Chana Masala (Spicy Indian Chickpea Stew)

July 15, 2011 at 3:06 pm Leave a comment

I realized a few things today.

1)  I don’t like summer afternoons.

Every summer I forget this, and it takes until it gets really hot for me to remember. Summer afternoons are just not fun. It’s too hot to do anything. The heat gives me headaches, and all I want to do is lie down in a dark air-conditioned room and take a nap until the sun sets. On that note, I do love summer evenings and nights. It’s usually cooled off enough to play around outside, but still pleasantly warm. Also you can hear the crickets and frogs, which I think are pleasant to hear in the summer, and the cicadas (which I am not a fan of) have finally quieted down for the night.

2) I haven’t cut my hair in almost a year.

Last time I cut my hair was the end of July last year. I’m growing it out. I used to have a pixie cut, and now I have a pony tail. Wheee! My hair is naturally super curly though (which you couldn’t tell when it was short), so when it’s down, it barely touches my shoulders. It’s actually it’s quite a bit longer though. Especially now that it’s so humid (around 80% every day), my hair gets so curly after I shower! It’s hilarious! This is another reason why I shower at night. Shower, let the hair naturally dry, then sleep on it. It kills some of the crazy humidity frizz. Of course these days I put my hair up in a pony tail as soon as I get up because it’s hot, so I guess it doesn’t really matter, hehe.

3) July is half over!

Oh my gosh! When did this happen?! It was just the 4th of July!! I think I entered a time warp when I got sick…

4) OMG, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part II starts today! I’m both super excited and kind of sad about this. Super excited because obviously I can’t wait to see the movie! Kind of sad, because, well, the story is over. There will be no more books and no more movies. I am, however, excited to see what J.K. Rowling will publish next. She said in an interview at the movie premiere in London, that she’s been writing non-Harry Potter stuff since she finished the last book. She said she wanted to wait until the last movie was over though, before she decided to publish anything new. Whatever she publishes next, I think she has a lot of pressure on her for it to live up to Harry Potter. We’ll see what happens.

5) I want an ice cream bar… or an ice cream sandwich. Mmmm… ice cream.


Have you ever had (or heard of) Chana Masala? It’s a great Indian vegetarian dish made with chickpeas and Indian spices.

I had never even heard of it until a couple years ago, but I had a dish I made that was sort of similar at the time. Then one evening a few years ago, I had chana masala at an Indian restaurant, and I thought, “Oh! This is even better than that dish I make with chickpeas!” So after that I began looking online for a recipe. Since then I’ve developed my own recipe for the dish, and although I don’t know if it would impress any Indian people, I sure like it!

Although traditionally, this dish doesn’t have a whole lot of vegetables in it, I always like adding a few vegetables in it. I usually throw in some diced carrot, fresh spinach or zucchini. Whatever I have on hand really. This is a really versatile dish, and although it’s very healthy and vegetarian, it’s still quite hardy and filling.

I had some fresh zucchini on hand, so I added that this time around. Feel free to add whatever veggies you want to this. If you add a bunch of different veggies, however, you’ll probably need to up the spice amounts so you don’t lose any flavor.

I usually serve this with steamed rice, but it would also go great with naan or chapati. I also always serve this with plain yogurt as a topping. The cool creaminess of the yogurt goes great with the hot spiciness of the chickpeas.

Chana Masala (serves 2 – 3)

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 3 – 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger powder
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • Additional vegetables (ex. spinach, zucchini, etc.) (optional)
  • Plain yogurt (optional)
  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and carrot, and cook for 3 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, any additional vegetables (optional), and all spices, and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes and chickpeas. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Season with salt to taste. Serve with plain yogurt as a topping (optional).




Entry filed under: Indian Food, Recipes, Soups/Stews, Vegetarian. Tags: , , , , , .

Sloppy Joes & Mustard Potato Salad: old school comfort food Menu Plan for July 18 – 22 (and My Trip to Kamakura)

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About Me

My name is Rachel. I'm a small-town girl born and raised in Oklahoma, currently living in Japan, who likes cooking, baking, reading, working out, and traveling. Join me in my culinary adventures, my domestic doings, and the story of my life, one day at a time.

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