Recipe: JB's chana masala

Serves 8 (recipe can be halved to serve 4)
4 cups chickpeas/ garbanzo beans (if using canned chickpeas, drain and wash)
4 tomatoes, finely chopped
2 cups tomato paste/puree
6 medium onions, finely chopped
4 cloves minced garlic (optional as per taste)
2 tbsp ginger paste
Salt to taste
½ tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. turmeric powder
3 tsp. red chili powder (adjust according to taste/tolerance)
2 tsp. coriander powder
2 TBS vegetable/ olive oil
½ tsp. garam masala powder

Coriander leaves
1 tomato, sliced into rings

1. Drain and wash the chickpeas well.
2. Heat the oil in a pan and once hot, add the cumin seeds. (To check if oil is hot, throw in one cumin seed – if it sizzles, the oil’s hot)
3. Once the cumin seeds splutter, add the ginger-garlic paste.
4. Next add the onions and fry till caramelised. (Tip: adding a pinch of salt helps the onions to brown faster)
5. Add the coriander powder and fry for 2-3 minutes till it changes colour (becomes light brown)
6. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt to taste
7. Add the garam masala and fry for another 2-3 minutes
8. Chuck in the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste/sauce and fry till oil leaves the sides.
9. Add the chopped green chillies
10. Add the chickpeas and stir to coat in the masala.
11. Add about 2 cups water (ratio of 1 cup water to every 2 cups of chickpeas) and bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 10 minutes for chickpeas to soften.
12. Once cooked, turn off the gas/stove, press the chickpeas with a spoon/masher to soften further (don’t mash completely!), add the chopped coriander, garnish with sliced tomatoes and serve with steamed rice or Indian breads.

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