Meehra Sodha describes this as a Workers’ Curry variations of which are eaten all over India. We love the flavours and textures here and have eaten this part of a wider spread of dishes and also on its own with some naan bread from the local takeaway. It’s worth soaking your own chickpeas if you can as they have a better texture. Thi
Wine suggestion: a simple, medium-bodied and earthy red is required here, nothing fancy. We had a bottle of the Monfil Garnacha from Cariñena in Spain which is uncomplicated but satisfying.
Chana masala – serves 4
- 200g dried chickpeas (or 2 x 400g tins of chickpeas)
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 3cm piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 green chilli, roughly chopped
- 3 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 2 onions, sliced
- 1 tin of plum tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tsp garam masala
- ¾ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- ¼ tsp ground turmeric
Put the dried chickpeas into a large bowl, cover with cold water, then add the bicarbonate of soda and soak overnight or for at least 6 hours. Rinse and drain the chickpeas, then cover with more cold water and boil for 30-45 minutes, until soft, keep spooning off any scum that rises to the surface. (If you are using tinned chickpeas you just need to rinse and drain them.)
Crush the ginger, garlic & green chilli together in a pestle and mortor with a pinch of salt to make a paste.
Put the oil into a large frying pan over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Stir the ginger and chilli paste through the onions, then tip in the tomatoes, crushing them with your hands. Add the tomato puree, stir well and cook for 8-10 minutes or until you have a rich, thick sauce.
Add the garam masala, 1½ tsp of salt, cumin, chilli powder & turmeric, and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the drained chickpeas. You can add some water at this point to thin the sauce a bit, start with about 5 tbsp and add more if necessary. Taste and season.
Serve with naan breads or as alongside a few other Indian dishes.
(Original recipe from Made in India by Meera Sodha, Penguin, 2014.)