I am addicted to chana masala, but not just any chana masala. The tender, spicy chickpeas from one restaurant in particular won my favor. Despite its delicious food, I just can’t bring myself to eat there anymore. First, I found a hair in my chana masala. Blech! Then, I read an article detailing the restaurant’s health code violations. Double blech! I tried the chana masala from one of our other favorite restaurants, but it just did not compare. So, I had to make my own to satisfy my spicy needs. This chana masala is very easy to make, and the results are spectacular!
To start off, dice two medium onions, mince 1 garlic clove and 1 jalapeno pepper, and grate 2 teaspoons of fresh ginger. My chana masala was very spicy- just the way I like it- but you can lower the heat by using half of a jalapeno pepper or by removing its seeds. As for the ginger, a great trick is to keep your whole ginger root in the freezer so it grates easier and so you don’t have to peel it. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large pot, and dump in all of your chopped veggies. Stir them around and cook them until the onions are softened and starting to brown. Try not to inhale- the jalapeno makes the air spicy!
While the onions are cooking, prepare your spices. Pour out 1 tablespoon of ground coriander, 3 teaspoons of ground cumin, 2 teaspoons of smoked (or regular) paprika, 1 teaspoon of garam masala, 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. When the onions are browned, pour the spices into the pot, and stir them around. Let them cook for about 1 minute or until they become fragrant.
Then, pour 1 can (14.5 ounces) of diced tomatoes into the pot. Bring it to a simmer. If you’re like me and prefer your chickpeas to be in a smoother sauce, then remove the pot from the heat and use an immersion blender to puree the sauce. Season the sauce to taste with salt.
Next, add 2 rinsed and drained cans of chickpeas (30 ounces total) to the pot. Put the lid on the pot, and let the chickpeas simmer for 20-30 minutes, depending on how tender and soft you like them. Serve your chana masala with rice and naan, and garnish it with fresh cilantro or a slice of jalapeno. This curry is going to be a go-to meal around here because it is delicious, easy, healthy, and only dirties one pot! Deeeeelish.
This recipe is adapted from Smitten Kitchen.
- Chickpeas- 2 15 ounce cans
- Onion- 2
- Garlic- 1 clove
- Jalapeno pepper- 1
- Ginger- 2 teaspoons grated
- Ground coriander- 1 tablespoon
- Ground cumin- 3 teaspoons
- Smoked paprika- 2 teaspoons
- Garam masala- 1 teaspoon
- Cayenne pepper- 1/2 teaspoon
- Cinnamon- 1/2 teaspoon
- Diced tomatoes- 1 14.5 ounce can
- Canola oil