Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Quick Channa Masala from a Can (Canned Garbanzo Beans Curry)

Another weekend is over and I have no idea where the time went.  Sometimes I feel that weekends are busier than weekdays.  At least on weekdays, I have a routine. 

I had so many tasks that I wanted to finish - and, there was a wonderful party at a friends’ place that I did not want to miss.  So I made my list and tackled the tasks, slowly making a dent in my to-do list.  Unfortunately, a few remained "un-done".  Grocery shopping was one of them.

Monday afternoon, I came home from work and opened the fridge to see what to make for dinner.  Of course, there was nothing I could use.  I had some tomatoes, a carrot, some cilantro, a  ¼ head of cabbage, and a few leftovers – not enough to serve the three of us.  If I was hoping to have my fridge miraculously stocked up with fresh veggies – that had not happen.

I went over to the pantry and started scanning the shelves, waiting for inspiration to strike, when I spotted these cans of garbanzo beans.  I had some uncooked flour tortillas from Costco and decided that my life just got easier – tasty dinner in a jiffy.

I prefer the taste of home cooked channa – where you soak the dried beans and then cook them yourself.  But hey, canned garbanzo is a great substitute if you are in a rush.

Here is what you need:

(to feed a family of four)

  • 2 cans garbanzo beans (without salt – if available)
  • 3 tsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. jeera (cumin seeds)
  • ¼ tsp. hing (asafetida)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic
  • 1” piece ginger, slivered
  • 2 – 3 green chilies, slit length-wise
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric
  • 1 ½ tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. jeera powder
  • 1 tsp. amchur powder
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tsp. kasoori methi
  • cilantro for garnish

Here is how I made it:

  1. Wash the canned garbanzo beans in several changes of water, drain, and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan.  Add the cumin seeds.
  3. When they change color, add the hing and fry for a few seconds.
  4. Add chopped onions, garlic, and ginger.  Sauté for a few minutes.
  5. When the onions become translucent, add the tomatoes and green chilies.  Fry till this whole thing gets pulpy.  Add salt and mix well.
  6. Take a little bit of water in a small bowl.  Add the turmeric powder, chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, and amchur.  Pour this mixture into the pan.  Stir.
  7. Cover and cook this for a few minutes.
  8. Add the diced potatoes, the garbanzo beans and some water.  Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, till the potatoes are done
  9. Crush the kasoori methi in the palm of your hands and sprinkle it over the gravy.
  10. Turn off the heat.  Garnish with cilantro.

Serve hot with rotis, fresh slided onions, and green chilies.

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