Amritsari chana masala recipes

Category: Starters and mains

Amritsari chana masala

Ingredients

  • 5tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium-large tomatoes, quartered
  • 18g fresh ginger, finely grated (peeled weight)
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped or grated
  • 1⁄2tsp ground turmeric
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 1tbsp ground coriander
  • 1⁄4-1⁄2tsp chilli powder, or to taste
  • 11⁄2tsp garam masala (see recipe, right)
  • 1tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 x 400g cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1⁄4tsp dried pomegranate
  • powder or tamarind paste
  • handful coriander, chopped

Garam masala

  • 10g cinnamon sticks
  • 10g cloves
  • 10g green cardamom pods
  • 10g black cardamom pods
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 7g black peppercorns
  • 3 pieces mace
  • 10g cumin seeds
  • 1⁄2 nutmeg, grated (optional)

To serve

  • knob unsalted butter
  • small knob ginger, peeled and cut into julienne
  • red onion, peeled and finely chopped

Method

Serves 4-5

In a large saucepan, heat the oil and add the onion and a little salt then cook until it has browned on the edges. Meanwhile, blend the tomatoes with a little water until they are smooth.

Add the ginger and garlic to the cooked onion and sauté for 1 minute or until they are just colouring. Add the ground turmeric, cumin, coriander, chilli powder and garam masala and cook for 20-30 seconds before adding the tomatoes. Cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes until the oil is released into the pan.

Meanwhile, toast the cumin seeds in a small pan, stirring often, until they have darkened and smell aromatic, around 40 seconds. Grind to a fine powder and add to the pan. Add the chickpeas and a little more salt and stir well.

Pour in enough boiling water to come to the top of the chickpeas then bring to a simmer and cook for a few minutes.

Taste and add the dried pomegranate powder or tamarind paste: you will need less if your tomatoes were sour or more if they were sweet.

Finish with the chopped coriander, taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve with a small knob of butter, the ginger and a scattering of red onion.

To make Garam Masala:

Place all the spices except the cumin seeds and nutmeg in a large frying pan over a low heat. Stir often so that the spices dry out but don’t toast, about 3-4 minutes. Add the cumin and nutmeg and toast for 30 seconds.

Pour straight into a spice grinder and grind until fine. Pass through a sieve over a bowl and discard any coarse pieces.

Place these coarse pieces back in the grinder and grind again until fine. Store in an airtight container away from light.

Recipe credit: Recipes and photographs taken from I Love India by Anjum Anand. Photography by Martin Poole (Quadrille, £20).

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