Spicy South Indian style chana masala is a delicious side dish for poori and rice.
Iron Rich Food
Legumes are iron rich and a very good source of iron for vegetarians. A study showed that vegetarians who consume legumes on a regular basis are usually not anemic. Chickpeas (chana) is one of the legumes rich in iron and protein. To maximize iron absorption, eat or cook the legume with vitamin C. Today’s recipe is chana masala or chickpeas curry cooked in South Indian style.
South Indian Style Chana Masala
Chana or chickpeas curry is a very popular dish in North India and the most famous chickpeas curries is Punjabi choley. Punjabi choley is dark in color and has a distinct taste. It comes from the special choley or chana masala spice mix and here is a variation of chole recipe along with homemade chama masala mix. Not all choley recipes use choley masala though.
North Indian chana masala on the other hand is an onion tomato based curry. South Indian chana masala is also an onion tomato base curry along with coconut cashew paste. Though both North and South Indian curries have an onion tomato bases, the taste is quite different due to the spices and ingredients used.
- Curry paste
- Basic curry spices
Coconut is used extensively in South Indian cooking and in deep Southern states, it is usually fresh coconut unlike in Telangana where dry coconut is used. Naturally one of the key ingredients in this curry paste is fresh coconut. Coconut, cashew and poppy seeds paste gives the curry a rich, thick base. The paste also has garam masala making it a spicy curry.
How to Cook?
Preparation of the curry is quite simple but this is a plan ahead recipe. Soak chickpeas overnight and cook the peas until tender, yet firm before adding it to the curry.
- Soak and cook chickpeas or use a can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans.
- Prepare the curry base by sauteeing onions, ginger garlic, followed by tomatoes.
- Add the spices, chickpeas, water and bring to boil.
- Add poppy seeds coconut cashew paste to thicken the gravy.
- Serve with poori, bhatura or rice.
How to Serve?
Serve it with any Indian flatbread and it tastes amazing with poori and bhatura. It also tastes good with steamed rice and jeera rice. Today my lunch was this chickpeas curry with some spinach rice and yogurt.
Detailed, Printable Recipe
- Sauce Pan
- 1 ½ - 2 tablespoon Oil
- ½ medium sized Onion about ⅔ cups chopped
- 1 tablespoon Ginger Garlic Paste
- 3 Green Chilies cut in half
- 1 medium Tomato chopped about ¾ cup when chopped
- 2 small Potatoes cut into 16 pieces each about ¾ cup when cut
- 1 ½ teaspoon Coriander Powder
- ¼ tso Turmeric :Powder
- 1 - 1 ½ teaspoon Salt adjust to taste
- 1 ½ teaspoon Chili Powder adjust to taste
- 1 can 15 oz Garbanzo Beans / Chickpeas
- 2 cups Water
- Cilantro to garnish
- 6 Whole Cashews
- ¾ teaspoon Poppy Seeds
- 1 ½ - 2 tablespoon Grated Coconut frozen
- 1 Clove
- ⅛ teaspoon Cardamom Seeds
- ⅛ ” Cinnamon Stick
- ¼ teaspoon Shah Jeera or Cumin
- Heat oil in a pan and saute onions until light brown.
- Add ginger garlic paste and saute until raw smell dissipates.
- Throw in cut green chilies, tomatoes, potatoes, ½ teaspoon salt, turmeric and mix well.
- Cover and cook until potatoes are semi cooked, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add coriander powder, chili powder, chana, remaining salt and fry for a minute or two until spices coat chana.
- Add water, cover and bring to a boil.
- Grind to fine paste all the ingredients under paste suing some water.
- Add ground paste to chana masala, check consistency and add water if needed.
- Cover and continue to cook until potatoes are cooked and chana is soft.
- Check consistency, taste and adjust seasoning. If the gravy is too thin, smash some of the chana to thicken the gravy.
- Turn off the heat, garnish with cilantro and serve with poori or rice.
So rich and delicious chana masala. I too make it quite similar way except cashews. Looks so delicious and would need some phulkas now.
Wow never knew there is a south Indian version of chana MASALA. It sounds very inviting with poppy seeds and coconut in the gravy.
Suma Gandlur says
Super. This sounds like a choley - kurma medley. I had no idea that there was a south Indian version chana masala.
Usha Rao says
Suma, the main difference between the South and North Indian versions of chana masala is addition of coconut, poppy seeds and cashews in the South version. Actually even I was unaware there was South Indian style chana masala until I started eating it in South Indian restaurants in NYC.
Chef Mireille says
I love the paste making it such a rich, creamy and luscious curry. This is definitely one of the best veg curries!
saraswathi Tharagaram says
Excellent Choice for Iron rich theme! This is so delicious and simple to make.
Love your theme Usha, chana masala looks delicious.