Chana Masala (Chickpea Curry)

This is a childhood favourite of mine and one we eat a lot of.  If you don’t want to soak your chickpeas, like I’ve done, you can substitute it for a couple of cans of chickpeas.

Ingredients:

1 cup of dried chickpeas (or two tins of chickpeas and go straight to cooking steps)
Small onion
1 Cup or a can of diced tomatoes
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp minced garlic
2 bay leaves
Small knob of ginger
Whole chilli (optional)

Start by soaking 1 cup of dried chickpeas in some warm water, overnight. DON’T salt the water (it’ll make the skins come off and leave you with a funny texture). You can use a couple of cans of chickpeas, too, which come already cooked – but if you eat as much of the stuff as I do, then it’s far more economical to buy it dried.

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The next morning, it’ll look like this! Time to cook your chickpeas – I use a pressure cooker, which speeds up the process – 10 mins on a low pressure is all you need. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, then it’ll take about 40 mins of slow simmering to cook them through.

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While the chickpeas are cooking, grab the rest of your ingredients – Onions, tomatoes (no, you don’t need cherry tomatoes, I just forgot to go to the shops and get enough, so put some cherries in to bulk it up – You’ll need about 1 cups (or a can) of chopped tomatoes). On the plate you have 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp chilli powder, 2 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, 2 tsp cumin seeds, 2 tsp minced garlic, 2 bay leaves, a small knob of ginger, and a whole chilli (optional)

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Fry your onions, garlic & ginger (minced) over a medium heat in a little oil – add your whole chilli & cumin seeds and let the onions go translucent – add a little salt here to stop the onions from burning and going bitter.

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Once the onions are soft and translucent, add the rest of the spice and mix through – again, keep the heat at a medium level – too hot and the whole thing goes bitter

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Ahhh, my chickpeas are ready

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You can check if they’re ready by eating a few (seriously, do it – sprinkle a little salt and some lemon or lime juice and enjoy – it’s amazing)

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Add the tomatoes to the onion & spice mix

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Add your chickpeas to your mix and add in a couple of cups of water (depending on how wet you like it – I like mine quite wet, but a thicker gravy is fine) – bring to the boil and simmer gently for 15-20 mins. If you boil it too vigourously, you’ll kill the chickpeas and texture – it’ll turn to mush – take your time…The best curries are left to absorb flavour for a long time.

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The finished product – serve with a little rice and some garnish

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Very simple dish and very tasty!

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