Tag Archives: chickpea

Chana Masala-ing my way into cooking Indian food – Repost


Last September, I went through a phase making Indian food.  Chana Masala was one dish I made that was spectacularly easy and yummy! At the time, I didn’t have all of the spices mentioned in the recipe.

Last night though I made it again and this time, I had fresh Amchoor powder and Garam Masala on hand that I picked up at an Indian grocery store  in Scarborough. It turned out delicious, again!

It’s an incredibly easy dish. Once you have minced your onions and garlic, chopped up your two tomatoes and grated your ginger, it’s a straightforward fry to the end!

Oh, and don’t forget to put your rice on while you prep the Chana Masala!

Chana Masala – Take Two!

What follows is the original post I wrote when I first made Chana Masala in 2011:

Over a week ago, I decided to make some Indian inspired food.  I had that craving, that physical *need*, for curry, and I didn’t want to order in. So, instead, I made this:

 

Mmmm, chana masala!

My initial attempt to make chana masala went extremely well. If you have never made Indian food before, as was the case with me, I would recommend this as a starter dish.  It was honestly incredibly easy, straightforward and even after freezing and reheating, it continues to be delicious.

The only problem I had is that the recipe I found online called for ingredients I didn’t have on hand and that I couldn’t find: armchoor powder, cumin seeds and a hot green chili pepper (these are around…there just weren’t any at the two grocery stores I visited).  So I simply left them out and hoped for the best.  As I say, I lucked out…the dish turned out quite lovely…although I wonder how much better it would have been had I been able to find all the ingredients.  Ah well, that’s just a reason to make it again!

Click here for the recipe I used or scroll to the bottom of the post.

Everything about this recipe was straightforward and easy…the most complex part is the preparation.  Well, for me that is.  I still take a long time to chop/mince/and otherwise prepare my ingredients.

But once the preparation part is over…this recipe is beyond simple.  Start by sauteeing your onions and garlic.

Once your onions are tender and browning, add the coriander, cumin (not the roasted cumin…considering I didn’t have any anyway…), cayenne and turmeric.

At this point, the fragrance of the mixture is awesome although it’s quite dry.  But that’s okay, moisture is coming!  Stir the dry mixture just enough to fully cover the onions and garlic, I think I stirred barely 30 seconds, and then add the tomatoes.

At this point, I added a small splash of water to up the moisture just a bit.  Cook the tomatoes until they begin to brown.  It is at that point you add the chickpeas, water, and remaining spices.

Stir it up until well mixed and then cover and allow to cook for about 10 minutes.  In that time, the above mixture turns into this:

Final step? Uncover and add the grated ginger.
At this point, I re-covered the dish and allowed it to sit on Low for an extra 5-10 minutes as I was waiting for the other portion of my meal to cook, so as long as you keep an eye on the moisture, you can allow it to cook a little longer.

So there you have it.  So easy, so straightforward, so yummy, and hey, so good for you! 😉

CHANA MASALA

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon amchoor powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 6 tablespoons chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

Ingredients I didn’t have but which were called for:

  • 2 teaspoons ground roasted cumin seeds
  • 1 fresh, hot green chili pepper, minced (I simply decided against the chili, not wanted a dish that was too spicy)

To see the original recipe w/instructions for the above missing ingredients, visit: www.food.com/recipe/channa-masala-17471

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet.
  2. Add onions and garlic and sauté over a medium heat until browned (3-5 minutes).
  3. Turn heat to medium-low.
  4. Add the coriander, cumin (not the roasted cumin), cayenne and turmeric.
  5. Stir for a few seconds.
  6. Add the tomatoes.
  7. Cook the tomatoes until browned lightly.
  8. Add chickpeas and a cup of water and stir.
  9. Add paprika, garam masala, salt and lemon juice.
  10. Cook covered for 10 minutes.
  11. Remove the cover add the ginger.
  12. Stir and cook uncovered for 30 seconds.

