Chana Masala is the perfect mid-week dinner. It is super healthy and flavour packed. An added bonus is that it is a vegetarian dish which my whole family loves.
I feel chana masala is not dissimilar to my spiced chickpeas with haloumi recipe from my first cookbook however chana masala has the wonderful addition of garam masala. It is certainly one of the most popular Indian dishes in the world with so many variations of the recipe. This is my particular version here and one that works for me and my family. It is quick to whip up and it is such a pleasure to cook. Warming spices wafting through the kitchen, as I stir and appreciating how the flavours intensify with the additional cooking time. This could be a dish that you enjoy just five minutes after adding the chickpeas but I urge you to be patient. Just an additional 10 minutes cooking time and the flavours are taken to greater heights.
Chana masala can be enjoyed on its own but it is particularly lovely and a more substantial meal served with basmati rice (or cauliflower or brown rice) as well as warmed roti.
This is a wonderful dish to double up on as leftovers are wonderful for lunches and will keep, in the fridge, for 3-4 days.
Happy cooking to you all.
With love 💛 Nellie
2 brown onions, roughly chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
A thumb-sized knob of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
3 long green chillies, seeds and membrane removed and roughly chopped
3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (you could substitute for ghee or coconut oil also)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
A pinch of chilli flakes
1 x 400g tin of diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon garam masala, additional
Seas salt & finely cracked black pepper
A small handful of coriander, leaves only
½ lemon, zested and juiced
Place the onion, garlic, ginger, chillies and sea salt in a food processor and blitz to make a smooth paste.
Heat a saucepan or frying pan on low-medium heat. Add the oil and cook the onion paste for 6-8 minutes.
Add the ground spices followed by the chilli, tomatoes and sugar. Add around a cup of water and add the chickpeas. Increase the heat a little to bring to a simmer and then reduce to low-medium heat. Cook for 10-15 minutes to intensify the flavours. Stir every now and then. After 10-15 minutes, it should be like a thick stew. If not, cook gently, for a further few minutes. Add the juice of 1 lemon and the additional 1/2 teaspoon garam masala. Season, to taste with sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper.
Serve with coriander leaves and lemon zest on top.
Enjoy on its own or with your choice of rice – basmati rice, brown rice or cauliflower rice or work wonderfully and some warm roti bread is a lovely addition.