Chana masala with naan bread

By Wendy Andresen | Apr 03, 2019
Photo by: Wendy Andresen

I’ve seen many recipes for chana masala, but this one, which was adapted from one given to me by an Indian friend, is the only one that includes potato. I really like the added texture it provides. "Chana" simply means “chickpeas,” and "masala" is a mixture of Indian spices. Cooking the spices briefly in oil is called tempering them, and it brings out the fragrance and depth of the spices. My friend tells me it’s the secret of good cooking. This was the first time I had ever made naan, and I was surprised at how easy it was. I put the chana masala together while the dough was rising, and I was so pleased to find a jar of mango chutney in the cabinet to complete the meal.

Ingredients:

Two 16-ounce cans garbanzos, including liquid

14-ounce can diced tomatoes, fire-roasted if you can find them

1 large sweet white onion, diced

1 medium Yukon gold potato, diced

1 jalapeno pepper, minced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger

2 Tbsp. canola oil

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. garam masala (mix of Indian spices)

1/2 tsp. turmeric

1/2 tsp. coriander

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. chili powder or paprika

1/2 tsp. salt

Cilantro for garnish

Directions:

1. In a large saucepan, sauté the onion and jalapeno in canola oil until the onion is translucent. Then add the garlic, ginger, garam masala, turmeric, coriander, cumin, chili powder and salt. Cook over low heat for a couple of minutes to temper the spices.

2. Add the can of tomatoes,potato, lemon juice, and liquid from the can of garbanzos.

3. Cook until the potato is tender. Then add the garbanzos and heat thoroughly.

4. Garnish with plenty of chopped cilantro and serve with rice or naan bread.

Naan bread (makes 8)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup warm water

1 tsp. sugar

1 package instant yeast or highly active yeast

3 Tbsp. olive oil

1/4cup plain nondairy yogurt or plant-based milk

1/2 tsp. salt

2 to 2 1/2 cups flour (I used bread flour)

Canola oil for frying

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, combine sugar and water and sprinkle yeast on top. Let sit for 5 to10 minutes or until foamy.

2. Add olive oil, yogurt, salt, and 2 cups of flour. Stir until smooth.

3. Add more flour, if needed, to make a soft dough. Knead it for a few minutes on a floured work surface until smooth.

4. Spray a bowl with nonstick cooking spray, put the dough in it and then turn it over once. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and place it in a warm place until dough has doubled in size. You can use a barely warmed oven for this.

5. Cut the dough into eight pieces. Roll out each piece on a floured surface into a 6-inch circle.

6. Preheat a nonstick frying pan on medium heat and add a little oil. Pan-fry each circle for about 2 minutes on each side until bubbly and golden brown.

7. Stack naan breads on top of one another and cover them with a towel to keep them warm.

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