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A public display of chickpeas

Under normal circumstances, I try to play it cool. Sure, there’s this guy named Brandon, and I think he’s pretty dreamy and stuff, but most of the time, I try to keep my swooning behind the scenes. Few people look fondly upon public displays of affection—on the Internet or otherwise—and far be it for me, dear reader, to risk spoiling your appetite. But then this guy named Brandon came to town, and one afternoon, he bought me a quarter-pound of culatello.

Nothing makes a girl feel prone to public gloating like a present of cured pork from a very handsome vegetarian. And should he then, over the span of ten short days, churn from her kitchen a batch of whole-wheat pita, a bowl of silky-smooth hummus, a vat of fiery hot sauce, ten crisp and custardy cannelés,¹ two lunches’ worth of green papaya salad, rocky road candy with homemade marshmallows,² a quart of milk chocolate ice cream with cocoa nibs,³ a tart and tangy cilantro chutney, a softly sweet tamarind sauce, and the finest chana masala to ever flirt with her lips, she’s bound to start dishing—about the chickpeas, at least.

Mine is certainly not the first man to make chana masala, nor does he have any sort of pedigree—ethnic or otherwise—to lend him an air of authority in Indian cookery, but he does have a palate, and a very precise one at that. I may be the more orderly of our twosome, but next to his, my palate is a proverbial bull in a china shop, rubbing clumsily against a rabble of spices. I chew and swallow, but he concentrates, teasing apart tightly woven layers of flavor. So when he starts surveying the spice rack, I set the table, sit down, and watch.

All too often, restaurant renditions of chana masala are a show of alchemy gone astray. They pound the tongue with a heavy hand of tomato, smother the taste buds under a slick of oil, or tumble down the throat with a thud, the unfortunate result of unbalanced seasoning. Bold but delicate, Brandon’s version stands as a testament to the fine art of tasting, tweaking, and tasting again. It begins—as many good things do—with a pot of onions on the edge of burnt. Then comes a small but spirited parade of spices, a mess of tomatoes, cilantro, cayenne, and chickpeas, and a few studious spoonfuls for the cook. With a subtle sweetness and a soft rumble of heat, these are chickpeas worthy of a public display of affection—or a post, at least.

¹ Cannelé connoisseurs will note the unconventional shape of these. They were made in a mini Bundt pan and, all tradition aside, turned out pretty cute in this curvier incarnation.
² With, bien sûr, the help of David Lebovitz!
³ Ditto!

Chana Masala

When I’m not hovering next to him with a pen and paper, Brandon makes his chana masala by feel, tasting and tweaking, stirring and sniffing. The recipe that follows is our joint effort to make his rendition reproducible, and to make it user-friendly for those who love a good, prescriptive recipe, myself included. You should feel free, however, to taste and tweak as you see fit. It's the Brandon Way.

This chana masala can be served in two different styles: with a half-cup of whole-milk yogurt to smooth and soften the flavors, or sans yogurt, served with a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of fresh cilantro. I prefer the former, but Brandon leans toward the latter. Either way, this dish is even better the second—or third—day.

Good-quality olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp garam masala
3 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
1 Tbs cilantro leaves, roughly torn, plus more for garnish
A pinch of cayenne, or to taste
2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
6-8 Tbs plain whole-milk yogurt, optional
A few lemon wedges, optional

Film the bottom of a large saucepan or Dutch oven—preferably not nonstick—with olive oil, and place the pan over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until it is deeply caramelized and even charred in some spots. Be patient. The more color, the more full-flavored the final dish will be.

Reduce the heat to low. Add the garlic, stirring, and add a bit more oil if the pan seems dry. Add the cumin seeds, coriander, ginger, garam masala, and cardamom pods, and fry them, stirring constantly, until fragrant and toasty, about 30 seconds. Add ¼ cup water, and stir to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until the water has evaporated away completely. Pour in the juice from can of tomatoes, followed by the tomatoes themselves, using your hands to break them apart as you add them; alternatively, add them whole and crush them in the pot with a potato masher. Add the salt.

Raise the heat to medium, and bring the pot to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, add the cilantro and cayenne, and simmer the sauce gently, stirring occasionally, until it reduces a bit and begins to thicken. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Add the chickpeas, stirring well, and cook over low heat for about five minutes. Add 2 Tbs water, and cook for another five minutes. Add another 2 Tbs water, and cook until the water is absorbed, a few minutes more. This process of adding and cooking off water helps to concentrate the sauce’s flavor and makes the chickpeas more tender and toothsome. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as necessary.

