Plans & Chana Masala

Its interesting that you plan your life.

You put in rules and guidelines, you say I'm going to go left today; then tomorrow I might go right instead, you watch the seasons shift and change.

Its New years eve, and I thought I would begin by cooking something I would never have cooked before, not because I didn't want to; just because I lacked the.... motivation and energy to do anything interesting. 

So on a whim I was looking through another food blog, them-apples; Rich runs and writes a really eclectic site. That's what mainly keeps me looking over it, his writing is informative, somewhat humourous and always on a different subject.

So I was both pleasantly surprised / but not surprised to see this recipe for Chana-Masala, as wrote by the esteemed Maddhur Jaffrey (aka curry goddess).

Got all the ingredients together, was really worried that I couldn't find any fresh coriander on new years eve -not because I expected there to be a massive sale on coriander - but because shelves might not have been stocked.

And now, I don't know how many other people who do this kind of "blogging" shtick do it; but yeah first time out the gate - cooking chana masala - I nearly screwed it up - twice...

Question now should be:
are you sure you've been a chef for FOUR+ years

I don't really know how to respond to that, but any-ways; I finally got there after a bit of effort and slowing it right down. 

End result - Chana Masala (chickpea curry)

2 Tsp - Vegetable oil (or other neutral oil such as groundnut)
1 Tsp - Cumin
1/4 Tsp - Turmeric
1/2 Tsp - Coriander seeds
1/2 Tsp - Mild chilli powder 
1 - red onion
4 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
 2 1/2 cm piece of ginger (finely chopped)
Bunch of coriander
400g chopped tomatoes
400g chickpeas

In a saute pan add the vegetable oil and heat gently, add the spices (coriander seeds last) and warm through until the seeds pop; immediately add the red onion and ginger.
Saute until caramelised, then add the garlic, you'll want a big bunch of coriander, finely slice the stalks as they have the most flavour.

Sweat down for twenty minutes with a bit of salt (make sure it doesn't catch - learnt that one the hard way).

Next the sauce part, drain a tin of chopped tomatoes if its very wet - I added the juice back a little bit at a time to thicken and give it a thick consistency - cook them down until a rich sauce forms.

Drain the tin of chickpeas and add to the sauce, fold through gently and simmer for twenty minutes to soften the chickpeas a little bit and warm through.

Chop the rest of the coriander and sprinkle over; serve with rice or chapati's.



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Well I'm Stuart - the would be author of this attic space in the fens of the internet. When not trying to get this going I work as an office monkey in Nottinghamshire

However I am a trained chef - woe betide my silly decision there eh?

I would like to introduce the other part of this equation which is my daughter Esme! 3 and a half and already behaves like the boss