Chana Masala -a Simple Recipe

This one is a simple recipe with the most available ingredients in a kitchen yet giving that authentic flavor and aroma…..

Chickpeas: 1/2 C
Tea powder-1 tsp or Tea bag-1
Bay leaves-2
Cinnamon- a small stick
Cumin seeds- a pinch
Onion(chopped)-1 large
Tomato(chopped)-2 small
Tomato paste-1 tsp (optional)
Ginger-garlic paste-1 tsp
Coriander powder-1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
Cumin powder-1/2 tsp
Pepper powder-1/4 tsp
Chilly powder-1/2 tsp
Juice of one lime
Oil- 2 tbsp
Coriander leaves-4-5 tbsp

  • Soak chickpeas overnight.
  • Take small piece of a muslin cloth and make a pouch with the tea.
  • Place the chickpeas in 3/4 cup of water and enough salt in a pressure cooker.Put the pouch of tea or the tea bag also.Then place on medium heat and let it cook.When one whistle goes ,reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 mins.
  • Meanwhile, Take a pan and heat the oil. Splutter the cloves,bay leaves,cinnamon and cumin seeds.
  • Then add in the chopped onion and saute until light brown.Now add the ginger-garlic paste, fry for few secs and add in the chopped tomatoes.
  • Once mushy add the spices one by one, then enough salt and fry until the oil starts separating.
  • Drain the cooked chickpeas.Discard the tea bag or the pouch.Reserve the drained water.
  • Add the chickpeas to the prepared masala and mix well
  • Now add the reserved water for the gravy.The amount depends on the desired level of gravy
  • Then heat until it starts boiling.Pour the lime juice at this point.Adjust the salt and remove from heat.
  • Stir in the chopped coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot.
The tea makes the cooked chickpeas soft and gives it that authentic dark colour like the restaurant ones.
Tea does not imparts any taste as you may doubt.
Using freshly roasted and powdered cumin for the cumin powder enhances the taste.
If you are making this at short notice and don’t have soaked chickpeas,you can soak it in hot water and it will be ready in 30-45 mins.This is what I always do.

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