Stir in the yogurt, if you like, or garnish with lemon wedges and cilantro. Serve.

Yield: About four servings


Anonymous bea at La Tartine Gourmande said...

Beautiful Molly! You are the queen of those spices, aren't you?

Eheh, also, I could share a little treasure with you, (Being French helps here, aha! ;-) Check out my canelé recipe here! I am just addicted to them ;-)


5:20 PM, February 28, 2006  
Anonymous bea at La Tartine Gourmande said...

Recipe below:

5:23 PM, February 28, 2006  
Blogger cyn the win said...

I will definitely be trying this recipe. Indian food is die for. It's all in the spices, isn't it? Thanks!

5:45 PM, February 28, 2006  
Blogger Shauna said...

Ooh, not fair! I've met the boy, and I can definitely confirm that he is dreamy. However, the fact that he made all that food for you is just decadence, times two.

Ah, but you deserve it. I can't wait to make this recipe too.

7:05 PM, February 28, 2006  
Anonymous gemma said...

Great post! With your class and wit people are bound to smile when you flirt publicly. Thanks to both of you for posting the recipe.

8:53 PM, February 28, 2006  
Blogger MM said...

Men bearing gifts of food are always welcomed! Dreamy or otherwise! Fab recipe.

8:53 PM, February 28, 2006  
Blogger The Cookie Club said...

oh gosh, delicious. i was wondering if you've ever supped at rialto's near green lake? my boyfriend treated me to a birthday dinner there this past sunday and it was DELICIOUS. we could have lived on the bruschetta alone.

9:07 PM, February 28, 2006  
Blogger Kitchen Queen said...

I've been doing more Indian cooking lately, and will be checking the pantry for ingredients for this one. Thanks for sharing it!

5:30 AM, March 01, 2006  
Blogger Caroline said...

I am definitely trying this recipe--I love spiced chickpeas-- as well as the caneles in mini bundt pan (though I love how French pastries involve so many different molds, I don't have the space or the money for them all).

By the way, I wrote about one of your recipes in my modest little blog-- check it out if you get the chance.

6:25 AM, March 01, 2006  
Blogger foodiechickie said...

Oh gosh another foodie thing in common our love of chickpeas. I love them in Indian as you do with your brilliant recipe, in salads, snacking on dry ones and even out of the can;)

7:27 AM, March 01, 2006  
Anonymous Luisa said...

Could this be the best thing you've ever written? I mean, it's pretty hard to decide because you write beautifully all the time, but something about this post practically made me levitate. And thank you, thank you, for hovering over Brandon with a pen and paper - it is hard work transcribing a gourmet's wanderings in the kitchen. I can't wait to try this!

7:51 AM, March 01, 2006  
Anonymous Samantha said...

That made what's for dinner tonight easy... thanks to you and Brandon for the recipe.

As always, a great piece... who would object to a little swooning once in awhile. :)

By the way, would you happen to have a recipe for the hot sauce?

7:54 AM, March 01, 2006  
Anonymous Tania said...

I could almost smell the spices wafting from my computer monitor as I read your post. Divine!

7:58 AM, March 01, 2006  
Anonymous Brandon said...

Dear Samantha,

Here is the recipe you asked for...its very quick and easy to make.

Hot Chile Pase
adapted from Mangoes and Curry Leaves by
Jeffrey Alford & Naomi Duguid

2TB chopped Ginger
3-4 cloves garlic chopped
1 small onion chopped
(or substitute about 1/3 cup chopped shallots)
1/2tp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil(any mild kind will do)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dried red chilles(stemmed)

-put everything but the oil in a food processor and grind to a loose dry paste.
-heat oil in a large sauce pan until very hot and almost smoking
-scrape the paste from the food processor into the pan stirring the paste into the oil and being carful not to splatter the oil (if you are using a small sauce pan alternatively pour the hot oil over the paste in a heat proof bowl to save your face from the deathly oil splatters)
-reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 seconds to a minute and then turn off heat (if you used a bowl return the oily paste to the saucepan over low heat)
-leave the paste in the hot pan and let it cook as the pan cools down. when room temperature transfer to some sort of container and refridgerate.(i like to use a small ball jar..this recipe fits perfectly)

-if the sauce has any sort of raw flavor or smell and is not wondefully warm and fragrant then return to the sauce pan and cook a little more over low heat
-works great as a condiment but really shines through when added to a stirfry.
-after a few days the flavors realy start to melt together...
hope you enjoy

9:35 AM, March 01, 2006  
Anonymous Brandon said...

sorry...only one 1/2 teaspoon of salt...with out Molly as my editor I'm nothing...

