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Chana Masala

Chana Masala
chana masala Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas (or 2 cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed)
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1-inch ginger, grated
2 green chilies, finely chopped (adjust to your spice preference)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves (coriander leaves)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 bay leaf
2-3 black cardamom pods (optional)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to your spice preference)
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon dried mango powder (amchur)
Salt to taste
2 cups water (if using dried chickpeas)

Instructions:
Step 1: Soak and Cook the Chickpeas (Skip if using canned chickpeas) If using dried chickpeas, rinse them thoroughly and soak them in enough water overnight or for at least 6-8 hours. This will help in their cooking process. After soaking, drain the water and rinse the chickpeas again. In a large pot, add the soaked chickpeas and 2 cups of fresh water. Bring it to a boil over medium heat.

Reduce the heat to low and let the chickpeas simmer for 30-40 minutes or until they are tender. Cooking time may vary based on the type and freshness of the chickpeas.
Once the chickpeas are cooked, drain any excess water and set them aside.

Step 2: Sauté the Onions and Spices
In a large, heavy-bottomed pan or pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.
Add the cumin seeds, bay leaf, and black cardamom pods (if using) to the hot oil. Sauté for a minute until they release their aroma.
Add the finely chopped onions to the pan and sauté until they turn golden brown.

Step 3: Create the Chana Masala Base
Lower the heat and add the minced garlic, grated ginger, and chopped green chilies to the sautéed onions. Cook for a couple of minutes until the raw smell disappears.
Stir in the ground coriander, turmeric, and red chili powder. Mix well to coat the onions and spices evenly.

Step 4: Simmer the Chickpeas in the Tomato Gravy Add the finely chopped tomatoes to the pan and cook until they become soft and the oil starts to separate from the masala base. This will take about 5-7 minutes.
Now, add the cooked chickpeas to the pan and mix them with the tomato masala base.
Pour 1 cup of water into the pan, ensuring that the chickpeas are well submerged in the gravy.
Cover the pan and let the Chana Masala simmer on low heat for about 10-15 minutes. This will allow the flavors to blend together.

Step 5: Add the Final Touches
Stir in the garam masala, dried mango powder (amchur), and salt to the simmering Chana Masala. Adjust the seasoning according to your taste. Let the Chana Masala cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, ensuring the chickpeas are fully coated in the rich and tangy gravy.
Garnish the Chana Masala with chopped cilantro leaves.

Step 6: Serve and Enjoy
Transfer the delicious Chana Masala to a serving dish.
Serve it hot with steamed rice, naan, or any Indian bread of your choice. Optionally, accompany it with a side of sliced onions, lemon wedges, and green chilies for added freshness and tanginess.

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