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Merrie Channa Masala

August 4, 2009

my good friend gave me this AWESOME recipe, which i *finally* made last night.  for some reason i kept having all but 2 ingredients for it. 

oh, and before i go into the greatness of this recipe, i want to go on about the greatness of the Indian Grocer.  hollllllaaaaa!!!!   this is where i found the tamarind paste and the black salt (can anyone taste the omelettes a cookin?). unbelievably, the 3 other specialty stores in town did not have either ingredient, maybe thankfully so b/c there’s no way i would have gotten such great prices at those stores.  i also picked up super cheap lentils, nan, chili powder and cumin.  MMMMMMMMM.   so happy!

now, the goods:


hoping that she won’t mind, i share this fantastic recipe with you, my notes in (parens):

Merrie Channa Masala

1 can diced tomatoes (i used tomatoes w/ green chilis b/c i did not have plain, oops)

2 cans chickpeas

1 lg onion, finely chopped (i used red)

* 2 garlic cloves

* 2″ ginger (i used ginger powder b/c i did not have fresh, oops)

* 1 green chili pepper (i used fresh jalapeno)

* 1 Tbsp cumin

* 1 Tbsp coriander

* 1 tsp red chili powder

2 Tbsp yogurt (i used an entire individual cup of plain flavored SO Delicious)

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp tamarind paste

salt to taste

lime & cilantro to garnish

Add onion to 2 Tbsp oil, saute until clear.  Grind together ingredients designated with a (*) into spice paste mixture.  I used the immersion blender to create my spice paste.  Add to sauteed onion and stir for 1 minute.  Add tomatoes and chickpeas.  Simmer 10-15 minutes.  Add garam masala, yogurt and tamarind paste.  Garnish with fresh squeezed lime and cilantro.

Some notes:  The recipe is so amazing.  I need to ask my Veg Guru Cooking Goddess friend whether I should have drained the canned tomatoes and chickpeas.  I did drain them and found that I needed to add water while the dish was simmering (before adding the garam masala and yogurt) to pickup the pan bottom goodness and to make it a bit creamy.  Also, mine was crazy spicy, probably b/c I used tomatoes with chilis rather than plain tomatoes.  Probably also b/c I eyeballed all of my spice measurements, including spices I’m unfamiliar cooking with (ahem, garam masala).   I think the ginger powder flavored it nicely in a pinch.  A serrano pepper might be a nice exchange on the jalapeno too.  Adding more than 2 Tbsp of yogurt to the dish lessened the heat of the spice and made it creamy delicious.   If I had had lime, I think it would have cut the heat as well.   I served it up topped with chopped cilantro, long grain brown rice and garlicky nan, also helping to reduce the heat. 

This entire meal only took about 45 minutes to prepare start to finish, and that’s mainly b/c that’s it takes 45 min to steam brown rice in my rice cooker.  I put the rice on and then got to prepping the Channa Masala.  Once it was simmering, I pulled the nan out of the freezer and layered it with olive oil and fresh chopped garlic.  The nan warmed in the over until ready to serve.  I let this dish sit covered on low heat on my stove top for about an hour before serving while I visited with my friend who had stopped by.  The longer it sat the creamier and richer it became.   It would make for a great dinner party meal… and yes, I’d like to come over. 

There are so many things I love about this meal.  My friend loved it too, btw, and said the heat was strong but not too strong.  It’s luxurious and budget friendly.  It’s easy.  It’s not super messy.   It tastes great paired with red wine. 

Many many thanks to my Super Fancy Friendsie for sending me this great recipe.  She has introduced me to cooking Indian styled food in a way that leaves me feeling confident and satisfied.  Now, to all of you, Go Crazy & don’t forget to invite me, you see 😀

4 Comments leave one →
  1. twoveganboys permalink
    August 4, 2009 6:53 pm

    This dish looks and sounds amazing.

    • maya938 permalink*
      August 5, 2009 2:23 pm

      SO AMAZING! it blew me away.

  2. fortheloveofguava permalink
    August 5, 2009 12:26 pm

    gawd I love indian food… who needs to cut the heat?! bring it on!


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