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Rinse dried chickpeas thoroughly and soak for 8 hours in lots of water.
Drain the water and add them to a pot or pressure cooker & pour 1½ cups water.
Pressure cook the chana until soft for 5 to 6 whistles on a medium heat. If using instant pot, pressure cook them for 18 minutes on high pressure setting. or If cooking in a pot add more water as needed.
When the pressure releases completely open the lid.
Check for doneness : Squeeze the chana and check it must be soft enough yet firm and not mushy.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Saute onions in oil until golden. Add ginger garlic & saute for 1 minute.
Next add chopped tomatoes and sprinkle little salt.
Saute until the tomatoes turn soft and the raw smell goes away.
Next add chili powder and turmeric. Cook till the raw smell of tomatoes and onions goes off.
Cool this completely and blend it to a smooth paste.
Optional - To make a thicker gravy add 1 tbsp cooked chana to the mixture and blend to smooth with out water.
Heat 2 tbsps oil and saute cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf and cardamom for 30 to 60 seconds.
Optional - Add the fine chopped onions & saute until they turn golden.
Next add the onion tomato paste, green chili, garam masala powder & coriander powder.
Saute until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan & turns fragrant.
Add the cooked chickpeas and then the stock (chana cooked water) as needed.
You may need to use up all. If needed pour little more water to bring it to a consistency.
Bring it to a boil & simmer for about 5 to 6 minutes or until it reaches the desired consistency.
Taste the gravy and add more garam masala and salt if needed. Cook further for another 2 to 3 mins.
Add kasuri methi and amchur (optional). Add chopped coriander leaves. Cover and set aside until served.
Chana masala is ready to serve with rice or roti, onion and lemon wedges.