Need a quick vegetarian entree or side dish for an Indian dinner? Easy chana masala can be ready in under 20 minutes. Short on time but long on taste!
Cooking elaborate Indian meals is a big deal. It takes time. It’s hard work. Crazy hard. It can be downright exhausting. I’m going to guess nobody in India does that every night. That would be like cooking Thanksgiving dinner 7 days a week. You’d have to quit your job. You’d probably have a nervous breakdown. And you would wind up gaining tons of weight.
But you can enjoy really good Indian every day. It can be easy. It can be fast. You don’t need 10 different dishes. One will do. This one for instance. Easy chana masala and some store bought naan bread. Dinner in 20 minutes. Anyone can do that.
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 4 Tbsp onion - finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic - crushed
- 1 green chili - finely diced
- 3 Tbsp fresh tomato - diced
- 1 1/2 tsp tomato paste - mixed with a couple tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup water
- 20 pieces finely julienned fresh ginger
- 1 Tbsp cilantro - minced
- 1 19 oz can chickpeas
- A bit of cilantro and diced tomato to garnish
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp kasoor methi fenugreek leaves
- 1/4-1 tsp mild kashmiri chili powder 1/4 tsp is medium heat, 1 tsp is pretty hot
- 1 tsp Indian restaurant mix powder or curry powder - recipe link below
- 1 tsp chana masala spice mix - store bought or another tsp of curry powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- Prep your ingredients. Chop the vegetables. Make the spice mix, Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Mix the tomato paste with water.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat.
- Add the vegetable oil.
- Add the cumin seed and cook until it sizzles. This should happen almost instantly.
- Cook the onions until they are soft and translucent, about 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, green chili and diced tomato.. Cook one minute, stirring occasionally.
- Turn the heat down. Add the spice mix and cook 20-30 seconds.
- Add the diluted tomato paste, turn the heat up and cook for 30 seconds or so.
- Mix in the ginger, cilantro and water.
- Add the chickpeas.
- Reduce the heat and cook, stirring, until the chickpeas are warmed through.
- Garnish with tomato and cilantro and serve.
A recipe for Indian restaurant spice mix can be found here. Substitute any curry powder if you like.