Chana Masala & Chunky Raita

It's not reasonable to drive an hour or two for good Indian food so I've started experimenting. Today it's Chana Masala- spicy chick peas.

Once again I've found a recipe and adapted it for my tastes.

Serves 4-6

One pan- a deep saute pan

Make the raita ahead of time. Recipe below.

Start the rice in the microwave before starting this and both will finish about the same time

Basmati for 4
1 cup of rice plus 3 cups of water for 20 minutes in a regular power microwave yields a perfect, no hassle batch of rice.
This formula will not work for brown rice.

CHANA MASALA

Saute slowly
1/2 stick margarine
3/4 vidalia (sweet) onion finely chopped

then
2 tsp miced garlic after the onion has cooked a while

When the onion is translucent, add

1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
6 tablespoons chopped tomatoes
(I used canned diced tomatoes)
1 cup water
2 15-ounce can chickpeas
, rinsed and drained
Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to a simmer
Then add
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon chana (chloe) masala*
1/4 tsp cardamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 tsp lemon juice
1 teaspoon ginger powdered
(fresh ginger will yield a hotter batch, try a scant 1/2 tsp fresh ginger instead of powdered)



*Garam masala is more commonly found and can be used, however, eliminate the cardamon. I don't like the Garam masala because I think it's a bit too sweet and the cinnamon hint is distracting.

Remove about a cup of chick peas, mash and return to the pan.
Simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed. You want to create a thick sauce. The mash helps it reach this point. If the sauce isn't thickening, use a fork to mash a little more of the chick peas.

This can be served over rice, preferable if the sauce is a little thin.

Or try papads to scoop up a thickened version.

You must try my
CHUNKY RAITA over the chana masala. Make ahead to allow the flavors to infuse.

Mix together
16 oz plain yogurt

Grate 1 whole cucumber, medium or large. Peel if waxed. Include the juice when you add the cucumber to the mix.

1 stalk green onion. Cut the green part into tiny circles.
*Mince the white part and set aside for the true onion lovers for topping.

1 or 2 small roma tomato. Dice and add, including juice and seed.

1/2 tsp cumin ground

1/2 tsp cayenne
or 1 tsp chili powder will do if you fear the hotter stuff

1 heaping TBSP mint chutney or 2-3 tbsp fresh mint or 2 tbsp dried mint, if nothing else is available.
The mint chutney is preferable because most are made with a "bite".
Refrigerate.

Some raita purists argue that mint chutney should be separate from raita. I admit my raita does cheat by adding the coolness of the mint to the coolness of the yogurt but it is well worth a taste.