Curried Lentil Soup – Amazing Intro to Lentils!


This soup was the best introduction to lentils!  Not only is it delicious and spicy, but it is beyond easy to make.  So easy in fact, that I have made it a couple of times before I got to blogging about it!

 You will find the recipe written out at the bottom of this post.

So, my adventures into the world of lentil soup began like this….a collection of ingredients.  I should note here that the second time around, I added ingredients to the recipe which included a chopped zucchini, cubed potato and a dash of garam masala.

The recipe specified the need for green lentils.  So before I even began to create this soup, I learned that red lentils and green lentils are very different and serve different purposes.  For this soup I highly recommend green lentils as they maintain their shape even after becoming tender.  The original recipe calls for a medium carrot…but a bag of small ones is all I had on hand so I made a “medium carrot”….

The onion and ‘medium’ carrot are to be chopped and sautéed until tender, along with half of your garlic and a bit of oil.

A quick note about garlic:  When I see garlic listed in a recipe…I tend to ignore the # of cloves it calls for.  Instead, I think about how much garlic I am in the mood for…when is the last time I had some yummy garlic…how much garlic do I have in the kitchen…and then I cut up a ton of it!  So feel free to follow the suggested 3 cloves in the recipe (which is technically inaccurate as the original recipe called for 2!) or decide how garlicky you wish to be and just go with it!

Once the sautéing veg/garlic is tender, add your curry powder and stir it slightly so as to cover everything.

 It’s at this point that you add your lentils and water (all but 1/4 cup) and bring everything to a boil.  The moment it hits boiling, turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 45 minutes-ish…until your lentils are as tender as you want them.

In my last blog entry, I commented on multi-tasking in the kitchen and how I’m discovering that practice is desperately needed to do so effectively.  Well, this soup allows for a fairly structured, non-chaotic multi-tasking.

While your soup simmers … oh, which will look like this by the way:

You move to the other side of your kitchen and start preparing the second half of this awesome dish!

It is my opinion that this second half of the recipe is absolutely imperative!  I’m sure the soup would be lovely once simmered, but likely somewhat watered down.  When you add the following mixture, the soup acquires this yummy creaminess that enhances the flavours and warms the palate.

In a separate dish, add your chickpeas, lemon juice, water, remaining garlic (or hey, chop up more! :D) and oil.

 

Ensure the dish is fairly deep because, as you can see, you’re about to blend it all together and I know (sadly, from experience) that the deeper=the better=less mess!

Post-blended ... very hummus-like!

Once you have a well-blended mixture … which looks and smells quite a bit like hummus … you add it to the finished soup along with a dollop of butter.  Yeah, I said dollop.  I like my butter like I like my garlic.  In huge amounts! 😉

This mixture thickens the soup and adds a new dynamic to the smell and the taste.  I find it hard to put into words but  let’s just say that this soup is a perfect winter soup.  It makes you want to curl up with a good book in your cozy papasan chair (Don’t have one?  Go!  Go now! I’ll wait. *grin*), preferably in front of a fire…if you have the option…and simply relax.

Once added and stirred in, your soup is complete!

My first completed pot of soup

My second batch...not quite as thick as the first.

I have enjoyed eating this soup with buttered rye bread, as well as crackers dipped in hummus (specifically masala hummus….soooo good!) and it also freezes extremely well. So prepare for winter by freezing a few batches of this lovely soup and for goodness sake, go get yourself a comfy papasan chair!


CURRIED LENTIL SOUP

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp (or more) curry powder
  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 4 1/4 cups water
  • 1 large can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

NOTE: The second time I made this soup, I added zucchini, potato and some garam masala spice.  It turned out just as lovely as the first time so I encourage you experiment with the recipe!