9:37 AM, March 01, 2006  
Blogger Dawna said...

I'm very keen to try this recipe - I've been playing at chana masala for a while, now, and am interested in the thoughts and choices of other cooks. And, then, when I come into the comments section, I find a bonus recipe for the hot sauce! Thank you both, Molly & Brandon!

10:10 AM, March 01, 2006  
Anonymous Samantha said...

Thank you Brandon... fantastic! We only have 'Flatbreads and Flavors' at home, I'm guessing you have that as well.

I'm thinking that recipe could easily morph by using a different pepper - but then I'm moving into Rick Bayless territory (anchos, guajillos and the like).

Are you familiar with Kitchen/Market (Eighth ave and W. 21st)? Good source for bulk dried peppers. They have a display on the right side of the store when you walk in the door, but they're happy to sell you alot more for alot less.

Anyway, thanks Brandon... I'll let you and Molly know how the chile paste turns out.

11:17 AM, March 01, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Molly, I know that love for culatello. They pressed me on the good stuff at our common Salumi Salumeria, and I've never had anything else there since. Who knew meat could be so sweet, and rich and smooth and fatty all at once!

You've got some man on your hands, Molly - if I hadn't seen him with my own eyes, I wouldn't believe it. He cooks! He bakes! And he understands you! Unfair.


2:18 PM, March 01, 2006  
Blogger tejal said...

And I, have the pedigree, but sadly lack the sweet chana masala skills. I'll be trying the recipe though--this post is fantastic!

2:55 PM, March 01, 2006  
Blogger Molly said...

Bea, if you want to crown me "Queen of Spices," I certainly won't protest - although in this case, I think Brandon is actually much more deserving of a royal moniker. And anyway, I once worked a job in which my official title was "Queen of Customer Service" - business cards and all! - and it wouldn't be fair for me to claim too many royal realms. But as for those canelés of yours: beautiful! I read your post and recipe about a month ago, actually, shortly after you posted them, and of course I then forwarded the link to Brandon, my personal cannelé baker. Thank you for posting the link here, though, so that we can all hop over and see those little beauties...

Cyn, yes, amen for Indian food! The secret is indeed in the spices.

Shauna, decadent it was. And dreamy. Next time, I'll make sure that we save some for you!

Gemma, you're welcome! And, my dear, you're too kind.

MM, thank you. And as for men bearing gifts of food, I agree wholeheartedly - and gifts in good taste, of course, make the welcome even warmer!

Cookie Club, I am embarrassed to admit that prior to your comment, I had never even heard of Rialto! Some kind of Seattle foodie I am. Oof. But I have now done my research, and suffice it to say that I could really go for a good plate of homemade spaghetti with slow-cooked red sauce and meatballs right now. And that bruschetta too. Thank you for the tip!

Kitchen Queen, it's my pleasure. I'd love to read about your adventures in Indian cooking...

Caroline, I hope these chickpeas hit the spot as efficiently as the cookies did!

Foodiechickie, yes, yes, and yes! I too have been known to kick back a handful of straight-from-the-can chickpeas - oh, the shame! The delicious shame! They make for a great simple snack, too, with only a drizzle of olive oil and fresh lime juice, some salt, pepper, and maybe a few small chunks of avocado. Mmmm, mmm.

Luisa, ma cherie, now you are too kind. Funny! I hadn't thought much about this post, actually, as a piece of writing. But say no more: I know well enough not to argue with such a lovely woman, and when she is levitating, no less! Thank you.

Samantha, as you can see, all you have to do is ask! Brandon delivers. I see hot sauce in your future...

Thank you, Tania!

Brandon, my dear lovely one, thank you, thank you. xo, The Editor

Dawna, that chicken korma you recently wrote about looks delicious. Might you be talked into sharing your chana masala discoveries anytime soon?

LAA, I should have known that you would be a devotee of culatello, you wise woman, you! Oh, that Salumi! My, my, my. And as for Brandon, I know. But if it's any consolation, we nearly killed each other on the phone this evening - talking about the GRE, of all things. Chana masala: easy. Stupid topic of conversation: hard.

