recipe: chana masala and garlic naan

The cold weather the past few weeks has had me craving Indian food. I’ve bookmarked quite a few recipes to try, but the long list of ingredients for Indian cuisine has always intimidated me a bit. This weekend I finally bit the bullet, and gathered the necessary spices from Spice Bazaar, a tiny Indian grocery (in the mini shopping center in front of Target on 15-501, for any locals). And ohmygoodness, what was I waiting for?? This recipe for chana masala is really easy, and oh so good. And the naan… nom, nom, nom. We will definitely be making this again!

Chana Masala
adapted from Molly Wizenberg

1/4 c olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 t ground cumin
1 t ground coriander
1/4 t ground ginger
1 t ground turmeric
1 t garam masala
1/2 t ground cayenne pepper
1 t salt
1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
1 T chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish (I used curry leaves)
3 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 2 15-oz cans, drained and rinsed)

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until caramelized, stirring occasionally.

Reduce heat to low. Add garlic, cumin, coriander, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, cayenne, and salt and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and toasty, about 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup water, stir, and cook until water has completely evaporated.

Add tomatoes and their juice, raise heat to medium, and bring to a gentle boil. Adjust heat to maintain a simmer, and add cilanto (or curry) leaves. Stirring occasionally, cook until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.

Add chickpeas, stir, and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Add 2T water, cook 5 minutes. Add another 2T water and cook until absorbed. (This process of adding and cooking off water helps concentrate the sauce’s flavor and makes the chickpeas more tender.) Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Garnish with cilantro/curry leaves. Serve with rice and naan.

serves 4

Garlic Naan
adapted from Mic at All Recipes

2 1/4 t active dry yeast
1 c warm water
1/4 c sugar
3 T milk
1 egg, beaten
2 t salt
4 1/2 c flour
2 t minced garlic

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise for 1 hour, until doubled in volume.

Punch down dough, and knead in garlic. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball, roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

Preheat grill or grill pan to high heat. Roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle, place on grill, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until puffy and lightly browned. Flip and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill, and continue the process until all the naan has been prepared.

makes 14 pieces of naan


21 Responses to “recipe: chana masala and garlic naan”

  1. 1 jess@birdhouse February 18, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Yum. Thanks I’m totally going to make this.

  2. 3 jen jafarzadeh February 19, 2010 at 10:11 am

    I don’t know if I’m skilled enough to tackle naan, but I’ve had Molly’s chana masala tagged for months, too! You’ve inspired me. I’m getting my spice dept in gear and going to try it!

  3. 4 Carrie S. February 23, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    O.M.G. This is going on my shopping list! Looks amazing, thank you!

  4. 5 Risti February 23, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    I love Indian food! This has made me super hungry.

  5. 6 Amber February 26, 2010 at 11:33 am

    I’ve only ever had curry before but I went to the Mediterranean Mart and grabbed the few spices I was missing and I’m going to attempt this later this week! I’ve also never had chickpeas so this will be a new experience altogether! I love naan but I bought mine because it’s just me right now so I didn’t feel the need to go through all of that for one or two naan. Thank you! I can’t wait to try this!

  6. 7 Kelly Cummings February 28, 2010 at 10:20 am

    I saw 15-501 and got super excited, then I remembered that it’s in NC and I’ve moved to Alabama. Maybe I’ll stock up when I’m home for a visit. I love Chana Masala!

  7. 8 Jen March 1, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    Omg I can’t believe I have all the ingredients! I’m not sure I can work up the motivation to tackle homemade naan, but I will certainly be cooking up the channa masala! Looks delicious. Thanks!

  8. 9 // Sarah March 2, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Just made this — it’s fantastic, thank you! We added a bit of potato & cauliflower too… was very tasty!
    (I didn’t tackle the naan either…)

  9. 10 2sisters2cities March 5, 2010 at 9:23 am

    I made this last night- it was amazing! The best naan I ever had and I liked the chana masala so much more than the place I usually get it from. Great combo of spices!

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  17. 18 Dominica March 30, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    I have made this recipe several times now. Our family loves it. I have made it as written and I have tailored it for our family by leaving out the red pepper for the kids, and it’s still great. Tonight I added potatoes (before the onions) and peas (towards the end). It is a little time consuming, but not a difficult recipe.

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