Channa masala

Yield: 8 Servings

Measure Ingredient
2 cups Chick peas (garbanzo beans; not the canned kind)
\N \N Water
2 tablespoons Anaardaana (dried pomegranate seeds)
2 teaspoons Salt
4 tablespoons Oil (up to)
6 \N Whole cloves (up to)
6 \N Large-sized bay leaves (called \"tej pattha\") (up to)
8 \N Whole black peppercorns
1½ teaspoon Minced garlic
1½ teaspoon Minced ginger
2 \N Very large finely chopped (or better; grated) onions
1 can (3-4 oz) tomato paste
1 \N Fresh chopped tomato
½ teaspoon Garam masala
\N \N Garnish: onion (cut into rings and plenty of finely chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon \"red chilli powder\" (optional)

The recipe I'm posting will have some Indian names for spices, as I don't know the English equivalent for some Indian spices. But, you could get these spices from any Indian grocery store.

Channa masala takes a while to prepare.

1. Soak two cups chick peas (garbanzo beans, not the canned kind) overnight in water. By morning, they will have bloated upto twice their original size.

2. Also soak 2 tablespoons "anaardaana"(dried pomegranate seeds) in water, overnight. In the morning, drain out the water, grind them to a fine pulp.

3. In a pressure cooker, cook the chick peas with two teaspoons salt added, for about 20 minutes. I have a cooker that I bought in India. Indian cookers give a shrill loud whistle to indicate that now its time to turn the heat to low-medium. So, basically, I cook the chick peas for 20 minutes on low- medium heat after the first whistle.

4. In a large frying pan or wide-bottom pot, heat 4 tablespoons oil. Add cloves, Bay leaves, whole black peppercorns, minced garlic, and minced ginger, and fry for a minute or less on low-medium heat.

5. Add two very large finely chopped (or better, grated) onions. Turn the heat to medium-high and fry for some more time, till onions are slightly browned.

6. Add a 3-4 ounce can of tomato paste, and one fresh chopped tomato.

7. Cook till oil starts appearing on the sides of the pan.

8. You may also have to add about a cup of the chick pea water (from the pressure cooker) so that the onion-tomato sauce in not too thick but has the consistency of gravy.

9. Mash about half a cup of the boiled chick peas and add to the onion tomato sauce, cook for a minute more and then add the "anaardaana" paste.

This paste is responsible for imparting a dark color to the sauce.

10. Add the boiled chick peas along with some more of the water, depending on how "dry" or "liquidy" you like your Channa Masala. Remember, when this cools down, its always going to lose some of the water and become more thick.

11. In the end, add ½ teaspoon garam masala, mix well. Turn off the heat.

12. Garnish with onion (cut into rings) and plenty of finely chopped cilantro.

If you like your Channa Masala hot, you may add a teaspoon of "red chilli powder" just before adding the tomato paste.




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