Thank you, tejal. Please do report back from your recipe trials...

9:52 PM, March 01, 2006  
Anonymous lindy said...

I'm going to go make this now. It is exactly my sort of thing, and sounds delicious. Thank you.

6:45 AM, March 02, 2006  
Blogger foodiechickie said...

Oh my lately I am on a avocado kick. I must try the two together. Thanks again!

7:55 AM, March 02, 2006  
Blogger Pille said...

Hi Molly, I totally believe that if someone writes such beautiful, witty and humorous prose, the public display of affection, sorry, chickpeas, is definitely acceptable:)

2:13 PM, March 02, 2006  
Blogger Nic said...

Fantastic, Molly. I'm dying to see the recipe for the canelles, though!

9:40 AM, March 03, 2006  
Blogger AnnieKNodes said...

Can't wait to try this one over the weekend. I'm going to Kalustyan's and stocking up on spices!

But, um...what's a canele, exactly?

12:18 PM, March 03, 2006  
Blogger Tea said...

My goodness, can we clone that man? I loved the list of what he prepared. Couldn't we all use a Brandon, happily cooking away in our kitchens when we came home from work?

Thanks for the recipe and the lovely post--I know what I'm making this weekend!

12:49 PM, March 03, 2006  
Blogger dave said...

Hey Molly,
If you crush the cardomom pods don't you release the little seeds inside? Aren't they tough little nuggets bordering on inedible?

I've made a similar concoction long ago and I think I added a dollop of cream. I think your use of whole fat yogurt is similar and probably better. I just found a market that has labne which I'll probably use (and they have merguez!).

2:01 PM, March 03, 2006  
Blogger bilbo said...

loved ur chickpeas. I have the pedigree in terms of ethnicity and loved brandon's approach to tasting. Every time I taste a new dish, I practically sit there and dissect the flavors. And more often than not, I try and recreate them in my kitchen . Simply love it when I succeed. Chickpeas are my absolute favourites and I make different versions of this simple indian curry depending on the time I have on my hands and how hungry I am feeling.

2:30 PM, March 03, 2006  
Blogger Molly said...

Lindy, you're most welcome!

Foodiechickie, yes, you absolutely must try them together. Eat up, and enjoy...

Aw, Pille, thank you!

Nic, you're a woman after my own heart. Yes, in the end, it is all about the canneles, isn't it? I promise to post a recipe at some point, but I hesitate to do so now, simply because I want to actually be around to watch while Brandon makes them. Or, really, I need to try making them myself, so that I can more confidently describe the process. In the meantime, though, the recipe that Brandon uses is adapted from Paula Wolfert's, which he found online while doing some compulsive cannele research. They're the best I've ever tasted, in France or otherwise, and it isn't only because I love the guy, I swear.

AnnieKNodes, I'm jealous of your proximity to Kalustyan's! Grrrr. And as for canneles, they are small French pastries made from little more than milk, eggs, sugar, and small amounts of butter, flour, and dark rum. They are traditionally baked in fluted, cylindrical molds that have been brushed with beeswax or a mixture of beeswax and butter, so as to aid in releasing the pastries from the mold and also to help them form a properly caramelized, crispy crust. The interior should be somewhere between cake and custard, with a soft, milky sweetness, and the outside can be anywhere from medium brown to very dark, as Brandon's are - the darker, the more pronounced the caramelized flavor.

Tea, yes, Brandons for everyone! Right now, though, I just want my one Brandon back - it's amazing how quickly I got used to having not only a chauffeured ride home from work each day, but dinner ready (or almost) too...

Dave, you know, I'm not sure. We didn't have any problem with that. We only lightly crushed the pods under a chef's knife laid on its side, so that they opened a bit and sort of fanned out to release more flavor without splitting into pieces. You're right, though, that you do want to avoid the pods in the final dish. They can be hard to spot, but unless you like things wildly perfumey and bitter, I wouldn't recommend eating them. When I served the chana masala, I happened to notice two of them immediately and threw them away, and I found the third later, when I was packing up the leftovers. Otherwise, I don't know of a more systematic way to remove them. Ideas welcome! And as for that labne, delicious! And merguez? Oh MY.

And bilbo, you speak Brandon's language! I'll bet that he'd love to hear your take on chana masala...

