Amritsari chana masala

Serves 4-5

Amritsari Chickepea Curry And Amritsari Kulcha


  • 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


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.

Recipes and photographs taken from I Love India by Anjum Anand. Photography by Martin Poole (Quadrille, £20).
Amritsari Chickepea Curry And Amritsari Kulcha
Recipes and photographs taken from I Love India by Anjum Anand. Photography by Martin Poole (Quadrille, £20).

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