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Chana Masala

    Chana Masala

    You say Garbanzo Bean, I say Chickpea, but in India, it is “Chana.”

    Chana Masala is one of the most popular Indian dishes. Since it’s vegan and spicy, it falls into the category of “dishes my husband likes.” I hope you enjoy it too.

    Chana Masala
    Serves 4-6


    1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 whole cardamom pod
    1 whole cinnamon stick
    1 whole Bay Leaf
    A few whole cloves
    1 tsp whole cumin seeds
    2 medium onions, diced
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
    1 teaspoon ground turmeric
    1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes
    chopped green chilis
    1 teaspoon garam masala
    1/4 tsp chili powder
    1/2 tsp ground coriander
    1/4 tsp turmeric
    1/2 tsp cumin powder
    2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
    Salt to taste
    Squeezes of lemon juice
    Fresh cilantro to garnish


    1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add whole spices (cadamom pod, cinnamon stick, Bay Leaf, whole cloves, cumin seeds) to the pan and sautée for 2 minutes over medium-high heat. Add onion and sautée until softened and browned, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, ginger and turmeric. Stir to combine. Sautée for a minute or two.

    2. Add the canned tomatoes and green chilis. Simmer until thickened slightly, about 3 minutes. While tomatoes are simmering, mix together the garam masala powder, chili powder, ground coriander, turmeric, and cumin powder. Add this mixture to the simmering tomatoes and stir to combine.

    3. Add the chickpeas. If the dish is getting dry, add up to 2/3 cup of water. Simmer uncovered for 5-10 minutes or until chickpeas are soft, but not mushy. Season with salt.

    4. Fish out the Bay Leaf and cinnamon stick. Serve over rice. Squeeze lemon on top and garnish with lots of fresh cilantro.

    Here is a version of Chana Masala demonstrated by ShowMeTheCurry. Their version involves using tea bags to enhance flavor and color. Cool!

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