3:17 PM, March 03, 2006  
Blogger bilbo said...

one way of disposing off ur whole spices is to use them in a tea bag kinda arrangement. You can fashion one out of a couple of layers of cheesecloth or fine muslin, if u have access to it. After ur done cooking , just fish the tea bag out and voila. You get the flavors without the spice :P

10:05 PM, March 03, 2006  
Blogger kickpleat said...

wow, that recipe is total love! looks amazing and it seems like you have the most perfect boy!

12:34 PM, March 05, 2006  
Blogger Emmeya said...

Man alive. I made the chana masala on Saturday night and it was good, but it was better Sunday and even better today. I have hopes for my last little bit of it that I will eat tonight...I had it beside buckwheat groats with asparagus, mushrooms and lots of crushed red peppers - and some indian spice blend that came with something I bought at the Indian grocery a while back...and a ton of homemade raita. I had stopped cooking Indian food all the time, but I think I'm back. Thanks, ya'll!

11:56 AM, March 06, 2006  
Blogger Molly said...

Bilbo, that's a great idea - except that it makes frying and toasting the spices a little awkward. What to do? The quest continues...

Aww, kickpleat! Yes, he's perfect for me. And that's plenty good enough, I think.

Emmeya, you're welcome! I'm so glad to hear the chana masala did not disappoint. And with lots of peppers? You and Brandon must have similar taste! Cheers to you, my dear, and to cooking more Indian food.

10:36 PM, March 06, 2006  
Blogger David said...

Molly: Yum! I wish someone would make me a batch of Rocky Road (or canelé); it's not as much fun making stuff for yourself. Kindly set some aside since I'm on my way to your neck-of-the-woods...

11:22 PM, March 06, 2006  
Blogger Molly said...

David, I hear you. No matter how good the instructions are - and yours were very good, of course! - it's always more fun having someone else cook for you! But as for this batch of rocky road, I'm afraid that it's long gone. So sorry, monsieur.

And I'm also sorry to report that I won't be here to greet you, with rocky road or anything else! A little gluten-free bird warned me that you'd be coming soon, but sadly, I'll be in New York and Toronto when you're in Seattle. Sniffle, sniffle...

4:37 PM, March 08, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this recipe. I really enjoyed making it too! The aroma in the kitchen was heavenly when I added the spices & I couldn't wait to sneak a taste. I couldn't decide whether to serve Basmati rice or Naan....so we had both :) also sliced cucumber with Raita & this supper was perfection!
I am looking forward to leftovers tomorrow night.
Thank you so much for sharing this fabulous Chana Masala recipe.

4:03 PM, January 27, 2007  
Blogger Molly said...

And thank you, Alanna, for writing back to say how much you enjoyed it! I showed your comment to Brandon, and he's beaming.

11:23 AM, January 28, 2007  
Blogger Magpie Ima said...

Wow--you folks are miracle workers! I just made the chana masala for the first time and my notoriously picky children hoovered theirs right down. I absolutely loved it as well, but *my kids ate it*! AMazing!

5:56 PM, March 03, 2007  
Blogger Rogan said...

Got here through random blog-linking, and thought I'd reply, because this sounds quite similar to the way I make channa. I use more garlic/ginger (twice the garlic, at least twice, if not four times the ginger). I also add in some turmeric, to give a slightly bitter taste, and a nice golden color to the sauce. I haven't tried cardemom in it though, which is interesting -- I'll have to try it out soon.

3:22 PM, February 06, 2008  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Brandon and Molly,
I wasn't even sure I liked chickpeas, but the spices sounded faboo. Hot damn. This is my new favorite meal. Loved the aromas while cooking and adored the flavors when eating. Thank you!

10:18 AM, February 11, 2008  
Anonymous Natalie said...

I definitely plan to make this, Indian food and chickpeas being two of my favourite things, but I'd like to know first whether you used green or black cardamom. (I could try making it both ways, but I'm not that patient.) Thanks!

11:59 AM, April 02, 2008  
Blogger Molly said...

Natalie, we use green cardamom. It's easier to find in the stores around here...

11:26 AM, April 03, 2008  
Anonymous Jane said...

