Everyone has a go-to recipe. In my house, it's chana masala, also known as chole. There's rarely a time when there isn't a batch of chana in my refrigerator. It’s a one-pot meal that works well as a snack or a main dish.
Chana masala is dish of spicy garbanzo beans mixed with tomatoes, onion and cilantro. It's healthy, filling and super easy to make. It's a perfect, balanced choice for vegans and vegetarians and hearty enough for meat eaters to not miss the meat.
Garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas, are packed with protein and fiber. They're low in fat too. A staple of numerous Middle Eastern and Indian dishes like hummus, falafels and curries, garbanzos are a great neutral flavor to spice up any way you like. While dry garbanzos are a bit cheaper, they take a long time to cook, so going with the canned version is just fine.
Next time you're scratching your head in the kitchen wondering what's for dinner, try my go-to dish for an easy, healthy, and quick fix.
Recipe for Chana Masala Straight from Mumbai
Here’s what you need:
2 cans of garbanzo beans, rinsed
1 large onion
1 head cilantro
1 packet chana chaat masala (You can find this at any Indian store or even buy it online. You can also use regular chaat masala with some red chili powder.)
Here’s what you do:
Dice the onion, tomato, and half the head of cilantro. Sauté the onions on medium-low heat until they start to turn brown (about 10 minutes). Add in the chopped tomato and cilantro. Mix these together over medium heat for about 3 minutes.
Add in the cans of garbanzo beans. Sprinkle in half the packet of chana chaat and let simmer. Add salt to taste. Garnish with the rest of the fresh cilantro when you are ready to serve.
I often double this recipe and make a big pot of chana masala and refrigerate to eat throughout the week.
Enjoyed with brown rice, on top of spinach, as a main or side, this recipe just works.
Edited by Alison Stanton