Food & Drink Magazine

Healthy and Delicious Chana Masala

By Thepickyeater @pickyeaterblog

Healthy and Delicious Chana Masala

Whenever the husband and I go out for Indian food, we almost always order Chana Masala. We almost always order Palak Paneer too, but that’s for a different post

:)

Why Chana Masala?

Because between the chickpeas, spices and curry, you really can’t go wrong. It’s hearty, filling, and dependable.

Of course, lower quality restaurants can still mess up Chana Masala by smothering the delicate chickpeas and spices with too much oil, or making it much too “spicy-hot” instead of “spicy-spice” (hopefully you know what I mean by that!)

Traditionally Chana Masala has quite a bit of oil in it anyway, but without that, it can actually be a very healthy and well rounded dish. I added some potatoes for starch, fresh cilantro for color, and a bit of nonfat Greek yogurt for an added creaminess that just takes this to a whole new level.

The Ingredients

  • 1/2 – 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger (or 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 4-5 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 Tbs cilantro leaves, roughly torn, plus more for garnish
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4-5 baby red potatoes, diced
  • 6-8 Tbs plain non fat Greek yogurt, optional
Healthy and Delicious Chana Masala
The DirectionsStep 1: Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the oil and red onion and cook, stirring frequently until it is deeply caramelized. Reduce the heat to low.Step 2: Add the garlic, cumin seeds, coriander, ginger, garam masala, and cardamom pods, and fry them, stirring constantly, until the cumin seeds pop and the spices are fragrant and toasty, about 30 seconds.Step 3: Pour in the juice and the tomatoes from the can and crush them in the pot with a potato masher. Add the salt and the potatoes.
Healthy and Delicious Chana Masala
Step 4: Raise the heat to medium-high, and bring the pot to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, add the cilantro and cayenne, and all of the rest of the spices, and simmer the sauce until it reduces a bit and begins to thicken. Add the chickpeas, and stir to combine.
Healthy and Delicious Chana Masala
Step 5: Keep simmering the curry on low until the chickpeas and potatoes soften (about 30 minutes). Once the sauce thickens and reduces down a bit, it will look like this:
Healthy and Delicious Chana Masala
Step 6: Serve and top with cilantro.
Healthy and Delicious Chana Masala
This is how I served it to the husband. But for me…
Healthy and Delicious Chana Masala
I added the yogurt.The husband isn’t really a yogurt person – which I have never understood honestly. I mean, how can you not like yogurt, especially with a spicy dish like this one?The husband is also super super picky about Chana Masala, in that, he never thought a homemade “healthier” version would taste as good as the restaurant. So imagine how awesome it was when he told me that this recipe was restaurant quality! Hooray!I smiled as I watched the yogurt melt over the chickpeas before I started eating.
Healthy and Delicious Chana Masala
It was “lick-your-bowl-clean” good
:)
Healthy and Delicious Chana Masala by Anjali Shah @ The Picky Eater Makes about 6 servings. 1 serving: ~240 calories, 9g fiber and 10g protein. The Ingredients
  • 1/2 – 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger (or 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 4-5 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 Tbs cilantro leaves, roughly torn, plus more for garnish
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4-5 baby red potatoes, diced
  • 6-8 Tbs plain non fat Greek yogurt, optional
The Directions Step 1: Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the oil and red onion and cook, stirring frequently until it is deeply caramelized. Reduce the heat to low. Step 2: Add the garlic, cumin seeds, coriander, ginger, garam masala, and cardamom pods, and fry them, stirring constantly, until the cumin seeds pop and the spices are fragrant and toasty, about 30 seconds. Step 3: Pour in the juice and the tomatoes from the can and crush them in the pot with a potato masher. Add the salt and the potatoes. Step 4: Raise the heat to medium-high, and bring the pot to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, add the cilantro and cayenne, and all of the rest of the spices, and simmer the sauce until it reduces a bit and begins to thicken. Add the chickpeas, and stir to combine. Step 5: Keep simmering the curry on low until the chickpeas and potatoes soften (about 30 minutes). Step 6: Serve and top with cilantro and yogurt.

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