Yes, my friends…you have entered food heaven. Just look at those chickpeas…creamy, spice-oozing balls of lusciousness just waiting to be devoured *insert erotic novel here*
I have had so many requests for my chana masala recipe, so I am here to fulfill those dreams! I would say my recipe is a mishmash of the East African curries I grew up eating and the Punjabi food I’ve become obsessed with living in Surrey, BC *insert Surrey jokes here*. Alright, on with it.
What you’ll need:
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt (may need more at the end)
4 cups of water (plus some at the beginning when cooking masala base)
2 tsp tomato paste
1 large onion diced
1 large tomato diced
1 large bunch of cilantro roughly chopped
2-3 green chilies cut in half lengthwise
half-1 whole head of garlic finely diced (the more, the better really)
1-2 tbsp ginger diced (a good garlic-ginger ratio is 3:1)
1.15-ounce (or 2 cups) can of chickpeas, rinsed well
Spices: 2-3 tsp curry powder, 1 tsp cumin, 3-4 tsp turmeric, 1 tbsp garam masala
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high, then add onions. Cook onions well until translucent, then add salt, garlic, ginger, green chilies and 1/3 of the chopped cilantro, stir well so that all is coated with oil. It is key from this stage on to make sure nothing burns. If necessary, add a bit of water to help this from happening. Keep cooking mixture down. Give the onions time to turn a bit golden brown.
- Add curry powder, cumin, & turmeric to the pot. Make sure your spices do not burn. I find taking the pot off the element quickly (or turning the heat down to medium) while adding the spices prevents this from happening. Transfer the pot back to the element and stir the spices into the mixture. You will now notice that your mixture is quite dry from all the spices. Here you will add some water and scrape the spices off the bottom of the pot, stir so that the spices are coating everything. Let the spices and onion mixture cook down, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Keep cooking until your mixture looks a browny yellow (you’ll notice the onions have nearly melted into the mixture). I cooked mine down for a good 20-25 minutes. I know, very laborious, but totally worth it! Keep going, you can do it! *insert inspiration here*
- Next, make some space in the pot with your wooden spoon and drop the tomato paste in, stirring it against the bottom so that it cooks a bit (it should start turning slightly brown). Mix it together with everything. Let that cook a bit. Then add your diced tomato. Now that all of your masala base ingredients are in, this is the part where you MUST let the mixture cook down while stirring regularly. Water is your best friend at this point, KEEP LUBRICATING, OKAY?! *insert crass jokes about dry sex here* I cooked mine for nearly an hour before adding chickpeas in. A good way to tell is to hover your nose over the pot and if you smell raw tomato, it is far from done. You need to cook those tomatoes down until there aren’t any sign of them, and their wee skins crumple up into little spikes of revenge. *insert GoT reference here*Here is what this process looks like (top: step 1-2 bottom: step 3 and what your masala base should look like when it’s ready):
With this masala base, you are basically a curry superhero. You can make anything from zucchini potato curry to minced beef and peas! *insert orgasmic moans here*
- Last, but not least, once your masala base is good to go, add those rinsed chickpeas in and stir them into the masala. Coat those bitches! Add the 4 cups of water, bring to a boil, then semi-cover, leaving a bit open, and simmer for 1.5-2 hours (depending on how creamy and soft you want them. I love mine soft so I cooked them for 2.5 hours, yaaaaaaaas I’m fantastic), stirring intermittently. Near the end add garam masala and stir in. Garnish with the rest of the cilantro and *insert Italian food appreciation kiss thing* you are finished!
*Note: the spices I use do change depending on what I have in the house. If you have whole cumin seeds or mustard seeds, go ahead and toast either one of those in the oil at the very beginning before adding the onions. The spices you really do need are the curry powder, turmeric and garam masala.
The decadent result one more time….ogle at it. OGLE I SAY.
If I missed listing anything obvious in the ingredients or directions let me know, or if you have any questions/suggestions, comment below! Now off you go and cook this!