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Monday, June 20, 2011

Chana Masala for One

Good Evening!  I feel like I have had a whirlwind of a day!  I got back from my workout and 6 mile run and was ready for dinner!  I first made sure all the dogs went out and got fed before I started, I means dogs have to eat too!  I know I said I was going to make something with beets tonight, but I could not figure out what to make, and all the recipes I found did not sound good!  I knew I could put the beets on top of an elaborate salad but I just was not in the mood to eat just a salad for dinner.  And besides I knew after a 2.5 hour workout my body would need a little more then a plate full of veggies to make me satisfied!

While I was trying to figure out the dinner dilemma I came across a simple recipe for Chana Masala.  For those of you who do not know what Chana Masala is I will explain it.  Here is what wikipedia says Chana Masala is, 

Chana masala or chole masala is a popular vegetable dish in Pakistani cuisine & Indian cuisine.[1] The main ingredient is chickpeas. It is fairly dry and spicy with a sour citrus note. The dish is found throughoutSouth Asia, and is particularly popular in northern India and Pakistan.

Thank you Wikipedia!  I just love that site, whenever I don't know what something is I head straight for Google and Wikipedia.  Ok I am off on a tangent!  lets get back to talking about my amazing dinner that looked something like this when I was finished! 
Chana Masala with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce Served over Barley!
I followed this, recipe to a tee since I have never attempted to make Chana Masala before.  The only thing I did was cut the recipe in half.  Since I was only feeding me myself and I there was no point in making an entire batch (the original recipe serves 8)!  And lets be real I was hungry but there was no way I could have eaten what 8 people normally would!  

Lets get started talking about this dish
Here is what you will need:
Chana Masala (Half Recipe Serves 4-1/2 Cup Servings)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil 
1/2 Medium Onion 
1 Garlic Clove
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin Seed
1/4 Teaspoon Coriander
1/8 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/2 Teaspoon Garam Masala (I used a bit more) * See Note
1/8 Teaspoon Ground Cardamom
2 Tablespoons Water
1-15 Ounce Can Diced Tomatoes Undrained 
1 Tablespoon Cilantro
1.4 Teaspoon Cayenne (more if you like things spicy)
1- 15 Ounce Can Chickpeas drained and rinsed

*Note:  I could not find Garam Masala in my grocery store!  If you can't find the seasoning either do not leave it out!  Garam Masala is simply a blend of particular spices.  I did a quick google search and found away to make a homemade Garam Masal!  
Here is what you will need:
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin 
1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/4 Teaspoon Crumbled Bay Leaves (I left this out!)
1/8 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
Simply Combine all the spices together, stir to combine and use as much as the recipe calls for!
Now lets talk about how to prepare this Chana Masala shall we?
Ready, Set, Lets Cook!
Start by heating your oil and sauteing your onions.
You want your onions to cook until they start to turn a bit brown.  Almost like that perfect browned color of of a perfect S'More(which actually sounds good right about now!).  They should look something like this, 
Then turn your heat down to to medium and add your spices and garlic!  (Note have all your spices pre- measured and combined in a little bowl)  that way you can dump them all in at once!  
Stir everything to combine, and let the spices toast for 30 seconds.  Once you have done this add the water and stir to get everything off the bottom of the pan.
Once the water has cooked away slowly pour in your tomato juice, and then add your tomatoes, 
Let the mixture come to a boil, when your sauce/mixture starts to get thick thats when you will add your chickpeas.  
Stir everything together you want the chickpeas to be nice and covered in the sauce! 
Heat for 5 minutes, add your cilantro and simmer an additional 5 minutes!  And just like that dinner is done!

Here is the recipe for the Cilantro Yogurt Sauce I mentioned above!
For Cilantro Yogurt Sauce:
2 Tablespoons Greek Yogurt (I used Fage, my favorite!)
1 Cilantro Cube
A dash of Cumin

Simply Stir everything together and enjoy!  
I cannot wait to try this Chana Masala tomorrow once all the flavors have had time to combine.  I bet it will be amazing!  See you all tomorrow, and remember to live Happily Ever Healthy!

PS I have a question for you all!  Do you refer spicy food, or do you like your food more on the mild side?  Clearly based on all my recipes you know I like my food spicy!  Night!