No-Oil Healthy Chana Masala with Toasted Ciabatta

Chana Masala or Chole (chickpeas) Masala is a very popular North Indian street food full of flavors. It has a lot of spices in the special spice mix called the Chana Masala mix. You can make that spice at home with ingredients from an Indian pantry or buy it readymade from the shop. Traditionally the first step to making Chana Masala is soaking the chick peas overnight and then slow cooking it in a pan or a pressure cooker. The good thing about using a slow cooker is that you can literally turn it on, set a timer and go about your business-there is no babysitting involved and trying to make sure nothing gets burnt etc. Also, there is no frying or sautéing anything beforehand in this recipe. You can make the Chana Masala powder in bulk and store in the fridge or a dark cupboard @sarchakra

COOK TIME: 120 mins

PREP TIME: 10 mins

YIELDS: 2

Ingredients

  • Chick peas 1 can (16 oz)
  • Onion 1, small, chopped
  • Tomato paste 1 tbsp
  • Coriander powder 1 tbsp
  • Red chili powder 2 tsp
  • Cumin powder 2 tsp
  • Garlic 1 tbsp (finely chopped)
  • Ginger 1 tbsp (grated)
  • Chana masala powder 2 tbsp (see recipe below)
  • Green chilies 2-3, chopped
  • Onion for garnish
  • Coriander leaf for garnish
  • Lemon wedges for garnish
  • Ciabatta 1
  • Flat leaf parsley 1 tbsp
  • Parmesan for garnish
  • Avocado oil for drizzle & serving

Method

  • Drain chicken peas (don’t throw the water out. See note below). Chop onions.
  • Put slow cooker on. Put in drained chick peas, chopped onions, tomato paste, Chana masala powder, turmeric, salt, coriander powder, ginger, garlic, cumin powder, red chili powder. Add 1 cup of water. Mix.
  • Set the timer on high for 2 hours. At the end of two hours, using a potato masher gently mash some of the chana to make the gravy a bit thick.
  • Serve on a bowl. Top with chopped onions, lemon wedges, chopped coriander leaf and fresh green and red chilies.
  • Cut a large ciabatta into half. Cut each half lengthwise into halves. Toast the ciabatta slices in the toaster at the highest setting till golden and crunchy.
  • Drizzle ciabatta with avocado oil. Top with grated Parmesan and some fresh leaf parsley. I also serve some avocado oil with the bread.

Chana Masala Powder

  • Dried whole chilies 3
  • Asafetida (hing) ½ tsp
  • Cinnamon stick (dalchini) 1
  • Coriander seeds 2 tbsp
  • Black peppercorns 10
  • Cloves 4
  • Pomegranate seeds 1 tbsp
  • Black cardamom 1
  • Salt
  • Turmeric (haldi) 2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds 3 tsp
  • Dried ginger (soonth) ½ tsp
  • Carom seeds (ajwain) 1 tsp
  • Dried mango powder (amchur) 1 tbsp
  • Bay leaf (tej patta) 1
  • Green cardamoms 4

Method:

  • On a low medium flame in a non stick pan roast each spice except dried mango, salt, turmeric, ginger and asafetida.
  • The spices will slightly change color and turn aromatic. Turn the heat off.
  • Cool.
  • Using a coffee grinder grind the mixture to a smooth powder. Add salt, turmeric, mango powder and asafetida.
  • Store the mixture in a airtight container in a dark cupboard to retain maximum freshness.

Notes

Once you start grinding spices in a coffee grinder, needless to say that is all you would do in that grinder. Since coffee grinders are so cheap you can literally have one just for your spices.

Use the water from the canned chickpeas to make Aquafaba Meringues . It works beautifully to eat on its own or to decorate cakes.

Getting the ingredients ready in the slow cooker
Adding water
Chana Masala is done. Now mash some of the peas to make a thicker sauce.
Chana Masala is ready to serve
Closeup
Ciabatta
No-oil Chana Masala with Toasted Ciabatta

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