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Meatless May: Chana Masala

We're finishing up meatless May with one of my favorite recipes - Chana Masala. This easy South Indian dish is warm, flavourful and spicy, but also refreshing thanks to the last minute addition of yogurt and cilantro.

This dish can be on the hot side. Skip one of the serrano chiles to reduce the heat. Chan masala can be served over rice, but it is best when eaten with naan bread you've warmed on the grill.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 medium yellow onion, small dice
  • 4 teaspoons peeled, finely chopped fresh ginger (from about a 2-inch piece)
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 serrano chiles, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes and their juices
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Plain yogurt (for serving)
  • Fresh Cilantro, chopped (for serving - optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the cumin seeds and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the onion, ginger, garlic, and chiles and season with kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened, about 6 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, set a fine-mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Strain the tomatoes and reserve the juices. Coarsely chop the tomatoes into 1-inch pieces; set aside.
  3. When the onions have softened, add the garam masala, coriander, measured salt, and turmeric to the frying pan and stir to coat the onion mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes, their reserved juices, the chickpeas, and the water. Stir to combine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors have melded and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 20 minutes.
  5. Serve topped with plain yogurt and chopped cilantro (if using).

Recipe originally published on Chow.com.