Bhaiya, the cook in my parents home, has cooked for us for over 35 years. And this is his famous Chana Masala recipe. In fact, this basic onion-tomato sauce is a sauce I use for paneer, peas, mushroom and chicken too. It's very versatile… so this recipe is a keeper!
Every Friday my husband likes to be vegetarian (in preparation for the weekend ahead) and this is one my go-to recipes for Fridays.
1 tbsp olive oil
6–8 fresh curry leaves
1 whole green chili, minced (or more if you like it spicy)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 large red onions, chopped into large pieces
2 large tomatoes, chopped into large pieces OR 1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2-inch ginger root, peeled, minced
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp mango powder
1/2tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 cup water
2 14-ounce can chick peas
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 lemon, juiced
Salt, to taste
- Heat 1 tbsp in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat.
- Fry the curry leaves, green chili, cumin and mustard seeds until the seeds begin to pop
- Add the onion, tomato, garlic and 1/2 the ginger and fry for 10 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned. Add a sprinkle of salt at this stage to help the onions let its water out and cook faster.
- Puree the onion mixture until smooth.
- Return to the pot, add add the powdered spices– coriander, mango, cinnamon and gram masala. Mix well.
- Add the chick peas, lemon juice and water. Bring to a boil, cover and let it simmer for 10–15 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro and minced ginger.
Serve with hot naan. Yum!
Thank you Bhaiya!
Cooks note: You can make a large batch of the tomato sauce up until step #4. Freeze it in batches and then taste it with the spices as you like after that. Or even use it as a marinade for meats.