Hi Molly,
I've been lurking for a few months. I'm enjoying the blog immensely, and good luck with the book!
I find it ironic that the first recipe I tried wasn't actually yours, but Brandon's ... but THIS DISH IS FANTASTIC!!!
My husband and I loved it so much it will now be a staple in our house! I will be working my way thru your vegan-friendly recipes.
Jane of VeganBits.com

11:45 PM, April 14, 2008  
Anonymous Jasonspsyche said...

Wow. I've been following VeganBits and decided to try this on Jane's recommendation. Thanks so much for your translation of this recipe. I am certainly a touchy-feely cook, and the way you wrote this up allowed me enough of a glimpse into the way Brandon was going about it. I really enjoyed making this dish, and it turned out delicious. Don't worry, I'll be back to try others.

3:09 PM, April 20, 2008  
Blogger Dianne said...

Molly and Brandon,

This recipe is simply. Amazing. I would agree with you that it tastes better the second or third day; however, there was none left after dinner last night, so I will never know for sure.

Thanks for sharing this gem -- I've been looking for a complex (flavor-wise, not preparation-wise) and reliable chana masala for quite some time, and I do believe this is it.

And congratulations on the restaurant!

7:07 AM, January 07, 2009  
Blogger CourtLGreg said...

What brand of garam masala do you use? I have tried the generic brand they carry at Whole Foods, but I'm still not sure about it.

10:12 AM, January 19, 2009  
Blogger Molly said...

Courtney, we buy our garam masala from World Spice, here in Seattle. They blend it themselves. You can order it online, if you're not local: here's the link.

10:44 AM, January 19, 2009  
Anonymous gaile said...

Molly and Brandon, this is fantastic! I've had this bookmarked forever, and just got around to making it tonight. It is sublime, truly! This is going onto our regular rotation. Thanks!!

9:27 PM, January 29, 2009  
Blogger claire said...

i would like to buy you both a drink. x

10:20 AM, April 19, 2009  
Anonymous Irina said...

Made this for dinner last night based on the recipe in your book and it was really, really tasty! For some reason my version ended up having a lot more liquid than yours/Brandon's (judging by your photo), but it was nice to have some extra sauce to pour over the basmati rice, so that's OK with me. My husband and his co-workers are probably eating the leftovers as I type this (he works on Sundays, unfortunately).

1:39 PM, July 19, 2009  
Blogger Daniel said...

I just made this wonderful dish. Superb. Upped the heat a little and fried the onions with some black pepper. Will definitely make again!

7:09 PM, October 04, 2009  
Anonymous Sharmila said...

Love how you guys got to the heart of the dish and used separate spices...not many of us Indians do that these days...I beg my mom for her prepared spices and just bung that at the rest of the ingredients. Or if my stock is low, I happily rely on the pre-prepped store bought mix. :)This is one of my favourite things so we have all kinds of variations on it. It is heaven with a little steamed rice and thin slivers of lemon juice coated raw onion. Or with a giant batura, a lovely fried bread we make..slurrrp.. ok now I gotta go make myself a batch.

5:17 PM, October 17, 2009  
Blogger claire said...

dearest molly, as i take a quick look at this again to refresh my memory so i can pick up the goods on the way home, i realised i must tell you HOW MUCH I LOVE THIS RECIPE! it's easily about the 20th time i've made it.
and thanks to brandon too! x

3:58 PM, December 03, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I'm sure your husband is an amazing cook in general, but this recipe had WAY too much tomato in it!!! It tasted like tomato pasta sauce with just a hint of Indian flavor thrown in. I've loved your other recipes I've tried though.

7:10 PM, December 29, 2009  
Blogger Janine said...

Way late to the posting, but had to comment, this is amazing, just made it for supper, over basmati rice, perfection in a bowl! You are both amazing cooks, you are my favourite food blog, hands down! Oh, and I got your book for christmas, had to stop reading it in bed though, the urge to cook at midnight was getting to strong to resist!!

2:44 PM, January 06, 2010  
Blogger cikadavid said...

Yum! Thanks for sharing. As I am on fish/vegetarian diet at the moment I used soy yogurt instead of milk-based. Turned out fine.

6:39 PM, March 03, 2010  
Anonymous plain jane said...

I just read your book a few weeks ago and loved it! Afterwards, this recipe was at the top of the many that I want to try from it. I made it last night and it was AWESOME! I used ground cardamom, since that's what I had, and a garam masala that I made myself, with I can't remember what, several years ago when I last tried to make Indian food. I forgot the lemon or yogurt at the end...maybe I'll try that with leftovers. Thanks!

