Recipe: Chana Masala (Chickpea Curry)

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Everyone who knows me in person knows that this curry recipe is kind of my thing. I have made it on a bi-weekly basis, without fail, since my mid teens. The recipe has differed slightly over the years, usually depending on what ingredients we have to hand, but the backbone of the dish has remained the same. Despite making this dish for such a long time, I’ve only just realised that it is both incredibly cheap to make and also vegan! I’m not a vegan myself, but it means cooking this dish for a crowd is unlikely to disappoint. For me, this is the perfect weeknight dinner and is able to be frozen for weeks or months, so all you need to do is pop it in the microwave. In the recipe pictured below, I had run out of fresh tomatoes, so I had to use canned. In my experience, fresh tomatoes produce a more authentic and flavourful curry, but using tinned tomatoes is easier. Just watch out for a ‘tomato-y’ taste, because you’re trying to avoid that.

 Dice your onions (a bit more finely than this, probably, but it doesn’t matter too much!)

 Add them to the oil in your pan & stir on a medium-high until just golden.

 Add your spices, stir for a few minutes and then add the tomatoes and allow to simmer.

 Add the chickpeas and stir until coated with the mix. Then add the chana masala spice mix.

 Cover the chickpea mix with about 2 inches of water, to create a very thin mixture. Cover with a lid and simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes. Prepare rice or parathas and serve.

I’m afraid I don’t have any pictures of the final product this time, because it was dark by the time we had dinner, but it was easy, cheap and delicious – which makes it ideal for curry-loving students like us! Hopefully soon I’ll update this post with some nicer pictures when my little helper is around to give me a hand. Until then, I hope this works for you!

Chana Masala (Chickpea Curry)serves 2
1 large white onion, diced
3 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 tin chickpeas, drained
3 medium tomatoes, chopped/half a tin chopped tomatoes
a sprinkle of coriander seeds
1tsp cumin
1tsp turmeric
2tbsp generic curry powder (your preference of spice – I like hot or medium)
crushed chillies, to taste
2tbsp chana masala spice mix
2tbsp vegetable/sunflower oil
water
salt, to taste
basmati rice or parathas, to serve

Heat the oil in a pan on a medium to high heat, before adding the onions and coriander seeds. Stir until very lightly golden and add turmeric, salt, cumin and garlic. Stir this mixture for 1-2 minutes before adding the curry powder and crushed chillies. This should create a paste, where the oil sizzles just on the edge of the mixture. Add the chopped tomatoes and leave to simmer, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes or until reduced and thick.

Add the chickpeas and stir until coated with the tomato base. Then add the chana masala spice mix and some water (until the chickpeas are completely covered by 1-2 inches of liquid). At this point, taste the mixture and if it is lacking in salt or spice, add more to your taste. Cover with a lid and simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes, or until chickpeas are soft and the curry is a nice consistency.

Meanwhile, begin to make your accompanying basmati rice or parathas. Serve and enjoy!

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