this chana masala recipe is spicy and is made in south indian style. i have already posted punjabi style chana masala recipe on my blog.
as the name suggests, this chana masala recipe has south indian flavors. the hubby who loves his punjabi chole, relished this one too. so here, all the ingredients which are used in south indian cooking are added. coconut being one of the main ingredient.
in the punjabi style or north indian chana masala, onions, tomatoes, spices and dry pomegranate seeds or mango powder, make the masala paste and give a spicy and slight sour taste to the chana or chole recipe. apart from the above ingredients, garam masala powder or chole masala is also added to the punjabi chana masala recipe.
whereas in this chana masala the real flavor comes from coconut and whole spices. you can actually get a distinct taste of coconut. there is a subtle sweetness and this chana masala is not sour or tangy.
the chana masala tastes hot and spicy and goes well with rice, roti or poori. it can even go very well with bhature. if you are fond of chole bhature then you can consider serving this chana masala recipe with the homemade bhatura.
here i have dry roasted the whole spices with fresh grated coconut. then ground the spices and coconut into a fine paste. this dry roasting adds a lot of depth, aroma and flavor to the chana masala.
i made the chana masala, very spicy by adding 4 dry red chilies. however, in the recipe details below, i have reduced the amount of red chilies. you can even reduce them further, if you don’t want to make it even a bit spicy.
you can use the same recipe and make the curry with black chickpeas, potato or green peas.
chana masala recipe details below:
- 1 cup dried white chickpeas/kabuli chana
- 3 cups water for pressure cooking the chana
- 1 tsp salt
- ¾ to 1 cup fresh grated coconut
- 1 inch cinnamon
- ½ tbsp fennel
- ½ tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1-2 dry red chilies (3 or 4 chilies would make the dish very spicy)
- 2-3 cloves
- 1 black cardamom
- 2-3 green cardamom
- 1 small piece of stone flower/dagad phool (optional)
- 3 tbsp oil
- 1 small bay leaf
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- 10-12 curry leaves
- 1 green chili, slit
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- ¼ or ½ tsp turmeric powder
- a pinch of asafoetida
- ½ inch ginger + 2-3 garlic - crushed or made into a paste in mortar-pestle
- 1.5 to 2 cups of the chickpea stock or water
- salt as required
- some coriander leaves for garnishing
- soak the chana/chickpeas overnight or for 8-9 hours.
- pressure cook the chanas, water and salt till they have completely cooked.
- drain the chanas and keep the stock aside.
- in a frying pan, add all the whole spices mentioned under "roasting the masala" list, except coconut
- roast till the spices start emanating their aroma.
- then add the freshly grated coconut.
- roast till the coconut gets browned.
- keep on stirring so that the coconut does not get burned.
- once this mixture has cooled, grind in a chutney grinder with 1 cup water.
- grind to a smooth paste.
- heat oil in a pot or kadai.
- first splutter the mustard.
- add the bayleaf
- then add onions and fry till they are softened and become translucent.
- add curry leaves, asafoetida and ginger-garlic paste.
- stir and fry till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic disappears.
- add chopped tomatoes.
- saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring in between.
- add the ground masala paste and stir.
- add the drained chanas and slit green chili.
- stir and saute for 1-2 minutes.
- now add the stock or water.
- give a boil and then simmer for 5-6 minutes or more till the gravy thickens a bit.
- mash a few chanas with the sides of the spoon.
- this will help in thickening the gravy.
- check the seasoning and add more salt as per your taste.
- garnish chana masala with coriander leaves.
- serve chana masala hot with pooris, chapatis, bread or steamed rice accompanied with lemon & onion slices.