This traditional Indian vegetarian & vegan chickpea stew, called channa masala or chole, comes together faster than you would believe… but still tastes like it cooked for a whole day!
So there’s a funny story behind this one.
Each Spring, the Indian Student group I am in has a fundraiser dinner, with all of the members bringing home cooked food for students to eat. Its strategically planned for the Monday after spring break, so we can go home and have our parents cook delicious food for us to bring back! Well, this year I forgot. Oops. I mean, I remembered about the dinner, but I forgot that I actually had to cook to bring food! Oops!
So when my dad dropped me off Sunday night, I had him run to the store and get some ingredients for me to cook. I came back from class at 6:30 on Monday… the dinner was at 7:00. Well, good luck to me! I started by 6:35 and was ready to leave at 7:10 ! And this year it was a combined dinner with the Asian student association, so I made two dishes, here’s how it broke down:
– preheat oven
– drain and press tofu
– put pot on to heat
– sauté onions. get out rest of ingredients. (WHERE’S THE GARLIC. WHERE’S THE TOMATOES! AGHH)
– marinate tofu (soy sauce rice vinegar, ginger, chili powder)
– add tomatoes to cook
– put tofu in oven
– add chickpeas, seasonings
– clean up
– check tofu, ugh it is going to take a while
– taste CHOLE AND HOLY CRAP IT WAS GOOD. like, who would’ve expected after 25 minutes of stewing, it tasted that good!
Of course, I’m not doubting my abilities, but I did not expect for it to taste like it had cooked for a whole day. Traditionally, you soak the dry chickpeas overnight, and cook them (I pressure cook them), so they get soft and the flavors meld. So basically, 20 minutes of cooking, and 15 minutes of stewing, and you’re good to go!
- 1 - 28oz can of chickpeas, or 2 - 15 oz cans, or 3.5 cups ( + cooking liquid)
- 1-2 cloves garlic, diced
- 1/4 cup diced red onions
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth
- 1.25 cups tomato puree, or tomato sauce, or crushed tomatoes
- 1.5 tsp ground toasted cumin
- 1.5 tsp garam masala
- 1/2" fresh grated ginger
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/16 tsp cinnamon, or 2 pinches*
- heat a large pot over medium-high heat
- once warm, add a layer of vegetable broth to heat (could also use a bit of good cooking oil, I like grapeseed oil)
- add the diced onions and minced garlic, cook stirring for 5-7 minutes, adding broth as needed so it doesn't burn.
- add tomatoes and the spices, and led it stew and meld for about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally
- add in the beans and the bean cooking liquid, bring to a simmer, and let it stew for about 20 more miutes. season with salt and more spices to taste.
- serve with a salad, subzi, rice, and/or roti!
- I added cinnamon because didn't use channa masala to season it this time, as I didn't have it, and it has tamarind paste in it. it adds a bit of sweetness, but it doesn't add cinnamon taste
- if using canned products, i buy low sodium, organic, and BPA free. a lot of companies are coming out with tetra packs now, which are awesome!
#Yum! Of course, all the food was great there! But I was just 15 minutes late, and most of it was already gone [ :( ]
my “bowl”, I dropped off most of the channa, then piled some more food into my bowl: tofu, rajma, and some kimchee soup. along with a red bean paste bun(!!) (like my favorite thing ever!), & a 1/2 roti
I’m so making this again!
what do you deem worthy of a few days of cooking? or do you take a shortcut? I love that I know I can make it quickly, but I love taking the time to make it the traditional way!
some good reads:
- speaking of quick cooking, did ya read about how i spent a week “cooking”, only using a microwav?!
- still working on ALL OF THESE. little changes make BIG differences, and i’ve definitely slacked (but all the while knowing it! over the years.
- everyone and their mother (literally) need to read this. are you a super-feeler?
- 9 easy actions towards sustainable living
- all messy eaters say “I”. (…I..!)
- the life of a Food Blogger!
- baked plantains