Green mango powder, tamarind, and fresh lemon juice brighten the sauce for this soothing Indian chickpea stew.
1 hour 15 minutes
This version of chana masala, chickpeas simmered in spiced tomato masala, comes from author Suketu Mehta. The stew originates from the Punjab region, but its many variations are eaten across India.
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped ginger
- 1 Tbsp. garam masala, divided
- 2 tsp. ground turmeric
- 8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 2 tsp. coriander seeds
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- 3 green cardamom pods
- 2 dried, small Indian chiles, or substitute chiles de árbol, stemmed
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 large yellow onions, coarsely chopped
- One 15-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed
- 2 Tbsp. tamarind concentrate
- Three 15-oz. cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- ¼ tsp. amchoor (green mango powder), optional
- Kosher salt
- Cilantro sprigs and hot sauce
- Steamed basmati rice, for serving
In a small food processor, purée the ginger, 1 teaspoon garam masala, turmeric, garlic, and 3 tablespoons water until smooth; set the paste aside.
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the coriander, cumin, cardamom, chiles, and cinnamon; cook, stirring continuously, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in the reserved ginger-garlic-spice paste and continue cooking until very fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently, until the juices are slightly concentrated, about 4 minutes. Stir in the tamarind and chickpeas, bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down the heat to medium-low. Cook until the liquid is reduced slightly, about 45 minutes. Add the remaining garam masala, lemon juice, and amchoor (if using), then season to taste with salt. Ladle into bowls and garnish each serving with cilantro sprigs and hot sauce. Serve with rice on the side.