute till its aromatic. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook on medium flame till the tomatoes and totally pureed. Keep stirring in between, this helps the tomatoes to break down into a paste. Add the cooked chanas along with the liquid that it has been cooked with. If using canned chick peas drain the water and rinse them a couple of times before adding. Add salt and cook on high flame with the water is evaporated.

Serve with chapati.


Asha said...

Hi Manjula,
Garam masala is indeed not used in south Indian dishes.As you go to the north,you will find that most dishes they make involves GM!and you are right about the std recipe too!:D
Most of chana ,chole has same few ingredients and nothing else.Your Chana looks great.You could add some fennel seeds etc make it little diff.Thanks for sharing this one.
Happy holidays.

Aruna said...

Hi...Channa looks delicious. I use chole masala and have 3 different ways of making the gravy. My mom too did not have garam masala in her kitchen for years. She used to pound little of cloves, pepper, dalcini and jeera and use bay leaves whenever reqired. My dad still likes authentic konkani food and does not like the smell of garlic and taste of garam masala. Anway thats his way. Thanks for a little diff recipe.

Anonymous said...

Chana masala is my favorite :). I made chole few days back and it tasted amazing. Your version looks lovely.

My mom knows a lot of different recipes with garam masala but as you said my MIL does not use garam masala at all.