December 15, 2010

Channa masala


This combination of rich channa masala and puffed bathura is a popular North Indian breakfast.
What I used: Serves 4 generously
1 cup raw channa  dal(white chickpeas/garbanzo beans)
2 cups tomatoes finely diced
2 cups onion finely diced
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp curry powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp white/brown sugar
Salt to taste
4 tsp oil
Tempering: ½ tsp mustard seeds, ½ tsp cumin and a few curry leaves and chopped fresh cilantro

Soak the raw channa in plenty of water overnight. The soaked channa would have doubled in the morning. So for 2 cups of soaked dal, add about 4 cups of water and a tsp of salt. Cook on medium-high heat until they are cooked through, about 12-15 minutes. Drain, set the dal and water aside.
In a large hollow saucepan, add 4 tsp of oil. On medium-high heat, add curry leaves, mustard and cumin when the oils starts to shimmer. 

When the splattering subsides, add chopped onion and ginger garlic paste. Add a tsp of salt or more as you like, and cook it until it turns light brown. Add the diced tomatoes and cook unitl soft and pulpy. Add in all the powders and cook on medium heat.

When the mixture begins to simmer uniformly, add the dal and let it cook covered on low for about 15-20 minutes. This amount of time is necessary for the dal to soak in all the spice n salt. The oil will separate; this ends the cooking process. If you would like thick gravy, use a potato masher, and mash down some cooked dal and add the drained dal water if you like. 
Serve it hot with bathura, poori, chapathi, flat bread or plain cooked rice. Enjoy!