Monday, July 9, 2007

Chana Masala

My mom frequently makes this dish to bring to potlucks. It's proven to be a more Caucasian-friendly curry, which she often Midwesternizes by adding ground beef meatballs sauteed in olive oil. That's tasty, I won't lie -- but I slightly favor the traditional version, simple garbanzo beans in a curried tomato sauce.

2 cups garbanzo beans, soaked and boiled
1 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes
2 whole fresh tomatoes, diced
1-2 medium onions, diced
cilantro, to taste, chopped
1 Tbs. cumin seeds
1 bay leaf
1-3 hot chili peppers
2-4 Tbs. garlic (I love garlic, and probably add even more than this. Tell you what...chop as much garlic as you can personally justify and simply add to taste).
2-4 Tbs. oil (olive or canola)
salt and pepper to taste

In skillet, heat oil and add cumin, bay leaf, and chilies. Sautee for 30ish seconds to bring out flavor. Add onions and sautee until clear. Add soaked garbanzo beans, roasting in onion mixture for ~7 minutes. Add can of diced tomatoes, one canful of water, and garlic. Continue cooking on medium, stirring occasionally, and adding extra water if the mixture dries before the beans soften. With any luck, this stage is 20 minutes or less...but I recommend tasting the curry every 5-10 minutes to gauge how well the flavors are melting into one another. When the beans are soft and the onions have completely cooked into the light sauce, turn the heat to low and add the tomatoes, cilantro, and salt/pepper to taste. Remove from heat and serve over rice.

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