Saturday, August 27, 2011

Channa Masala (again!)

This version of chan(n)a masala comes from Renae at ieatfood.  I tried it because it's rather different than either of the versions I make: this one I've posted, or the longer version in The Asian Vegan Kitchen from which it's adapted.  This recipe, unlike the others, uses mustard seed, fenugreek seed, and amchoor, all of which give it a more pungent flavor profile.  While I think I prefer the spicy and toasty flavors of the other versions, it's fun to see how changing a few spices makes such a huge difference.

In making Renae's recipe, I used all canned tomatoes instead of a mixture of tomatoes and tomato paste and fresh ginger instead of dried.  I omitted paprika and asafoetida, and I switched around the order of some of the ingredients.

Channa Masala
(from i eat food)

3/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 TB chopped fresh ginger
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp (or to taste) cayenne pepper
2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
1 TB amchoor (dried mango powder; can substitute lemon juice, which you would add at the end of the cooking time)
1 tsp (or to taste) salt
4 c cooked chickpeas
1/2 c frozen peas, optional (I like to have at least a bit of green in everything I make)

1. Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Add mustard seeds and cover until they begin to splutter.  Don't let them burn!
2. Add fenugreek, cumin, and onion, and saute 5-10 minutes, until onion is slightly browned.
3. Add garlic and ginger and cook several minutes longer.
4. Add remaining ingredients except chickpeas and, um, pea peas.  Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or so. 
5. Add chickpeas and simmer 30 minutes or so, adding water if the sauce gets too dry.
6. Add peas just before serving.  Serves about 8.

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