This restaurant-style chana masala recipe is rich in flavor and incredibly satisfying to eat. The secret to an authentic, restaurant-style chana masala is in the ingredients – Indian spices, good quality chickpeas, and super quality tomatoes for the sauce. Each bite should be out of this world!
· 2 tbsp vegetable oil
· 1 ½ onions, finely diced
· 4 cloves garlic, minced
· 1 tsp minced ginger
· 2 whole dried red chillies, more or less to taste
· 2 green cardamom pods
· 2 whole cloves
· 1 cinnamon stick
· 1 bay leaf
· 1 tsp amchoor powder
· 1 tsp ground coriander
· 1/2 tsp red chillie powder
· 1/2 tsp garam masala
· 1/4 tsp turmeric
· 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
· 1 to 1 1/2 tsp salt to taste
· 1 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed
· 1 ¼ cups tomato puree
· 1 1/2 tsp kasoori methi, optional
Soak the chickpeas overnight. Cook them in a pressure cooker for 2 whistles (or more if needed) Heat oil in a pan. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook for about 10 minutes until translucent and softened.
Add the garlic, ginger, and the whole spices: dried red chillies, cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf. Cook for 1-2 minutes stirring constantly so that it doesn’t burn.
Add the ground spices: amchoor (if using), ground coriander, red chillie powder, garam masala, turmeric, black pepper, and 1 tsp of salt. Stir in and let cook for 30 seconds.
Add the chickpeas and the tomato puree. Partially cover, bring to a simmer, and let simmer for 25-30 minutes stirring occasionally.
Turn off the heat, sprinkle in the kasoori methi, crumbling between your fingers. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper. Remove the whole cinnamon stick, bay leaf, and cardamom pods & cloves if you can see them.
Amchoor (Dried Mango Powder) is necessary for an authentic chana masala. You could substitute 1-3 tsp of tamarind paste (add at the same time as the ground spices) or freshly squeezed lemon juice (add with the kasoori methi) to taste.