In a previous post I spoke about my food being connected to people I know, and the places I’ve been to. This is true for this Chana Masala, too. I ‘inheritted’ a box of chana masala spice mix of my friend Mary. Mary is an American artist embroiderer whom I had a pleasure to meet in Oxford, UK; her work and musings on art can be found in her blog Stabbed. Now Mary is not only responsible for introducing this masala into my kitchen, but she is also the person who encouraged me to start blogging. I’d been reading other blogs for a while, and toying with the idea, but it was Mary who swayed me in this direction. I guess all of this is her fault, he he!
Chana Masala or Chole Masala is a North Indian dish, especially popular in the Punjab region. It’s main ingredient is chana, or chickpeas, which is cooked with onions, garlic, chilies, ginger and tomatoes; and spiced with turmeric, coriander, garam masala and dried mango powder; it is also possible to buy ready-made spice mix. Chana masala is normally eaten with roti (chapati) or rice, and yogurt. In India, it is often accompanied with bhatura, or chole bhature , a type of fried bread.
To find out more about Punjabi cuisine, check Richa’s excellent post at As Dear As Salt. The post is a part of the Regional Cuisines of India (RCI) blogging event, which is hosted by Richa this month, and the theme is Punjabi cuisine. RCI was started by Lakshmi, to celebrate the rich and diverse cuisines of India, and is hosted by a different blogger each month. I think this event is a fantastic idea, because not only does it encourage us to explore the many varieties of regional Indian food, but the round-ups also provide excellent resources of information and recipes! Here is the list of events yet to come, and here is the list of the RCIs held up to date:
JUNE – Maharastrian cuisine – Introduction & Round-up Part One (snacks and light meals, street food, and rustic ), Two (complete meals or jevan; spice mixes or masale; powders, chutneys or pickles; salads; dried or curried vegetables, beverages) and Three (dals and beans, eggs and meat; breads; rice dishes; sweets) at One Hot Stove
This month, I’m also joining in in the exploration of regional Indian cuisine, and I’m submitting this post to Richa. If you’d alo like to take part, check this website for Punjabi recipes and inspiration!
Do try and make this delicious North Indian dish! If you don’t have the masala, you can still make this! Scroll down for a list of link to recipes that don’t use the masala.
I have no camera today, so there is no photo – for now. I’ll take a picture next time I make it, and upload it here.
Update 16 October 2007
Here is a photo of chana masala! Since this post, I made it a few times. One time, I added slices of fresh tomato to the cooked dish, which made it wonderfully fresh and tomatoy!
SOURCE: adapted from the recipe at the back of the MDH chana masala box
PREPARATION TIME: Less than 5 min
COOKING TIME: about 30 min
CUISINE: North Indian (Punjabi)
ghee or vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic
2 green chilies
2 cm ginger
3 chopped tomatoes
1 can chick peas
20 g chana masala (I used MDH brand)
a little paprika
a pinch of cumin
1. Fry the onions until they start turning golden. Then add garlic, chilies and ginger, and continue frying until the onions are brown.
2. Add tomatoes, the masala, and the other spices. Cook for a few minutes, and then add chickpeas. Cook for a further 10 min.
3. Sprinkle with chopped coriander and serve with rice and yogurt. Say yuuuuuum!
This dish was delicious, and very easy to make. I shall definitely be making it again! Thank you, Mary!
I served it with my first attempt at making chapati, which is nothing to write about! I shall have to work on perfecting my chapati technique (a lot), and then I’ll share it with you!
Other chana masala recipes:
Meena’s Chana Masala, and a lesson on legumes
Another Meena’s Chana Masala, garnished with a funny story
Barbara’s Channa Masala
Sailu’s Chole Masala with Puri
Anita’s Punjabi Chhole
Other recipes with chick peas at Maninas:
This is a must-try, with its delicious flavours of saffron, garlic, tomatoes, almonds and coriander!
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