Channa Masala

The one ingredient here that is not usually available in supermarkets is the garam masala, which is a mixture of ground spices that warms the one who eats it, and means literally “warming mixture”. I bought my most recent bottle of garam masala at a inconveniently-located health-food store; when I ran out, I mixed my own from my conveniently-located spice cabinet.  For my next bottle I will only need to travel as far as the new Indian grocery in my town (or just to the supermarket.. Garam masala has gone mainstream!)

3 tablespoons minced ginger
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/3 cup canola oil
2 cups finely-chopped onions
2 cinnamon sticks
4 tablespoons minced garlic
1 can (15 ounce) diced tomatoes, drained
3 ¾ cups cooked chickpeas, drained
3 cans (15 ounces each) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½ cup chopped cilantro (including stems)

  1. In a small bowl, mix tomatoes, ginger, cumin, coriander, garam masala, salt, turmeric, black pepper, and cayenne pepper; set aside.
  2. In large pan, heat oil on medium heat for 1 minute. Add onions and cinnamon, and sauté for 5 to 8 minutes, until onions are golden.
  3. Add garlic and sauté for four more minutes.
  4. Add spice mixture and tomatoes. Cook the masala for five minutes, until the oil separates.
  5. Place chickpeas in slow-cooker; add masala mixture and ½ cup water, and stir well; cook on Low, 4 – 6 hours
    Add chickpeas to sauté pan and cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in cilantro and serve. Or top individual bowls with cilantro to taste. (The sad truth is that not everybody likes cilantro!)

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