Monday, December 20, 2010

Channa Masala


Sometimes, when I'm lucky, I'll find the most delectable recipes published in the NY Times Sunday Magazine. The latest find was this: Chickpea Masala.
Although the recipe calls for a heap of spices that I didn't currently have in my cabinet, and, seemingly, a lot of prep. steps, Channa Masala is remarkably easy to make.

Ingredients:

45oz. chickpeas cooked/1.5 cup dry
2 blk cardamom pods
1/3 cup neutral oil*
1 med. Spanish onion**
21/2 tbsp. tomato paste
6 cloves garlic
9 dried dates
4 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. cayenne
2 whole star anise

Preparation:

Crack cardamom pods, remove seeds, then crush and set aside.
Chop dates and set aside.
Chop onions and garlic and set aside.
In a medium pot heat oil until it shimmers. (Shimmers?)
Add onions to oil, stirring until they are brown (7-8 min).
Add garlic and let cook for about a minute before adding tomato paste then reduce heat.
Add cardamom and all the remaining ingredients--minus the chickpeas--and saute for a couple of minutes.
Add chickpeas and a half a cup of water-enough to make the contents "wet".
Heat mixture, stirring occasionally to incorporate all the flavors.***
Keep warm until serving.
Serves 6.

*we used canola oil.
**we used a regular yellow onion.
***we found that the longer the mixture simmered, the better the flavor of the dish, so, if you have the patience, then let it "stew" for, at least, 30-45 minutes.

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