Mar 102010

I’m about to make chole for dinner tonight. I already made some rajma (kidney bean curry) earlier and have chickpeas to use up. Chana Masala or Chole (chickpea curry) is a standard dish at most Indian restaurants and a protein-rich choice for vegetarians. It’s a great comfort food. Best of all, it’s easy to make.

Chana Masala is generally served with Indian Breads such as : Poori, Chapati, Bhatura etc. Many restaurants serve Chana – Bhatura as a snack or a dinner item. You can make this chickpea curry with lots of gravy or not depending on how you’re serving it. If you’re serving it over rice, then use more gravy. If you’re having it with a bread, like I am tonight, then use less (you can cook it down by leaving the cover off). I found the following recipe on-line that I will follow:


How to make Chickpea curry:


* Dry white Chickpeas – 1 cup
* Red ripe tomatoes – 2 (I used a can of organic diced tomatoes and a small can of organic tomato paste)
* Green chillies – 2
* Onion – 1 large
* Garlic paste – ½ tsp
* Ginger paste – ½ tsp
* Salt – 1 tsp or to taste
* Oil or ghee(clarified butter) – 2 tablespoons
* Cumin seed – ½ teaspoon
* Asafetida – a big pinch.
* Garam masala – 1 tsp
* Red chili powder – ½ tsp or to taste.
* Coriander leaves – ½ cup chopped.


* Use white large chickpeas. Wash the chickpeas. Add 3 cups of water. Soak for 6-8 hours or overnight.
* Boil or pressure cook till chickpeas are soft. It will take about 20 minutes. Add a little salt while cooking.
* Chop onions, coriander leaves finely. Chop/slit green chili.
* Puree tomatoes.

Cooking Method:

1. In a deep pan, heat oil/ghee.
2. Add cumin seeds. When they stop spluttering, add onion. Fry till onions turn transparent.
3. Add ginger and garlic paste. Fry for about 5 seconds.
4. Add tomato puree. Cook for about 7-8 minuts or till oil starts separating (floating on top).
5. Add garam masala, asafetida, red chili powder and cooked chickpeas along with the water. Cook for 5 minutes.
6. Add salt. Cook for 5-8 minutes more.
7. Add chopped coriander leaves.

Channa Masala is ready. Garnish with more chopped coriander leaves, onion rings. Serve with any Indian Breads, Such as bhatura, poori, paratha, or chapati (a wheat tortilla). I ended up having it inside a toasted pita, with cheese. My son had it on toast, with cheese. Growing up, we used to stuff an Italian loaf with it, along with some Indian pickle like lime, sprinkled with cheese. Great comfort food!

Source: Vegetarian Cooking, Recipes, Tips


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