Chana Masala | Channa Masala

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.

Similar recipes include Turkish Soup with Chickpeas, Roasted Eggplant with Crushed Chickpeas, and Chickpea Fingers with Tomato Salsa.

Browse all of our Punjabi dishes and all of our Chickpea recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Carrot and Cashew Salad | Carrot Kachumber

We try to keep up our Salad consumption all year. It is easy to forget about salads in cold weather, moving instead to soups and broths, roasted and baked dishes and hot snacks. But salads bring a freshness into the diet, lifting the day with its flavours, and complimenting the hotter dishes. We will eat them as a snack or a course before the main meal. In Summer, naturally they are cooling and refreshing.

This one is special – an Indian salad of carrot, capsicum and cashews and can be made any time of the year. It is  dressed with yoghurt and tempered black mustard seeds.

You might like to read What is a Kachumber?

Similar dishes include Apple and Yoghurt Kachumber, Kachumber, and Mooli Kachumber.

Browse all of our Kachumber recipes and all of our Carrot Salads. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Simple Indian Potato Crush

One way that villagers all over India cook potatoes is to mix with a mash of green chilli, onions and salt. It is that simple, but so delicious. It doesn’t really need a recipe, but where would you be if the post ended here?

The flavour of the chilli and onion are infused into the potatoes by grinding them coarsely with salt with a mortar and pestle (don’t use a spice grinder or processor, you need a pounding not a grinding action to do this successfully.

Similar recipes include Indian Mashed Potatoes, Saag Aloo, and Garlicky Potato Mash.

Browse all of our Mashed Potato recipes and all of our Potato dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Dal Bukhara | Creamy Black Gram Dal

They say that Dal Bukhara was made famous by the Bukhara Restaurant ITC Maurya Hotel in New Delhi, but it is definitely a Punjabi style dish. Trying to find the origins of the dish is difficult, with some claiming it was created by the restaurant, some saying it comes from Bukhara in Uzbekistan, and others claiming it is a Punjabi dish from the 1700’s. This article has some interesting insights into the origin of both Dal Makhani and Dal Bukhara. Whatever the origin, the chef at Bukhara most likely adapted an existing recipe to suit the sophistication of the restaurant.

Dal Bukhara is often compared to Dal Makhani, although the dishes are distinctly different with different spicing. It is made with whole urad that is black in colour because it is unhulled. Slow cooked, it makes a deliciously creamy dal, and in this recipe its flavour is heightened with tomatoes, ginger and garlic as well as other spices.

In my recipe I use a slow cooker to cook the lentils, and the deep taste and creamy texture are accentuated this way. In this way the dish does not rely on cream and butter for its texture. However they can be added – see the notes below the recipe for this variation. The lentils can also be cooked on the stove top – cook them until soft and then continue with the recipe.

Similar recipes include Whole Urad and Rajma Dal, Amritsari Dal, and Ma di Dal.

Browse our Urad recipes and our different Dals. Our Punjabi dishes are here, Indian recipes here and Indian Essentials here. Or explore our Mid Spring dishes.

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Turnip and Swede Gratin

We’ve had a little focus on Swedes and Turnips last Winter, as we realised that we were not appreciating these underrated vegetables enough. It is Spring as I write, but swedes, turnips and parsnips are still in the green grocers, and the weather is cold. So we decided to add a gratin to our list of recipes for these Wintery roots.

Similar recipes include Vegetables with Indian FlavoursPotatoes and Cumin Gratin, Sweet Potato Gratin, and Gratineed Tomatoes.

Browse all of our Swede recipes and all of our Turnip dishes. Our Gratins are here.  Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Brussels Sprout and Ginger Slaw

Like many families, Brussels Sprouts never appeared in our kitchen very often. Blame childhood memories of bitter, over-cooked little packages of fear on our plate. Thankfully, we are all wiser now, and our favourite ways of using Brussels Sprouts are raw and roasted.

Today’s salad is a lovely slaw of sprouts and carrots with ginger and chilli, dressed with yoghurt and mayo. How special! But who could create such a recipe, combining all of those flavours? It is of course from Ottolenghi. As much as I rant and  carry on about his recipes, I am truly in love with his flavour combinations and his sheer inventiveness. Good on you, Yotham – continue to challenge our thinking about food and stretch us outside our comfort zone. This recipe is from The Guardian.

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – a day per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books and articles – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include Brussels Sprouts Salad, Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomelo, and Brussels Sprouts Risotto.

Browse all of our Brussels Sprouts recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Rocket Salad with Penne Pasta

Rocket, or arugala as it is called in some parts of the world, goes so well with pasta. This salad, quite simple to make, mixes the two with a lemony dressing.  It is a more filling salad than those that we have made lately, so very suitable for cooler weather during Late Summer and Autumn, and also as Winter approaches.

Are you looking for other Pasta dishes? Try Pasta with Zucchini, Pasta with Cauliflower, Light Pasta Salads for Lunch, and Orzo Pasta with Wilted Spinach and Feta.

Browse all of our Pasta recipes. This is a Bittman Salad, and others can be browsed here. Or explore our Late Autumn dishes.

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Beetroot with Black Pepper

This is one of the simplest ways of enjoying beetroot, so simple indeed that everyone must surely already know its joys. If memory serves me correctly, it was the deciding factor in my falling in love with this vegetable. My Mother was not a good vegetable cook – they would be boiled to nothingness and then served without any accompaniment. No dressing, no seasonings, no beautiful black pepper to go with the ruby globes. And, truth be told, most of our beetroot experience was with pickled beetroot – always a bit tart for my tastes back then.

There is indeed a great affinity between beetroot, butter and black pepper. Who can deny it? And this is exactly what this recipe is. For completeness, and because I love simple cooking, I am including it.

Similar recipes include Roast Beetroot Salad with Sweetcorn, Beetroot Salad with Honey Ginger Dressing, and Crimson Beetroot Fry.

Browse all of our Beetroot dishes, especially the Beetroot Salads, and explore all of our Mid Spring recipes.

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Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin and Sumac

What’s not to like about Roasted Cauliflower? In this house it is considered one of the best ways to treat cauliflower. This recipe rubs florets with cumin powder and sumac (for a delightful tang) and roasts them slowly until golden and tender.

The cauliflower can be cooked whole, of course, and we sometimes do that. When there are not so many of us for lunch or dinner, we break it into florets to avoid excessive left-overs. I have included instructions for both whole baked and floret-baked.

This is such a good dish.

Similar recipes include Roasted Cauliflower, Grape and Creamy Cheddar Salad, Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Puree, and Rice and Cauliflower Pilaf.

Browse all of our Cauliflower recipes, and explore our Mid Spring collection of recipes.

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Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Almonds

Cauliflowers – remember the days when it was overcooked by our Mothers, and a watery mush was slopped onto our plates? Eww! Or a dish of cauliflower, overcooked again, covered with cheese and baked? Oh maybe not, you might not be old enough. But thank goodness, the understanding of cauliflower has come a long way since those days. The things we can now do with a cauli! Roast it, grill it, rice it, fry it, deep fry it, the variations are endless.

This is a simple but beautiful soup, the recipe was given to me by the multi-talented Ilva, food photographer and former food blogger. It is so simple and so good, in a gentle sort of way. I have added almonds to her recipe and some white pepper which I love with cauliflower.

Similar dishes include A Plate of Cauliflower, Cauliflower Walnut Cream Soup, and Cauliflower a la Grecque.

Browse our Cauliflower dishes and all of our delicious Soups. Or explore our Early Spring dishes.

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