CHANA MASALA

When I was growing up, I always thought cooking Indian food was complicated. I’d always watch my mom and be amazed at how she never used anything to measure and essentially just ‘eyeballed’ it. All the different spices. All the different vegetables. And of course, all the different ways to cook it! Since then, I’ve learned the basics but I’ve also realized there’s no ‘right’ way to cook Indian food. It all comes from experimenting, smelling and tasting to adjust to your perfect dish.

Once kitchen staple we absolutely need to have is a mortar and pestle. The way it just crushes and grinds ingredients together…the flavours are literally infused into one another! You can buy one at any home store and IKEA even sells it. But beware, one stop at IKEA and I’ll be leaving with a whole cart full of things.

When I put together this recipe, I wanted something simple to follow. Nothing too crazy. This dish is so easy to make on any weeknight and the ingredients are super easy to find! My rotis may not be round but this dish is the bomb!! 🙂

CHANA MASALA

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 20 Minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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INGREDIENTS: 


  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 green chili, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp of canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tbsp of tomato paste
  • ¼ tsp of turmeric
  • ½ tsp of chili powder
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1 tsp of garam masala
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 2 15oz cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

DIRECTIONS


  1. Grind the ginger, garlic and fresh green chili in a mortar and pestle until a paste has developed
  2. Heat oil over medium heat in a large fry pan. Add in chopped onions and cook until golden brown.
  3. Add in ginger,garlic and chili paste. Stir until combined. Add in fresh tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir and cook for 8 minutes. Thick sauce will develop.
  4. Add in the remaining spices (turmeric, chili powder, cumin, garam masala) and salt. Simmer for a minute or two.
  5. Add in the chickpeas. Cook for another 5 minutes. Top with fresh cilantro.
  6. Enjoy with some piping hot rotis,some fluffy naan and of course some basmati rice 😀

Chana Masala

CHILLI PANEER

Paneer is so common in South Asian dishes especially in Indian dishes. I’ve heard that you can make paneer at home but sometimes I can’t be bothered, since it’s relatively cheap to buy in stores 🙂 This chilli paneer was absolutely delicious! I started off by cubing the paneer into bite sized pieces and lightly pan fried them. I then combined the spices and formed a sauce for the paneer and literally just combined it together…that’s how easy it was 🙂

Photo 2016-02-07, 12 36 20 PM

CHILLI PANEER

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30 Minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS:


  • 1 14 ounce pkg of paneer (cut into ¼ inch pieces)
  • 5 tbsp of canola oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 green chilli, such as Serrano, minced
  • 1 tbsp of ground cumin
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • ½ tsp of ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp of tomato paste
  • ½ tsp of sugar
  • 2 green onions for garnishing

DIRECTIONS:


  1. In a medium fry pan over medium heat, heat 3 tbsp of oil. Fry the paneer in batches until golden brown on each side. Once cooked, remove and set aside on a plate lined with paper towel.
  2. Put the remaining oil into the fry pan and reduce the heat to low. Add the garlic, green chili, salt and pepper. Stir for about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste and sugar. Stir until just combined. Add in the cooked paneer with about a spoonful of water. Cover the fry pan and cook for another 5 minutes or until there is no water left.
  4. Remove from the heat and garnish with green onions and Enjoy! 🙂