Channa or Channa Masala is a very popular north Indian dish made from chick peas. You can find Channa Masala in almost all Indian restaurants, north Indian or south Indian. Channa is a very good source of protein and when cooked as a gravy it tastes yummy. In fact, it is one of my HB’s favorite dishes. We never fail to make Channa Masala at least once every two weeks.
The main step in preparing Channa Masala is the amount of time that you soak the chick peas in water before cooking. The more it is soaked, the faster it gets cooked. As I said above, it is a good source of protein and I heard from my HB that back in India, he and his friends used leave Channa soaked in water overnight and have a handful before hitting the gym, sort of like an energy booster. There is also a black chickpea called as Kondaikadalai in my native tongue that can be cooked similar to Channa Masala. I have given the recipe for that here . There are days when we cook Channa without any masala, i.e., not in a gravy form and have it for dinner. This type is called a Sundal in Tamil. It is a popular Prashadam dish in temples back home.
Channa Masala is a very good side dish for Chappati, Bhature (Channa Bhature is another popular north Indian dish), Poori and rice as well. And here is the recipe for Channa Masala. Try it in your home and as always comment on your experience and thoughts 🙂
- Cooking or vegetable oil – 1 tbs
- Cinnamon stick – 1 (2 inch)
- Cardamom – 3
- Cloves – 2
- Bay leaf – 1
- Cumin seeds – 1 tbs
- Onion – 1
- Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
- Ginger & Garlic paste – 1 tbs
- Green chillies, finely chopped – 1 no
- Channa masala – 1 ½ tbs
- Channa or chickpeas – 1 cup
- Lemon juice – 1 tbs
- Salt as required
- Coriander leaves – for garnishing
- Tomato - 1 no
- green chilli - 1 no
- Soak the channa/chickpeas overnight or for 8 hours.
- Pressure cook the channa with little water and a tsp of salt for 3 whistles - It should be cooked in such a way that you could smash the channa by your thumb and index fingers.
- Make a puree of tomato and green chilli in a blender and set aside.
- Heat a wide pan with a tbs of oil, add the whole spices mentioned above followed by cumin seeds.
- When cumin seeds start to splutter, add chopped onion and fry till they are softened and become translucent.
- Add turmeric powder and ginger-garlic paste. Sauté until the raw aroma of ginger-garlic disappears.
- Add the tomato puree and chopped green chilli. Saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring in between.
- Add channa masala powder and little salt . Mix well and saute until oil seperates.
- Add the cooked masala into boiled channa, mix well and pressure cook for another 2 whistles.
- Sprinkle few drops of lemon juice on top and garnish with coriander leaves.
- Serve hot channa masala with pooris, chapattis or steamed rice accompanied with lemon & onion slices.
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