Chana Masala

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The first Indian dish I ever tasted was Chana Masala (chickpea curry). A hearty tomato base with ginger, onion, turmeric, coriander, cumin and Garam Masala is the perfect blend of spice and heat ๐ŸŒถ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ˜‹ 

Cue the tastebuds happy dance!

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 3 Tbsp EVOO
  • 1/2 white onion, finely diced
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt, divided, plus more to taste
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 fresh green chilies, sliced with seeds (I used serrano peppers)
  • 1 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 28-oz can pureed or finely diced tomatoes (if unsalted, youโ€™ll add more salt to the dish)
  • (2) 15-ounce cans chickpeas, slightly drained
  • 1 tsp garam masala 
  • 2-3 tsp coconut sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice, plus more to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, onion, cumin, and 1/4 tsp salt.
  2. Add garlic, ginger, cilantro, and green chilies to a mortar and pestle and grind into a rough paste (or use a small food processor to pulse into a paste. Alternatively, just finely mince.) Then, add to the pan with the onions.
  3. Next add ground coriander, chili powder, and turmeric and stir to coat. Add a little more oil at this point if the pan is looking dry.
  4. Next add pureed tomatoes and chickpeas and remaining 1/2 tsp salt. If the mixture looks a little too thick, add up to 1 cup water. Youโ€™re looking for a semi-thick soup consistency at this point, as it will cook down into more of a stew.
  5. Increase heat to medium high until it reaches a rolling simmer, then reduce heat to low or medium-low and maintain a simmer (uncovered) for 15-20 minutes, or until thick and stew-like. Stir occasionally.
  6. When the chana masala is thickened and bubbly, taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt for saltiness, chili powder for heat, or a bit of coconut sugar for sweetness and to offset the heat of the chilies.
  7. Remove from heat and add lemon juice and garam masala. Stir to mix, then let cool slightly before serving. Fresh cilantro and lemon juice make an excellent garnish. 
  8. Leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator up to 4 days, or in the freezer up to 1 month.