Channa Masala (Chickpea Curry)

15 Aug


2 cans of chickpeas

2 tablespoons of oil

5 cloves

3 cardamom pods (closed pods, do not break open)

2 bay leaves

1-1/2 cups of chopped onions

2 tsp garlic paste (available in the fridge section at East Indian stores)

2 tsp ginger paste (available in the fridge section at East Indian stores)

1-1/2 cups of chopped tomato

3 tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp salt (or to taste)

1/4 tsp red chilli powder (or add more to taste for a spicier flavour)

1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin

1/2 cup water (or add more if you want more gravy in the curry)

1 tsp garam masala (or add more to taste for a spicier flavour)


Rinse garbanzo beans in cold water and drain.

Heat a saucepan on medium heat and heat the oil in the pan. Add cloves, cardamom pods and bay leaves. Fry for approx. 30 seconds and you will smell the beautiful fragrance from the spices coming out…

Keep heat on medium and add chopped onions. Fry the onion and spice mixture for a few minutes, until the onions turn light brown (translucent). Add garlic and ginger paste, stir and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.

Raise heat to medium-high, add chopped tomatoes, stir and cover pan. Cook for approx. 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes become soft and break down. The mixture should start to look like a chunky gravy at this point. If not, you may need to cook it for a little bit longer. Add the tomato paste to the mixture and stir.

Take 4-5 tablespoons of your chickpeas and put them in a dish and mash them down a bit. Then add the mashed chickpeas and the balance of the whole chickpeas to the tomato mixture. (The mashed chickpeas will help to create a great gravy for your chickpea curry). Cover and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add salt, red chilli powder, ground cumin and water. Keep heat on medium, stir, cover and cook for approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chickpeas have reached your desired consistency. Add garam masala, stir and return to the heat for another minute or so. Check seasoning at this time and add more salt, red chilli powder or garam masala if desired, keeping in mind that the curry should be cooked for another minute after any additional seasonings have been added, to allow the flavours to combine.

When it’s time to eat, serve the chickpea curry garnished with a sprinkling of chopped cilantro (if desired) either over basmati rice or serve with fresh naan bread or rotis.

A few notes:

Like many indian dishes, this tastes EVEN BETTER the following day!

For the lacto vegetarians out there, this dish tastes great with a side of cucumber raita (in a bowl, mix a cup of peeled, deseeded, finely chopped cucumber and a small deseeded chopped tomato with 2 cups of plain (unsweetened!) yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon of salt (to taste) and fresh ground pepper).



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