Chana/Chole is simply the Indian name for chickpeas, otherwise known as garbanzo beans. They contain a high level of protein and dietary fibre, hence making them a very healthy food to add to your diet! They are perfect for a quick and healthy recipe, hence my love for them! Chana/Chole masala is not only an easy Indian vegetarian recipe, but also a popular Mauritian recipe as well! As a reminder, Mauritius is a beautiful blend of different cultures, so many of the food recipes back home have origins from many parts of the world. Isn’t that wonderful? =)
On another note, I have to apologize again for my irregular recipe posting these days. As I was reading Just One Cookbook’s blog post, I realized that I was not the only one thinking that food blogging is quite time-consuming! Although I LOVE food blogging and sharing my recipes with others, I have to say it can be quite tiring at times. First, there is the step-by-step photo taking, then the food photo-shoot, the food pics selection, editing, writing the article, editing it, posting it, phew! Oh, during the food photo-shoot, there is the lighting issues, the food composition, etc. If you have a good professional camera, I don’t think you have to think much about lighting, but if you are like me with a small camera, then you have to position your food in different places so that the picture gets a good lighting. And trust me, that’s not an easy task. I am still a student living in the school dorm, so I have to think of ideas how to take my pictures in a nice almost-professional way.
However, I have to say that I still enjoy food blogging! And the pleasure of getting people to comment on my recipes means that people are actually enjoying my food blogging! Also, when I find my food pics getting accepted on popular food websites like Foodgawker or Tastespotting or Photograzing, I have this feeling of self-satisfaction, this feeling of achievement! Moreover, I had a wonderful surprise when my food post Chinese DiSanXian made it to the Top9 on Foodbuzz! I was jumping up and down in my room and calling my mom to tell her the good news! On top, I am proud to say that although I did download a free WordPress template, I heavily edited and designed it to my taste. I am sure most food bloggers feel the same way as me. So, to all food bloggers out there, keep working on your website and most important of all, have fun while doing so!
I am now going to introduce you to one of the students’ best cooking friend: the grater! If you don’t own a food blender and need to make ginger-garlic paste for a recipe, no worries! Use a grater! As you can see in the picture, I used my grater to get “ginger-garlic paste”. It won’t actually be a paste, but it will help to get ur garlic-ginger to very thin pieces. Of course, if you own a mortar pestle or a food blender, go ahead and use it.
Now, let’s get to our Chana Chole Masala recipe!
Chana Chole Masala recipe
2-3 cups chana/chole/chickpeas, soaked overnight or at least 5 hours
1 medium onion, chopped finely
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste (or 4 cloves garlic + 2cm ginger grated)
1-2 red chillies, sliced
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
2 medium tomatoes, chopped to a paste(or made into a paste using a food blender)
1 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
1. Soak the chole in water overnight or for at least 5 hours. Wash and boil them until well cooked. Take one chole and if you can mash it with your fingers, then it’s done. When mashing it, first run it under some cold water as it will be hot!
2. Drain the chole and reserve the liquid.
3. Heat a non-stick pot over medium heat. When warm, add butter and allow it to melt. Add your cumin seeds and let them fry for a few seconds.
4. Add chopped onions and fry until most of the water evaporates.
5. Add ginger-garlic, fry until fragrant. Lower your heat, add turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder, salt and 1 tbsp water. Mix until you get a nice paste and cook until fragrant. The low heat and adding some water prevents the spices from burning.
6. Put heat to medium. Add red chillies, chopped tomatoes and cook until the mixture reduces to about half in quantity. The mixture will become a bit thicker.
7. Add the cooked chole/chickpeas and add half-cup of the reserved liquid. Cook for a further 10 minutes, covered.
8. Mash up some of the chickpeas and add water until the mixture reaches your desired consistency. Add chopped coriander leaves. Mix. Serve!