Chana Masala Recipe
The past year I’ve been getting more and more into Ayurveda, and ayurvedic cooking. I love the wholistic approach ayurveda offers to health and nutrition, and how this way of eating and living really resonates with me and my body. Indian food has always been a favorite of mine, and I eat Indian food most nights for dinner. As a Norwegian, Indian cooking is a whole different art than what I was used to growing up. Generally, the food in Norway is quite bland, using few ingredients and little seasoning and spices. Indian and Ayurvedic cooking on the other hand, is all about using herbs and spices, both for their flavor and for their nutritional values and medicinal benefits.
This is my go to recipe for the rather popular dish Chana Masala. It is a rich and flavorful chickpea dish, perfect for a weeknight dinner served with basmati rice or homemade naan or chapati. I also love having it with a side of sourdough, and adding a tablespoon of fresh yogurt on top, which I first mix with a bit of garlic, mint and cumin.
1 red onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 tsp fresh chili, finely diced
1 tsp fresh ginger
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tin of canned, diced tomatoes
1 tin of chickpeas
1 cup coconut milk *full fat
a handful fresh coriander
salt and black pepper to taste
Heat about 1 tbsp oil or ghee in a large saucepan until shimmering. All at once, add cardamom, coriander seeds, mustard seed and cumin. They will sputter and spit for a few seconds. As soon as they are aromatic (about 15 seconds), add garlic and onion all at once. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions start to leave a brown coating on the bottom of pan, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add ginger and chili and stir to combine. Then add in turmeric and garam masala. Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and crush them using a whisk or potato masher, followed by drained, rinsed chickpeas and coconut milk. Then add in the fresh cilantro, reserving a little cilantro for garnish.
Bring to a simmer, cover with lid slightly cracked, and reduce heat to maintain a gentle bubbling. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has reduced into a thick stew and spices have melded, about 30 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve with rice and/or naan, sprinkling additional cilantro on top.