Friday, March 11, 2011

friday night dinner: chana masala

2 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 t. red chili flakes
1 t. cumin seeds
1/2 t. fresh ginger
1/2 t. turmeric
1 t. garam masala
4 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
2 14-oz. cans diced tomatoes
1 t. salt
2 14-oz. cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

  • Heat olive oil in a large pot and add chopped onion.
  • Saute onions over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the onions caramelize.
  • Lower heat, add spices, and stir well.
  • Add 1/4 cup of water and scrape down the bottom of the pan. 
  • Add tomatoes and salt and bring to a boil. 
  • After 5 to 10 minutes, once the mixture has reduced slightly, add garbanzo beans and bring down to a simmer.
  • Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Remove cardamom pods before serving.

My dinner tonight was a combination of this chana masala recipe from Everybody Likes Sandwiches (discovered by Hannah) and this chana masala recipe from Smitten Kitchen.  It's super easy to make, and it would be delicious served over rice and/or with a dollop of yogurt on top.  The next time I make it, though, I'm already planning to use crushed tomatoes instead of diced -- I think this will improve the overall texture and flavor of the dish.  I've also promised Kevin that I'll try not to be so lazy about dicing the onion.  In my defense, it really wasn't just a matter of laziness tonight.  The onion I used was such a burner that I was literally weeping as I tried to chop it.


  1. Yummm!! That is one of the easiest and yummiest dishes to make!! Do you use patak's garam masala paste or a dry spice mixture?

  2. It was seriously SO easy to make that I think it's going to become a dinner staple around here. I used a dry spice mixture by Frontier because A) we already had it in our spice cabinet and B) it's what we're used to working with. Do you normally use a paste, Hannah?

  3. yeah, i've only ever used the patak's garam masala paste, but now i want to try the mix pack like you did. seriously, it's SO freakin easy!