The Chana Masala is such a versatile curry that it compliments almost all the sides served with it. And in our house, it is one of the most popular curries. Why? Because it is one of those tasty Indian recipes that get ready in just 30 minutes.
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How To Perfectly Boil Chickpeas For The Chana Masala?
I have used the pressure cooker to perfectly boil the chickpeas for this dish. In case, you are boiling them in a pan add enough salt and a pinch of baking soda. That will surely quicken the boiling process. While boiling chickpeas in a pressure cooker, do not add too much of water. The ideal ratio is 1:2, one cup of chickpeas to two cups of water. We do not need mushy or over-cooked chickpeas to make chana masala. Hence, after 4 – 5 whistles over low heat check the chickpeas for doneness. And at last, don’t forget to add the whole spices while boiling chickpeas. The flavor of the whole spices gives an earthy taste to the chickpeas.
To Add/Or Not Tea Leaves In Chana Masala?
Many cooks prefer adding tea leaves or tea bags while boiling chickpeas. This is totally optional. Why are tea leaves added? To give a nice dark brown color to the chickpeas for the curry. That is the only reason to add tea leaves. In my recipe, this step is skipped. I believe the true natural color of the dish comes from the spices like anardana (pomegranate seeds powder) and garam masala. But in case, you are keen to get the restaurant like color of the dish, add one tea bag while boiling the chickpeas. Discard the tea bag before adding the chickpeas to the masala.
Step By Step Chana Masala Recipe Video:
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Punjabi Chana Masala Recipe
- 1 Cup white chana chickpeas
- Salt to taste
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 green cardamoms
- 2 cloves
Spices For Chana Masala
- 2 teaspoon each cumin powder mango powder (amchur), fennel powder (saunf), coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon anardana crushed pomegranate seeds
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon chaat masala
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala see recipe here
- 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
- 2 teaspoon kasuri methi
Other Ingredients For Chana Masala
- 2 green chili slit
- 1 medium-size boiled potato cut into chunks
- an inch piece of ginger peeled and cut into thin strips
- Juice of half a lemon
- 2 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves chopped
How To Boil Chana (Chickpeas)
- Clean, wash and soak chana overnight in water or for 5 - 6 hours.
- Next day drain water, transfer chana in a colander and set aside.
- Add soaked chickpeas in a pressure cooker with 4 Cups of water.
- Add whole spices and salt to the pressure cooker.
- Close the lid of pressure cooker and cook chickpeas until soft. For me, it takes 4 – 5 whistles over a low flame.
- Allow the steam to release naturally from the pressure cooker.
- Open the lid, discard the whole spices
- Transfer chickpeas into a large bowl and reserve water in which chickpeas were cooked.
How To Cook Chana Masala
- Heat heavy bottomed pan over low heat.
- Add all the spices and asafoetida. Mix nicely and dry roast for 1 minute or till aromatic.
- Now add kasuri methi to the roasted spices. Fry for 2 - 3 seconds.
- Add boiled chana and mix nicely. Cook covered for 10 minutes over low heat.
- After 10 minutes, add ginger, green chili, boiled potato, coriander leaves and 2 cups of reserved water.
- Stir nicely and allow chana to simmer over low heat to absorb the flavor of spices.
- Once the Chana Masala starts thickening, taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly.