Mamma Spice's Chana Masala
Spice Kitchen - Indian

Mamma Spice's Chana Masala

This popular North Indian dish works well as a side or as the main act. A wholesome, soulful bowl that is big on flavour and satisfaction.

Serves 2-4 depending on sides 


150g dried chickpeas

3 bags of black (builders’!) tea

2 medium onions thinly sliced

1 inch ginger

1 green chilli

3 medium tomatoes

3 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp red chilli powder

3 tsp ground coriander

Salt to taste

1⁄2 tsp garam masala

1 tbsp lemon juice

Fresh coriander, roughly chopped


    Soak the dried chickpeas in plenty of water overnight.

    Place the teabags into a large jug or bowl and add 1 litre boiling water. Steep for 15 minutes, then discard the tea bags.

    Drain the chickpeas and add to a cooking pot. Pour over the strong black tea, then add enough water so that the liquid is approximately 3x the volume of chickpeas. Bring to the boil, and simmer for around an hour, until the chickpeas are tender. Once cooked, set the chickpeas aside, still in their cooking water.

    Meanwhile, blend the ginger, chillies and tomatoes to a fine puree and set aside.

    In a heavy bottom saucepan, heat the oil. Add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle before adding the sliced onions and cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes.

    Once caramelised, add the tomato puree and cook for further 10 minutes before adding the red chilli and coriander.

    Next, drain the chickpeas and reserve a cup of the liquid. Add the chickpeas and the reserved liquid to the pot and simmer for 30 minutes on medium heat, stirring regularly, adding a little more water if the curry has thickened too much.

    Finish with a squeeze of lemon and chopped coriander.


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