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 choley recipe along with homemade chama masala mix.
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.
South Indian Chickpeas Curry Paste
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 South Indian Style Chana Masala?
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 Chana Masala
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.
Chana Masala Recipe
- Sauce Pan
- 1 ½ - 2 tbsp Oil
- ½ medium sized Onion about ⅔ cups chopped
- 1 tbsp 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 tsp Coriander Powder
- ¼ tso Turmeric :Powder
- 1 - 1 ½ tsp Salt adjust to taste
- 1 ½ tsp Chili Powder adjust to taste
- 1 can 15 oz Garbanzo Beans / Chickpeas
- 2 cups Water
- Cilantro to garnish
- 6 Whole Cashews
- ¾ tsp Poppy Seeds
- 1 ½ - 2 tbsp Grated Coconut frozen
- 1 Clove
- ⅛ tsp Cardamom Seeds
- ⅛ ” Cinnamon Stick
- ¼ tsp 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 tsp 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.
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