Chana masala.

Chana masalaOh, the glorious chick pea aka the garbanzo bean. How I love you so much. And now I have been fortunate enough to find you in the bulk aisle at Superstore. How I love you even more.

And since I’ve been craving chana masala, it was time to make it. For realz.

I have a very long standing relationship with chick peas. They have made their way into my soups, hummus, salads, curries, chilis, and even brownies. They are probably my favourite bean of all time — packed with protein, good flavour and texture, and so, so good for you! And when paired with rice, which is exactly what I was going to serve it with, you’ve got a complete protein — woohooo!

Chana masala is a warming curry packed with (you guessed it) chick peas, tomatoes, onions and lots of spices. Commonly found in both Indian and African cuisines, it can be served as an appetizer with naan or even as an entree when served with rice, raita, and chutney. It is also a very economical dish to make, around $5 if you already have the spices on-hand and it makes a huge potful. Not to mention it is also super healthy for you and vegan (yay!).

So this recipe does make quite a bit. Oops. But you can always half the recipe if you please. If you get tired of eating it the way it is for like three days in a row, try wrapping the rice and chana masala and a handful of fresh cilantro up in a wrap — a great way to take curry on the go.
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What you’ll need:
– 4 cups dried chick peas, soaked overnight, drained (6-7 cups cooked)
– 4 tsps ghee or vegetable oil
– 1/2 yellow onion, diced
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1″ knob of ginger, minced
– 2 tbsp ground cumin
– 4 tsps turmeric
– 1 tbsp garam masala
– 1 tsp coriander
– 2 tsps cayenne pepper
– 5 dried red chilies
– 2 tsps kosher salt
– 1 tsp ground black pepper
– 1 (28.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, juices included
– 2 cups water
– 1/2 lemon, juice only
– Handful of cilantro, roughly chopped

What you’ll need to do:
1. Place chick peas in a large pot with enough water to cover it. Turn heat up to high until it boils then turn down the heat to low and simmer until cooked, about 30-45 minutes. Drain, rinse, and set aside. Omit if you’re using canned or cooked chick peas.
2. While the chick peas are cooking, dry toast your spices in a small saucepan. Just place all of the spices on toast on high. The spices will become very fragrant. Do not burn any seeds. Depending on your stove, this will take just a few minutes.
3. In a large pot or wok, heat the ghee until it melts or use oil over medium-high heat.
4. Once the oil/ghee is hot, add the onions and saute for about 1 minute.
5. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for 30 seconds.
6. Add your chick peas and toasted spices and mix, ensuring everything is well coated.
7. Add the tomatoes and water to the pot. Bring the mixture up to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Remove the chilies until desired heat is reached (I removed mine after 15 minutes). Simmer the chana masala for atleast 30 minutes (the longer the better) and let the liquid reduce by half. Add the cilantro 5 minutes before serving.
8. Serve with basmati or tamarind rice. Makes 8-10 servings.

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