Being brought up in Poland, I have never eaten chana (chickpea) for the first 20 years of my life. Can you imagine? No, you probably can’t 😉 I’ve never even heard about this particular legume until I tried it in the UK in Indian restaurant about 10 years ago. Of course, there are other legumes used and known in my homeland, but not this one. However, in the recent years popularity of chickpea started to grow in Poland. By the way, I wonder who can pronounce chickpea in Polish – ciecierzyca. Crazy name, right? 😛
Chana is very nutritious. It’s a great source of protein, but also fiber, certain minerals (e.g. phosphorus, iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc) and vitamins (e.g. folate, vitamin K, B6). I haven’t been a fan of chickpea immediately. I don’t know if it was the texture or the taste, but it definitely was not the love at first sight. It took me a couple of years to fall in love with it and now I’m a huge chana advocate 🙂
Do you know who is the world leader in chickpea production? India! 🙂
There are two ways you can make chana. You can either soak dry chickpeas overnight or you can use canned chickpeas. I like easy and fast recipes so I always follow the second way.
There are plenty of recipes available on internet for a perfect chana masala- dry or in a curry. All of them (or 99% of them) suggest to serve it with a rice, any kind of Indian bread or even potatoes. I’ve come up with a slightly different, new way of serving it. As I live in the UK, one of the most easy and popular dishes here is beans on toast. So…. why not to replace beans with chana and make chana on toast! Indian dish with a British twist 🙂 Let’s try it!
- 2 pieces of cinnamon
- 3-4 green cardamom
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 4 cloves
- 4-5 dry chilli peppers (optional)
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp chilli powder
- 1/4 tsp hing powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp garam masala powder
- 1 tsp mango powder
- 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 2 chickpeas cans ( around 400g each)
- 2 onions
- 3 fresh tomatoes or 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 1-2 green chilies (optional)
- 1 tsp garlic ginger paste
- 1-2 cups water
- oil (for frying)
STEP BY STEP:
- Chop onions, tomatoes and green chillies into small pieces.
- Prepare a pot and heat the oil.
- Add onions and saute them for few minutes until golden. Add ginger garlic paste and saute for few minutes.
- Add tomatoes (fresh or canned).
- Add all powder spices one by one: hing powder, salt, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, chilli powder, mango powder. Keep stirring all the time.
- Let it cook all together for the next few minutes.
- Now, some of you might blend the mixture into a paste (if you want to), but I don’t do it.
- Prepare separate frying pan and heat the oil.
- Check if oil is ready by adding 1-2 cumin seeds. When they start cracking, it means you can add all whole spices- remaining cumin seeds, cinnamon, bay leaves, cloves and chilli peppers. Fry these spices for 3-4 minutes.
- Add all freshly fried whole spices into the mixture of onions, tomatoes and ground spices.
- Add garam masala into the pot and fry for another 2 minutes.
- Add drained chickpeas and 1-2 cups of water (it’s up to you if you want more dry or less dry chana)
- Cover the pot and cook until chana is ready (10-15 minutes).
- Serve with rice or any Indian bread or ….
- Serve it on toast (if it is slightly more dry).
COOKING TIME: 40-45 mins
Enjoy your meal 🙂
Recipe loosely based on Chana Masala Recipe by Swasthi