You will find chickpeas, or chana, in every north Indian house as it is a very popular dish, which is prepared in different ways. This recipe takes just few minutes if you have all the ingredients handy and the chickpeas soaked overnight.
It takes me back to the memory lane when I first prepared chanas. I was so excited to know how I made the dish. My mom-in-law was so generous that without even tasting it, she praised it. But my father-in-law, who was my most honest teacher, remarked after taking the first spoon that they are fine but the pot has been changed while cooking.
I was amazed, but he was right. I changed the pot as it was too small when I started cooking, so I had to move to the bigger one. Imagine a girl who knew nothing about cooking, as I was years ago, is no longer scared of serving 100 people today.
My father-in-law and my husband gave me all the confidence I needed to cook, especially these chana masala. I am forever thankful to Daddy and Rupinder.
- 2 cups raw chickpeas (if you are using canned chickpeas, then use 4 cups)
- 1.5 tbsp coriander powder.
- 1 tsp red chilli*
- 1.5 tsp chana masala*
- 1 tbsp garam masala*
- salt to taste
- 1 tsp cumin seeds*
- 3 tbsp cooking oil
- 2 to 3 bay leaves
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 2-3 stems of cilantro
* You can get these from any Indian grocery store. I never used coriander powder from the store, but I buy seeds and once a week make the powder myself and store it. Try it and see the difference in your cooking.
- Wash and soak 2 cups of chickpeas overnight.
- The next day, add the chickpeas in a pressure cooker with 8-9 cups of water with 1 tbs salt.
- After the first whistle, lower the heat and let it boil for 50 minutes.
Making the Seasoning:
Take 2 dishes – I named the dishes A & B to make it easy.
- A: cinnamon stick, cumin seeds and bay leaves together
- B: coriander, red chilli, chana masala, some salt.
- Heat the pan and add the oil. Once the oil gets hot, put the ingredients in Dish A and fry till it gets brown.
- Lower the heat and put the ingredients in Dish B. Keep stirring. Once it turns brown, add the chickpeas and mash them well with the left over water in the pressure cooker. (If you used canned chickpeas, add in regular water.)
- Keep mashing them until it reaches the desired consistency and the gravy gets thick.
- Garnish it with garam masala and cilantro.
Serves: 5 – 6 people