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pot over med heat.
  2. Add onion, carrot and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook until onion is translucent, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add half of the garlic and continue stirring occasionally until the vegetables start to brown slightly.
  5. Add 2 tbsp curry powder and stir for another minute until fragrant and vegetables are covered.
  6. Add lentils and 4 cups of water.
  7. Increase heat to bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium and allow to simmer until lentils are tender, 3o-45 minutes, depending.
  8. While your lentils simmer, use a hand blender and puree the chickpeas, lemon juice, 1/4 cup water, remaining garlic and oil.
  9. When lentils are tender, add the chickpea mixture and butter to the soup.
  10. Season to taste using salt, pepper, curry powder.
  11. Serve in a bowl garnished with green onions slices.

    Source: I am presently hunting for the magazine article that provided me with this amazing recipe.  Once found, I will most definitely be crediting the person who wrote it.

Chana Masala-ing my way into cooking Indian food


Over a week ago, I decided to make some Indian inspired food.  I had that craving, that physical *need*, for curry, and I didn’t want to order in. So, instead, I made this:

Mmmm, chana masala!

My initial attempt to make chana masala went extremely well. If you have never made Indian food before, as was the case with me, I would recommend this as a starter dish.  It was honestly incredibly easy, straightforward and even after freezing and reheating, it continues to be delicious.

The only problem I had is that the recipe I found online called for ingredients I didn’t have on hand and that I couldn’t find: armchoor powder, cumin seeds and a hot green chili pepper (these are around…there just weren’t any at the two grocery stores I visited).  So I simply left them out and hoped for the best.  As I say, I lucked out…the dish turned out quite lovely…although I wonder how much better it would have been had I been able to find all the ingredients.  Ah well, that’s just a reason to make it again!

Click here for the recipe I used or scroll to the bottom of the post.

Everything about this recipe was straightforward and easy…the most complex part is the preparation.  Well, for me that is.  I still take a long time to chop/mince/and otherwise prepare my ingredients.

But once the preparation part is over…this recipe is beyond simple.  Start by sauteeing your onions and garlic.

Once your onions are tender and browning, add the coriander, cumin (not the roasted cumin…considering I didn’t have any anyway…), cayenne and turmeric.

At this point, the fragrance of the mixture is awesome although it’s quite dry.  But that’s okay, moisture is coming!  Stir the dry mixture just enough to fully cover the onions and garlic, I think I stirred barely 30 seconds, and then add the tomatoes.

At this point, I added a small splash of water to up the moisture just a bit.  Cook the tomatoes until they begin to brown.  It is at that point you add the chickpeas, water, and remaining spices.

Stir it up until well mixed and then cover and allow to cook for about 10 minutes.  In that time, the above mixture turns into this:

Final step? Uncover and add the grated ginger.
At this point, I re-covered the dish and allowed it to sit on Low for an extra 5-10 minutes as I was waiting for the other portion of my meal to cook, so as long as you keep an eye on the moisture, you can allow it to cook a little longer.

So there you have it.  So easy, so straightforward, so yummy, and hey, so good for you! 😉


CHANA MASALA

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 6 tablespoons chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 lemon (juiced)
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

Ingredients I didn’t have but which were called for:

  • 2 teaspoons ground roasted cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon amchoor powder
  • 1 fresh, hot green chili pepper, minced

To see the original recipe w/instructions for the above missing ingredients, visit: www.food.com/recipe/channa-masala-17471

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet.
  2. Add onions and garlic and sauté over a medium heat until browned (3-5 minutes).
  3. Turn heat to medium-low.
  4. Add the coriander, cumin (not the roasted cumin), cayenne and turmeric.
  5. Stir for a few seconds.
  6. Add the tomatoes.
  7. Cook the tomatoes until browned lightly.
  8. Add chickpeas and a cup of water and stir.
  9. Add paprika, garam masala, salt and lemon juice.
  10. Cook covered for 10 minutes.
  11. Remove the cover add the ginger.
  12. Stir and cook uncovered for 30 seconds.

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