So I made this base onion masala and wanted to make some Chana masala with it. As you see from the picture, home made chana doesn’t quite have the brown/red tinge that you get in restaurant cooking. I’m not sure what they use but I am very sure what *I* used so that makes it easier for me to eat my own cooking 🙂
This was very simple. I cooked chana separately in the Instant Pot, and then mixed it along with the Onion Masala and some ready-made chana masala as well as some lemon juice to add a little tartness at the end. It’s fast, its easy, and if you’re vegetarian, it’s a good source of protein. It is a little high in carbs, so I can’t eat too much of it. But a little bit in a bowl, along with a cold salad should work just fine.
I call them homestyle because…well, they ARE homestyle which means they’re not overly spiced, and they don’t have that deep red color that restaurant chana do. But these taste like what my mom used to make, and she was Punjabi, and a very good cook so that is good enough for me, by golly. I hope you enjoy them too.
Homestyle Chana Masala
Cooking the Chickpeas
- 1 cup dry chickpeas
- 2-3 bay leaves
- hot water, to cover the chick peas while they soak
- 3 cups water to cook in Instant Pot
Finishing with Masala
Quick Soak and Cook the Chana
- I find it easier to quick soak the chana in hot water for an hour but if you're using a Instant Pot you can skip this step. In that case, you will need to add cooking time to compensate.
- Drain the water the chana are soaked in and put the chana in your Instant Pot along with 3 cups of water.
Add the bay leaves and cook at high pressure for 15 minutes if you want it firm, or 20 minutes if you want a slightly creamy curry ( I went with 20 minutes).
Allow it to release pressure naturally.
Open it up and drain the water, but save it for now.
- Use a potato masher or something heavy and roughly mash about half the chana. You're doing this to thicken the final sauce. Please do not add corn starch to thicken! Use the chana mash to thicken.
Set this aside.
Finishing the Chana
- Heat your pot or skillet and when it's hot, add the ghee and then add the Onion Masala you made earlier.
- Sauté until this is heated through, and then add 2 teaspoons of chana masala and 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix well.
- Add in your semi-mashed chana and some of the cooking water and heat through.
- Add lemon juice and taste to see if you need any more, or any additional salt.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice or Naan or Chapatis.