Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Channa Masala (Indian Chickpea Curry)

Masala = Spice Mix = The heart and soul of any Indian Food

Garam Masala = My new favorite spice = smells like Chai tea

I've been on a bit of a vegetarian Indian food kick lately and have stocked my spice drawer accordingly. Channa masala is a classic Northern Indian dish that I came across on seriouseats.com and decided to give it a whirl after sampling something similar at Trader Joe's (they had a vegetarian Indian food sample night recently). It is a curry made of chickpeas that is beautiful in color, fragrant and rather healthy.

Ingredients (serves 2)
1 T olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove
1/2 T ground coriander
1 t ground cumin
1/4 t ground cayenne pepper
1/2 t ground turmeric
6 T chopped tomatoes (or half a can)
1/2 cup water
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 t paprika
1/2 t garam masala
1/2 t salt
Juice of 1/4 lemon
1/2 jalapeƱo, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
1 t fresh ginger, grated


Pour olive oil in a skillet set over medium heat. When warm, add the onion and cook until soft and beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Add the coriander, cumin, cayenne, and turmeric. Stir until combined and cook for 30 seconds or so, or until it is very fragrant.

Stir in the tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Dump in the chickpeas and the pour in the water. Stir until combined, and then bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Add the paprika, garam masala, salt, and lemon juice. Cover and cook at a simmer for 10 minutes.

Sprinkle in the ginger and jalapeno. Cook for another 30 seconds. Season with salt if needed.


  • I served this over Trader Joe's garlic naan. It comes in the frozen section of their store and it is delicious!
  • I hear it is also served with rice.
  • I found all of the spices that you can't find at a regular grocery store at Cost Plus World Market. They have a nice selection of unusual and exotic spices.
  • This was pretty mellow in terms of heat. If you want to kick it up a notch add more jalapeno or forget to deseed it!

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