"This is a journey of my life since I was all of 12 yrs when I started my hand in cooking to now with displays of my learning and creations of recipes from around the world. My inspiration and role model has always been my Mum who has always created dishes from around the world and excellently well. I do not believe I would ever match to her culinary skills. I remember the times she could cook and bake almost 4-5 dishes in one go without ever letting one go under cooked or burnt! I was born and raised in Dubai, UAE and recently moved to India for family reasons. Kitchenette just means that over the decades, my kitchen has changed from that of my mum's to my uncle and aunt's, to my home in UAE and now in India. Pala't'te, describes both global cuisines ('Palatte'-diverse flavours) and pleasing diverse 'Palates'."

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Uncle John's Chana Masala Special (Spiced Chick Peas)

I do not know if you remember when I started this blog, I mentioned the name of my blog arrives from the fact that my cooking experience was derived first from Mum's Kitchen and then to several kitchens thereafter. Hence the name Kitchenette. Uncle John and Aunty Felcy's kitchen was one of the kitchens where I learnt some delicious Mangalorean recipes. Uncle John prepares the best chana masala I have ever had!

Recently, when I spoke to Uncle's son, he mentioned how ever many times, he tries to get his Dad's recipe for Chana Masala, it never turns out as delicious as he makes it. Well to cut a long story short, I called uncle and asked him for his recipe and made sure I took notes to the T!

I can safely say that this attempt definitely takes me back to the good ol' days, when I stayed at uncle and aunty's loving home as I definitely got the flavour right minus the love and care that uncle especially puts in it. Lemon juice is an optional ingredient (as I am not sure if his son liked it in the dish). I remember uncle had added it in when I visited his home about a year ago with my little one Izzy and hubby Anup.

So here goes, its a super simple recipe and one you must try whether you are a vegetarian or not. Trust me, you will argue with your better half for the last spoon of this dish or will divide it equally not just give it away. Miss you Uncle and Aunty. Thank you for taking care of me ..you definitely made it hard to miss my parents a lot when I was away from them those years.

To make this super delicious and simple recipe,

You need:

  • 250 gms of kabuli chana/Chickpeas, soaked overnight in 2-3 cups of water
  • 1 tbsp of MTR Chana Masala powder(if you do not have this you can use 1/2 tbsp of chili powder and 1/2 tbsp of Garam masala, although it will not be perfectly the same, it will serve the purpose)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp of ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 green chili, slit lengthwise (optional)
  • 1 bunch of coriander leaves, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic (skin-on)
  • Juice of 1 lemon (optional)
  • Salt to taste

The make:

Preparation Time: 8 hrs(overnight)|Cooking Time: 30 minutes| Serves 4 adults

  1. Strain the water from the puffed up chana and pressure cook the chana with salt and about 2 cups of water.
  2. Heat the coconut oil in a clay pot and splutter the mustard seeds.
  3. Lower the flame and add the garlic cloves until softened or lightly brown.
  4. Add the green chili and onion and saute till golden-brown. 
  5. Next add the ginger-garlic paste and stir for about a minute.
  6. Next add the tomatoes. Cover to cook for about 3-4 minutes.
  7. Add the MTR Masala and stir well. Allow to cook for 2 minutes.
  8. Next add the chana with the water and saute well. Cover and allow the spices to blend into the chana for 10 minutes. Add the (optional) lemon juice if preferred.
  9. Top with coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice or flatbreads such as paratha, puris or roti of your choice. Bon Appetit..

Tip: Once served, leave the cover off the claypot and let it cool. Once cooled to room temperature, cover and let it stand overnight. This improves the flavour. The chana masala taste better the next day as the chana absorbs the masala.

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