Bryan occasionally brings home Chana (Chole) and Bhatura for supper when he is working at the office near Toronto. Right now, he is on vacation and asked if I could make it for him. I could not find an exact recipe for this spicy vegetarian dish so I did my best to recreate it.
He loved it. The only difference he found was that I used a bit more potato than what he gets from his favorite Indian restaurant. Sadly, I forgot my plan to garnish with the fresh cilantro.
© 2008 Laurie Ann March
makes 4 – 6 servings
This is best served with bhatura, chapati, naan bread or basmati rice.
3 tablespoons canola oil
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
3/4 teaspoon kolonji or onion seeds (see note)
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 green chili pepper, finely minced
2 teaspoons fresh garlic, pureed
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, pureed
1 1/4 cups canned diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground coriander seed
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
3 medium potatoes, washed and peeled
1 cup water
3 cups canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro (coriander), chopped
1/2 cup water, if necessary
It is helpful to prepare and measure all the ingredients before you start. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds and kolonji (onion seeds) and once they start popping, about 25 seconds, add the onion. Sauté the onion until it starts to brown slightly. Then add the chili pepper, garlic and ginger and stir well. Quickly add the tomatoes and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Reduce the heat to medium.
Add the salt, coriander, garam masala and turmeric and stir well. Then add the potatoes stirring to coat with the onion, tomato, spice mixture. Add 1 cup of water and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Add the chickpeas and more water if necessary and let simmer for another 20 minutes. Remove the chana masala from the heat and add the cilantro. Let the mixture sit with the lid on for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
Note: Kolonji seeds are also known as black onion seeds, charnushka nigella or black cumin.