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Chana Masala

Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Chana Masala

They're chickpeas. Cooked.
Cooked and then sauteed in a sauce that's vaguely tomatoish and super-extra-hot.
But then let me tell you, these are the Kings of chickpeas, inimitably pleasure-giving, humble sailors on a red sea of spices, luxurious, deep, and blissfully stormy.
Embellished with a long list of spices, from here to Porbandar, these chickpeas become an alternate reality, a mysterious and welcoming world, a refuge for the heart and the palate.
My advice is this: do not be intimidated. Ok, the powders are many and perhaps hard to find, maybe they'll make you run from one side of the city to the other, you'll probably lose patience and maybe even half a day; but perhaps they'll also make you explore hidden corners, discover the magic of new colors bursting with life, or understand the beauty disguised within our conundrums.
If you're in doubt, but even not, just do it. Buy them all. Because it's worth it. Because some like it hot.
Just do it. And tell them I sent you.

Spices


Chana Masala
for 4-5 people

dried chickpeas 300 gr
onion, large 1
ginger garlic paste 3-4 tablespoons
fresh jalapeño 1
cumin seeds 1 teaspoon
coriander powder 1 tablespoon
mango powder 1 tablespoon
cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon
turmeric 1 teaspoon
paprika 2 teaspoons
cumin powder 2 teaspoons
garam masala 1 teaspoon
tomato paste 2 tablespoons
lemon 1
olive oil, salt, fresh cilantro to taste

Soak chickpeas for about 6-8 hours. Rinse, cover with water and cook over medium heat for about 1 hour and a half or 2 hours, until they are tender. Drain, keeping aside a cup of their cooking water.
In a large pot heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil, toast the cumin seeds for a few minutes, then add the ginger garlic paste (if you can't find it, you can use 2 garlic cloves and a lot of ginger, minced; however, if you're lucky enough to have an Indian store, full of spices and traditional products close to home, or even at a 45-minute ride from you, I recommend this alternative), onion and jalapeño, finely chopped, and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the spices, the reserved chickpea water and the tomato paste, and cook for a few minutes. If necessary, adjust the flavor.
Add the chickpeas and cook for 10 minutes; finally add the lemon juice and a handful of chopped fresh cilantro.
If you wish, serve with basmati rice. Or maybe not.
w.v.<3


Chana Masala


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