Kitchen Creations

Monday, January 9, 2012

Spices Galore!

One of my favorite aspects of Indian food is the flavor derived from the use of spices, LOTS of spices.  This dish was introduced to me by my friend Brandi and my husband and I instantly loved it.  It doesn't disappoint on flavor or spices, or spice for that matter - it can be a bit hot.  I've adapted it a little so that our kids can enjoy it as well.  I had to after the first time I made it when my oldest was a very little guy and he turned red and gasped for water.  It's not that hot, but to a 2 year old it was.
Chana is Hindi for chickpea and Masala refers the use of the spice garam masala, a blend of spices common in northern India cuisine.  The spice blend often includes white and black peppercorns, cloves, cumin, cardamom, nutmeg, anise and coriander.  . This is another seriously easy vegetarian meal that can be paired with chicken for those who like meat with dinner.  I've also blended it to make some amazing hummus or for use as a sauce for pasta.  It is incredibly versatile that way!

So grab some tasty naan and enjoy some flavors of India!

Chana Masala 
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 small fresh green chili peppers, chopped (I choose milder versions for now)
1 3/4" of ginger root, minced
4 Tbsp. olive oil
4 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (I leave this out for now with kids)
1 tsp. turmeric
2 tsp ground cumin
4 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. paprika
1 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes
3 1/4 cup of chickpeas/garbanzo beans
1 tsp. garam masala
salt to taste

1.)  Cook onion, garlic and ginger & chilies in olive oil until softened, stir occasionally
2.)  Add all spices, except the masala and cook over low heat for 1-2 minutes; Stir Continuously!
3.)  Add tomatoes, roughly chopped, in juice
4.)  Add cooked chickpeas & mix well
5.)  Cook for 30 minutes over medium heat, stir occasionally
6.)  Add masala & salt (in the original recipe the chilies are added here, but we prefer them cooked for now)
7.)  Stir well and serve immediately.

Click here for printable recipe


  1. I've also done this as a super tasty hummus, but never thought to try as a pasta sauce. I'll have to try it out. I'm happy to see you getting the boys into Indian food. It continues to top my list of favorite foods. Next dish to master is Gobi Manchurian. A cauliflower dish mixed with Indian and Chinese spices. If you find a recipe before I do, let me know! ~ Brandi