Adventures in Indian Food, Part II: Channa Masala & Making the Best of Things

What not to do: use ALL the garam masala spice at once! Just no.

What not to do: use ALL the garam masala spice at once! Just no.

I wrote in an earlier post about some friendships I made while working in the non-profit sector, and how one of those friends (Miss O!) gave me her recipe for Garam Masala. That same friend also gave me her recipe for Channa Masala, and that’s what today’s post is about! Channa Masala is an East Indian dish made with chickpeas, tomatoes, onions, and spices — even if you’re not really a legume sort of person (*cough*me*cough*), this is a delicious dish.

I’d never made Channa Masala before trying this recipe, and I have to say, it’s surprisingly easy! Want to make some too? It’s great to serve over rice, or as a side dish, or even all by its delicious lonesome! This particular version of the recipe is my take on my friend’s recipe. In other words, I didn’t have enough fresh tomatoes, so I combined fresh baby tomatoes (that I usually eat on my salad for my lunches) with some tomato sauce that I had in the fridge. I don’t call myself the Queen of Substitutions for nothing, you know!

Channa Masala

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 c. chopped tomato
  • 2 heaping tbsp. tomato sauce
  • pinch of curry powder
  • pinch of garam masala
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • lemon juice to taste
  • chopped cilantro

Fry onion and chopped tomato until onion is golden and translucent, and tomato is all caramelized. Rinse chickpeas and add to pot. Add in tomato sauce. Add in spices, and a little bit of water (it depends how saucy you want the dish to be). Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Just before serving, stir in lemon juice, and sprinkle with chopped cilantro!

Caramelized onions and tomatoes...so delicious!

Caramelized onions and tomatoes…so delicious!

My friend says that if you’re partial to heat in your food, you can add some chopped green chili before you add in the chickpeas. I deliberately left them out because the DH is NOT a fan of heat in his food (he finds black pepper spicy *puzzled face*), so being the sweet, loving wife that I am, I considered his preferences when making this dish. Does that get me wifely brownie points? Yes, right?

Speaking of the DH, I was standing at the stove mixing up this dish, and he came up behind me and *gasp* pinched my butt at the exact moment that I was adding the spice. I was so discombobulated that I ended up tipping my entire container of garam masala into the dish, as opposed to a pinch. Which would have bumped up the heat in the dish by about a 100 units! I do NOT recommend using all your garam masala in this dish, btw. Just saying.

But I didn’t want to toss the whole thing, because I hate wasting food, and also because I hate wasting my time, so I did the next best thing and…rinsed my chickpeas. That’s right, I rinsed off the chickpeas and started again. Although I reserved a bit of the garam masala-coated chickpeas to act as the spice in the second round, as I had no more of the spice. Hey, I like to make the best of things!

Between subbing in tomato paste for part of the fresh chopped tomatoes, and using too much garam masala, this dish didn’t turn out exactly as my friend had written, but it still turned out deliciously, and that’s all that matters to me! If you make this dish, let me know if you make any substitutions or additions — I’m always open to new ideas!

Next Post: Lemon Squares. So pucker-licious!

Linking up at Meal Plan Monday!

2 thoughts on “Adventures in Indian Food, Part II: Channa Masala & Making the Best of Things

  1. Pingback: Lemon Squares, French-Style & How Spring Has Sprung a Tad Early |

  2. Pingback: Adventures in Indian Food, Part III: Channa Masala-Stuffed Samosas! - Approaching Food

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *