E7: Chana Masala with Margot

“Sour Power”

January 7 | Wappingers Falls, New York

Margot is tired of predictable flavor of the Indian food she makes at home, and wants to learn how to make a curry that will really knock her socks off. Her husband Josh is a newfound vegetarian, so we decided to cook up a batch of chana masala, a richly-spiced chickpea and tomato curry that has a secret, sour ingredient that will help Margot brighten up all of her future Indian dishes.


Chana Masala
Serves 6

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or ghee
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 medium onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
Juice of ½ lemon or 2 teaspoons amchur powder (tangy dried mango powder)
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 (14-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained
1 cup cilantro leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped, plus more for serving
Kosher salt

  1. Heat oil or ghee in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add mustard and cumin seeds and cook until aromatic and begin to pop, about 30 seconds. Add onion, garlic, and ginger and cook until they start to leave a brown coating on the bottom of the pan, about 5 minutes. Add a bit of water and continue cooking, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom, until the onions are soft and deeply browned.
  2. Add the dry spices all at once (coriander, turmeric, and garam masala). Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, chickpeas, and cilantro, and ¾ cup water. Bring to a simmer, cover with lid slightly cracked, and reduce heat to maintain a gentle bubbling. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has reduced into a thick stew, about 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in the lemon juice or amchur powder. Season to taste with salt. Serve with steamed basmati rice and extra fresh cilantro sprinkled on top.