Sunday, November 9, 2008

chola at ya boy...

chola (aka chana masala, aka curried chickpeas) is a fairly popular dish in northern india and pakistan. most NYC pakistani curry-huts feature this dish as one of their vegetarian options; check out curry in a hurry and the pakistani tea house.

if you are an indian food enthusiast, odds are that you've had this dish before, and if you haven't it's a great introduction to indian cuisine and its cooking techniques.

i've adapted this recipe from one over at manjula's kitchen, the ULTIMATE resource for all things edible and indian. manjula does NOT cook with onions or garlic because she is a jainist; as an italian-american, i cannot cook without them.

Chana Masala (chola)
yield 1pt

2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 hot chilies, chopped
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp ground cumin
1 TBS ground coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric

1 (15 oz) can of garbonzo beans (chickpeas), drained
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 red onion, minced
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup tomato puree
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juiced

salt to taste

1. combine garlic, chilies, ginger paste, cumin, coriander powder and turmeric in a small bowl. add 1-2 tsp of water to create a paste. this is your curry paste - reserve.

2. saute onion in canola oil over medium-high heat until brown around the edges, 6-8 minutes.

3. add flour, and lower heat to medium. cook until lightly browned, 1-3 minutes.\

4. add curry paste, saute over medium heat until well fragrant, 3-5 minutes.

5. add tomato puree, simmer 2-3 minutes to combine flavors. add chicpeas and cook for 3 minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken. taste and season with salt and chili powder.

6. add 1/2 cup of water, cover and simmer for 8 minutes. mash some of the chicpeas with the back of your spoon or a potato masher to thicken. i suppose this is optional but it adds great body to the curry.

7. garnish with freshly chopped coriander and squeeze of lime, serve with pita.


© 2008 c. c. villani @ "mission: insatiable" -

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