Channa Masala is a comfort food for me....I love the combo chole bhatura (channa masala with bhatura). Whenever we go out to have dinner I usually order chole bhatura. The reason why restaurant curry is different from our home cooked one is because they cook the channa with a fat pinch of soda powder.....that gives a unique flavor and makes the channa to be soft when cooked. I made this yesterday for dinner and thought I will share this today.
I have mentioned earlier that my mom in law lived in Nainital, Uttarkhand for a pretty long time and she makes this often and I actually learned it from her (most of the North Indian recipes I make has been handed down by her). I love the way she makes phulkas (Indian flatbread) with such ease and love the way they puff up when she puts it on top of fire....
I soaked the channa for about 4 hours and cooked in the pressure cooker for about 7 min with a fat pinch of soda powder and salt. The soda powder also makes it to cook fast so it is advisable to check the cooking time. So these beauties are ready ......thats half a kilo of channa waiting to be attacked!!!
Cooked channa: 1/2 kg.
Onion: 2 medium, sliced.
Ginger : 1 inch.
Garlic: 4 or 5 cloves.
Red chilly powder: 2 tsp.
Fresh coriander powder: 2 tsp.
Fresh garam masala: 1 tsp.
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp.
Roasted cumin powder: 1/2 tsp.
Cumin seeds: 1/ 2 tsp.
Amchur (dry mango powder): 1/2 tsp or 1 lemon sized tarmarind, soaked in little water.
Salt and Coriander leaves as needed.
1. Heat oil in a kadai and let 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds splutter.
2. Put in the sliced onions with salt and let it fry for sometime. Add ginger-garlic and saute for half a min. Then add 2 tsp red chilly powder (kashmiri chilly please), 2 tsp fresh coriander powder, 1 tsp garam masala powder, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, and cumin powder. Fry all this for a min or two so that the raw smell goes.
3. Add one chopped tomato and a little water....the reason why I used only one tomato is because I will be using amchur or tamarind towards the last stage
4. Saute till oil comes on top and well incorporated.
5. Add the cooked channa into it.
6. Mix well and add the amchur......when I was making this I din't have any amchur left in the pantry....so I soaked a lime sized tarmarind in a little water and poured that into the curry and let it simmer for about 10 to 15 min. Amchur does give the perfect flavor...if you have it PLEASE use it only...tarmarind can be used as an optional.
7. I sprinkled coriander leaves lavishly while it was simmering.....add little water if needed (the gravy will thicken ).
8. Serve hot with Roti (Indian flat bread), Poori, Bhatura, or rice.
Don't forget to serve chopped raw onions along with the channa masala.....