Chana masala

chanamasala

Chana masala (spiced chickpeas) is a staple in my kitchen and definitely my go-to dish when entertaining. This intensely spiced, tangy, aromatic dish makes for a healthy, protein packed dinner.

This dish can quickly be made if you have the spices roasted and blended in advance (or you can use ready made chana masala spice which is readily available). I recently made a batch of this spice blend to speedup my weeknight cooking. After researching quiet a few recipes and several trials, I now have the perfect recipe that I am thrilled to share with you! This blend uses Kashmiri red chilies that give the dish a deep orange color and just the right amount of heat and dried mango powder to enhance the tangy tomato flavor. The spice blend uses few basic spices and can be made ahead in a big batch or can also be made while you are sauteing onions for this chana masala recipe. Here is the recipe using my chana masala spice blend that can be made in a jiffy.

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Chana Masala Spice blend

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I have been working to perfect the spice blend for my restaurant style chana masala for almost a month. There is no wrong way to make this spice blend as long as you have some basic key ingredients. The only tricky part was figuring out the proportions so that the dish is a perfect blend of spicy and tangy flavors, without over complicating the recipe by using too many ingredients. I am so excited that I finally have my recipe nailed and happy to share it with you. Here is how I make my favorite homemade chana masala spice blend.

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Homemade Garam Masala

Garammasala

Garam Masala is a staple in Indian homes. It’s the aromatic spice blend that brings warmth and depth to Indian cuisine. Every region, every family has their own secret recipe made of a combination of spices. My mom’s quintessential garam masala uses 21 spices! I still remember her yearly ritual of making the garam masala, which involved shopping for the best whole spices, cleaning and roasting them, grinding them and then carefully storing them in beautiful glass jars. It would be shared with relatives and used for rest of the year. Lucky for me, my mom still makes the blend every year and has a huge bag ready for me to bring back each time we visit her in India.

Over the past several years, during her visits to us she has taught me how to create a simplified version in smaller batches. It only uses 5 ingredients that are readily available – peppercorns, green cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and black cumin or caraway seeds. Just 1 tsp of this garam masala can add authentic flavors to many Indian dishes. Sure beats one that is store bought.

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