6:50 AM, May 01, 2010  
Blogger Sasha said...

I loved everything about this recipe but the canned chickpeas, their briny taste just do not appeal, so I used dried chickpeas instead and it turned out fine - except for the tiny difference of taking 4 times as long to cook!

the end justifies the means however and I want to say thanks for a wonderfully simple recipe!

12:10 AM, May 21, 2010  
Blogger Josh said...

Made this for dinner last night. My wife enjoyed it so much she had 3.5 servings. Served over basmati rice - perfect touch. Thanks!

10:48 AM, June 03, 2010  
Blogger Drew said...

tried this tonight, and it's likely my favorite channa masala i've ever made. added some extra cayenne and sriracha for more of a kick, though. :)

5:48 PM, July 12, 2010  
Blogger Krithika said...

Lovely recipe. Just a quick tip, cumin seeds are normally the first ones to go into the pan...pretty standard in Indian cooking. From my understanding, this is because of the fragrance that emanates when you let the seeds pop in the oil.

3:26 PM, December 30, 2010  
Blogger Ella said...

I read this post recently and decided to try it out.

We liked it so much that I made it again the same week, but quadrupled the quantities. Yum. :)

1:54 PM, March 31, 2011  
Anonymous Ashley said...

Molly and Brandon I can't thank you enough for this recipe. It is so perfect for bringing meals to families will new little bundles or if they've caught a bit of a cold or some other ailment. It freezes beautifully and gets better with each day.
Making a large batch today in fact.

12:21 PM, April 10, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fresh mango and grated baby carrots along with a good tomato paste give the necessary sweetness to off-set the spice and tart tastes of lemon juice, garam masala, cumin, coriander, curry, anaheim chiles and red chili flakes that I use in my chana. The grated ginger, chopped onions and garlic and ribbons of Thai basil along with cilantro add the final touches to the chickpeas, vegetable broth and coconut milk. Just make sure to heat the spices and herbs with a good quality olive oil to begin.

7:34 PM, June 26, 2011  
Anonymous Kendra said...

I've made this three times in the last two weeks!! Delicious!! A couple friends of mine (one from India and one from Pakistan) both loved it! Thank you so much for the recipe!

3:42 AM, July 18, 2011  
Anonymous Loren said...

making this with my boyfriend tonight, we are so excited! :)

11:50 PM, February 07, 2012  
Blogger Rachel said...

Made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious. This is my favorite dish at a local Nepali restaurant (which I now live close to an hour away from). So I'm SO excited to be able to make it myself (in pretty close approximation to how they do it!)

7:27 PM, March 10, 2012  
Anonymous Carissa said...

This sounded really good to me, and I've had some brilliant chana masala before but never succeeded in making a truly tasty version myself.... My attempt has been deemed a smashing success!! I added a splash of balsamic vinagrette to wake the tastebuds as well. Can't wait to taste the leftovers tomorrow! Thanks so much for sharing :)

1:14 AM, February 20, 2013  
Anonymous Marilyn said...

I'm new to your blog. This sounds delicious. I've had the pleasure of a mentor for Indian cuisine. She is a young 93 and from Goa. From her I've learned the secret of carmalezing onions for numerous recipes in the way you described. Making the Indian dishes at her side, and then on my own, inspired a later in life enjoyment of cooking through a growing sense of the alchemy underlying the dishes. I look forward to reading more of your blog.

8:23 AM, November 03, 2013  
Anonymous Todd @ HonestlyYUM said...

Just made this tonight, and it was amazing! Definitely a weekly staple for the rest of the year. Thanks!!

8:27 PM, November 06, 2013  
Blogger Eliana said...

This was so delicious! Thank you.

11:45 AM, January 19, 2014  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have made this over and over, it's a definite favourite...thank you

12:55 AM, June 22, 2014  
Anonymous Astha said...

This is one of my favorite recipes to make chole masala. Since I don't know how to make it my mom's way, it is nice to have an alternative when I can't eat her food. Thanks!!

8:06 AM, September 10, 2014  
Anonymous stephen ottridge said...

Made it today for dinner tonight. Used hot curry paste rather than Garam Masala, ground cardomon, started soaking chick peas yesterday. It is delicious and will be a regular at our house. It leaves a great smell in the house. My wife went out as I was cooking it and she said the aroma was magnificent when she returned home.

4:48 PM, November 24, 2014  

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