My notes on the recipe for this dish say beautiful, hot, deep complex layers of flavour. We’ve been making this for many years, so I am not sure how we missed posting the recipe for you.
Chana Masala is a spicy Punjabi dish where chickpeas are simmered in a sauce made with tomatoes and 11 spices that are perfectly balanced to provide an experience of each spice, should you care to be aware of them.
Is it chana or channa? Transliteration of any other script is always contentious around spelling and pronunciation, let alone in India where different languages and scripts abound. For decades I have called it channa but the consensus online now seems to be chana. Here, on my blog, you will see both. Chana from now on, but older recipes will be channa.
BTW, anardana seeds are dried, sour pomegranate seeds, available from your North Indian grocery.
Chana Masala | Channa Masala
2 cups chickpeas (chana), soaked for 6 hours or overnight
2 – 3 Indian bay leaves (teja pata)
2 black cardamom pods
2 cm piece cinnamon stick
1 tspn cumin seeds
4 Tblspn anardana seeds
4 Tblspn ghee or oil
2 Tblspn coriander powder
2 large onions, chopped in long, thin pieces
5 – 8 green chillies, or to taste, chopped in long, thin pieces
1 large tomato, pureed
0.5 tspn ground black pepper
0.5 tspn Indian chilli powder
0.5 tspn garam masala
1 tomato, cut into wedges
1 Tblspn coriander leaves, chopped
2 cm piece ginger, chopped in long, thin pieces
0.5 onion, cut into thin onion rings
Drain the soaked chickpeas and cook in 4 cups water with salt, cumin seeds, bay leaves, cardamom pods and cinnamon stick, until soft. Watch the water and add more if needed. Cook until really soft and tender but still retaining their shape.
Meanwhile, dry roast the anardana seeds in a pan, and grind to a powder.
Heat the ghee or oil and fry the coriander powder until dark brown. Add the onions and fry till golden brown. Then sprinkle with a 3 -4 Tblspns water and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the green chillies, the pureed tomato, chilli powder, pepper, anardana powder, salt to taste and chickpeas. Cook until well blended and the oil begins to separate.
Add the garam masala and mix well. Remove from the heat, add the wedges of the second tomato, cover with a lid and allow to sit for 5 mins.
Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with coriander leaves, ginger slices and onion rings.
recipe notes and alternatives
The anardana seeds are hard, very hard, so take quite a bit of grinding. You want a fine powder, otherwise you will notice them in the dish. If you are worried about it, sieve the powder before adding.
The dish is best when the chickpeas are cooked until quite soft.