It is late February, the weather is more like early April but still coldish, so I’m looking for decent, flavorful food with just a hint of adventure. But have not motivation to spend hours in the kitchen.
Walking the aisles of my local “mega-mart”, I find a sale on canned beans, in specific chickpeas, and the first thing that occurs to me is hummus. But it is still a bit cold to go Mediterranean, but perhaps Indian? My favorite Indian restaurant had a curry dish of chickpeas and tomatoes cooked in an onion and tomato sauce, liberally spiced.
Just the thing for a cold but sunny day, I’ll serve with basmati rice, naan, with sliced onion and peppers to the side, perhaps with a dollop of yogurt and a squeeze of lemon.
I’ll be rather liberal in my modifications from “Classic Marsala”, and I am sue any number of “aunties” will be seeking me with their wooden spoons in search of retribution for my theft of one of their classic dishes.
Chana masala, literally ‘mix-spiced small-chickpeas’), also known as channay, chole masala, chole or chholay (plural), is a dish originating from the Indian subcontinent.
Chole is the name for the larger and lighter coloured chickpea commonly found in the West. These are known as kabuli chana in Hindustani. Chana masala is fairly dry and spicy with a sour citrus note (the flavor usually comes from coriander and onion). Chana are usually replaced by chole in most restaurants, and both versions are widely sold as snack food and street food in the Indian subcontinent.
Aloo Channa Marsala
- 1 tbsp Butter Use Olive Oil for Vegan option
- 5 cups Yellow Onion Peeled thinly sliced
- 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Brown Sugar
- Kosher Salt To Taste
- 4 cloves Garlic Peeled, Minced
- 2 ea Chillies Jalapeno, Serrano, (adjust to your level of spice)
- 1 tbsp Ginger Peeled, Grated
- 1 tbsp Garam Marsala
- 2 tbsp Curry Powder
- 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
- 3 tbsp Oil Neutral
The Rest of It
- 1 can Tomatoes and chilies 10 oz
- 1 can Chickpeas 15oz, drained
- 1 ea Starchy Potato Peed, cubed to 3/4"
- Kosher Salt To taste
- 3 ea Lemon
- In a large heavy saucepan, (I use cast iron), over high heat, melt butter, add onions and cook down, stir frequently. Add sugar and baking soda. (Do this gently, as the overall flavor of the dish depends on this)
- When bottom of pan archives a coating of fond, add 2-3 tbsp water and scrape, (~5 minutes)
- Repeat when fond builds up, ~ 2-3 minutes. Expect to spend 15 - 20 minutes on this.
- When onions are completely soft and are bark brown, remove from heat and season.
Build the Sauce
- In a food processor / mortar, add Add garlic, ginger, cilantro, and green chilies and grind into a rough paste Alternatively, just mince, very finely .)
- In a large heavy saucepan, (again my cast iron), over medium high heat, melt a wadge of butter, and cook down the paste / fine minces from above, add the 1/2 the garam marsala, and the curry powder, It should be quite fragrant, thence add the onion base. Stir / toss to coat every thing, ~ 3 minutes
- Add the tomato / chile mixture, chickpeas, and potatoes, add ~3/4 cup water and bring to a hard simmer, thence drop the heat to medium / medium low (looking for a bare simmer) and simmer for ~ 15-20 minutes. We are looking for a thick stew texture, where the potatoes are just beginning to break down
- Taste season and balance flavor
- Remove from heat, stir in the juice of 1 1/2 lemons, as well as remain garam marsala
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