Friday, January 1, 2010

Channa Masala - Chick Pea Curry and Naan Bread

Anyone who has been to India will know how much Channa Masala is a dietary staple of the people. Delicious to both Vegetarians and meat Eaters alike, this vegetarian dish is so tasty that you won't miss the absence of meat at all. With a wonderful nutty taste and texture, Channa Masala will become one of your favourite indian food recipes. Its is most scrumptious when accompanied by Indian Naan bread, or even Paratha and Popadom, in addition to fine jasmine scented Basmati rice, watered by the mountain streams of the Himalayas.

Watch Video - How to Make Channa Masala;


  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (1 inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Combine the tomatoes, about half the onion, the ginger, and rice flour in a blender; blend into a paste.
  2. Heat the oil and cumin seeds in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the cumin swells and turns golden brown. Cook the remaining onion in the hot oil for about 3 minutes. Stir the blended tomato mixture, garbanzo beans, curry powder, and salt into the onions; cover and cook until hot, about 5 minutes. Garnish with the cilantro to serve.

How to make Naan Bread

Naan is one of the most common types of bread in India, and it is popular in north India. Discover how to make naan from start to finish, and learn about the ingredients that go into making naan with helpful tips in these two videos on Indian food and recipes.

If you are too lazy to write down what you see in the vdeo, here is the preparation method and ingredients list for Naan bread;

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
4 1/2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons minced garlic (optional)
1/4 cup butter, melted


1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.

2. 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.

3. During the second rising, preheat grill to high heat.

4. At grill side, roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. Lightly oil grill. Place dough on grill, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter, and turn over. Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill, and continue the process until all the Naan has been prepared.

Channa Masala is one of the commonly served ingredients of the famous Indian Thali.

Thali is a Hindi word meaning "Plate", and is a meal with contents varying from one regional cuisine to another. A thali is a selection of different dishes, usually served in small bowls on a round tray. The round tray is generally made with steel with multiple compartments. In North America people sometimes use plastic thalis because they are disposable. Typical dishes include rice, dhal, vegetables, chapati, papad, curd (yoghurt), small amounts of chutney or pickle, and a sweet dish to top it. Restaurants typically offer a choice of vegetarian or meat-based thalis. Kerala way of Thali is known as Sadya, with Rice as staple food and other specialities.

Depending on the restaurant or the region you are in, the thali consists of delicacies native to that region. Thali starts out with puris, chapatis (rotis), different vegetarian specialities(curries).

In some restaurants, a thali may include "bottom-less" refills on all components of food; the idea is that one eats until fully satisfied. Such thalis are referred to as 'unlimited' thalis. In some places the term means that everything in the plate excepting a few items like the sweet preparation or dahi wada is open to unlimited helpings.

Thalis sometimes go even by the regional characteristic of the items they have. For example one may encounter Rajasthani thali or Gujarati thali. In Maharashtra the term 'rice plate' was (and still occasionally is) used for the concept of thali. At many places in India, the bread and the rice preparation are not served together in the thali. Typically, one finds the Indian bread being offered first and the waiter serves the rice subsequent to the consumption of bread, often in a separate bowl or dish.

Also there are arrangements especially in Northern and Northwestern India (in fact, even Pakistan and Afghanistan) where one is offered bread exclusively as a part of a meal. One encounters such arrangements especially at a dhaba.

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