Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Chana Masala

Chana Masala - chickpeas in a tomato gravy.

AJ and I love Indian cuisine. We are especially fond of ordering chicken tikka masala, and chickpea masala when dining out. AJ's coworker was gracious enough to send me a recipe for chickpea or chana masala from the popular website, "Manjula's Kitchen". The recipe may require a trip to your local Indian Market to find some of the spices, such as garam masala. You can also make your own spice blend with recipes that can be found on the web.

Chana masala, artichoke, and roti.

I followed the recipe for the most part. I left out the tumeric, and tried to grind up my own coriander powder, but mostly just ended up with split coriander seeds. The seeds did not seem to affect the texture of the dish and I think I ended up with most of the flavor I needed. I also added about 1/2 cup of tomato sauce to add a little more tomato flavor, in addition to a chopped up tomato.

I must say the spices in this dish really give it an amazing flavor. The smells in my kitchen were so evocative of the smells of your favorite Indian restaurant. It reminded me of sitting in my friend Tanvi's kitchen, while her mother prepared us some authentic Indian dishes. I think one of the reasons I love food is its ability to conjure up vivid memories of some of the most special times in our lives - even something as simple as enjoying a meal with friends.

Anyways, give this dish a try, it is worth the extra effort. I served it up with some roti and a freshly boiled artichoke on the side. It would also be great served over rice!

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