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Indian Chan(n)a Masala Recipe + Garam Masala Recipe

in Entrees, Other






If this does not have you intrigued….I am not sure what will!

Here is the recipe that I promised to post from last night’s “What I Ate Wednesday” post.

First, this post will require two explanations:

1. The title:  I added an additional “n” in parentheses because I have seen this recipe spelt both as Chana Masala and Channa Masala.  I am not sure which spelling is “correct,” so I went with both!

2. Preparing to cook this dish was quite the adventure.  The recipe, which I slightly adapted from this Eat, Live, Run blog post: http://www.eatliverun.com/channa-masala/ , calls for garam masala, a spice used frequently in Indian cooking.  Well, cooking with garam masala would prove to be much easier said than done.  I searched all of the available grocery stores in my town and several in a neighboring town with absolutely no luck.  I guess I have something to add to my list for my next Des Moines shopping trip.  Since I did not have garam masala, I had to improvise and after much research online, I mixed MANY spices to create “garam masala.”  The recipe that I based my garam masala mixture on can be found here:http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Easy-Garam-Masala/ .

Now let’s get to the recipe..

Servings: about 4-6, depending on the portion size







1 TB butter
1 TB margarine
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 tsp finely grated ginger (about 1 1/2-2 inches of a knob of ginger)
3 TB tomato paste
1 TB ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground tumeric
1 15 oz can of no-salt-added diced tomatoes
2 15 oz cans of chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 1/4 tsp garam masala*
1/2 lemon
cooked whole brown rice

*To make your own garam masala combine:

1 TB ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp ground cardamon
1 1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 dried bay leave, crushed into tiny pieces

**This recipe makes approximately 1/4 cup of garam masala, so do not add all of the amounts listed above to your dish.  Rather, mix up the garam masala in a plastic bag and only add 1 1/4 tsp of the spice mixture to your recipe.  Save the rest for a later use.

1.  Heat butter and margarine in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

2.  Add onions, turn heat down to medium-low, and carmelize the onions by cooking low and slow for at least 15 minutes (stirring every so often) or until the onions are a golden brown color.

3.  Add garlic, jalapeno, and ginger.  Stir well to combine and cook an additional 3 minutes.

4.  Add tomato paste and stir well to coat the onions.  Let the mixture cook for about 10 minutes without stirring, or until the tomato paste forms a crust on the bottom of the pan.  It is important that you do not stir the onions during this process.  You may be tempted, but don’t do it!

5.  Add coriander, cumin, sea salt, cayenne pepper, and tumeric.  Stir well.

6.  Add tomatoes, chickpeas, and garam masala (or the spice mixture listed above).  Cook about 5-7 minutes, or until the tomatoes and chickpeas are warm.

7.  Squeeze the juice of half of a lemon into the pan and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.






8.  Serve over whole brown rice.









I served this dish alongside cooked mixed vegetables.

This is one of my most favorite recipes that I have made within the past few months.  It is warm, delicious, comforting, and a bit spicy!  If you have never tried chickpeas you definitely should because they are delicious.  This dish requires a bit of patience to cook, but do not let it intimidate you.  I simply recommend cooking it when you can dedicated at least 30-40 minutes towards preparation and cooking time.

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{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Mary Whitcomb October 11, 2012, 8:35 pm
    I must say, I was a little nervous about trying this dish as I'm not very adventurous with food. However, this was delicous and I look forward to eating it again!!
  • Jeremy DeHague October 11, 2012, 10:03 pm
    Im looking foward to this delicous looking meal!!!
  • Jeremy DeHague October 12, 2012, 9:02 pm
    I really really liked this meal!!!!!:)

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