15 September 2009

Channa Masala with Curried Potatoes and Peas

So it's been a while. I don't know. You know, I cooked and took pictures and blah blah blah but I guess I needed a break. Maybe I still do. We'll see what happens, I suppose.

I've had a craving for Indian food for a while and the last time I tried to make it - Butter Chicken from scratch - it really didn't work out. I mean, it was okay, but I do think my garam masala is dead (I don't make my own) because it just didn't taste right. And neither has any other Indian food I've tried to make in a while. I mean, it makes sense, I suppose, because I probably bought that jar of garam masala two years ago. Definitely time to be picking up fresh. Though I don't know from where, since at least the last time around I was able to buy it made fresh, not made by... McCormicks or whoever and sitting around a warehouse for an age before getting to a store and sitting there for an age.

In any case, chana masala is one of my favourite things that I never order and rarely make but it's absolutely delicious. Onion and garlic and ginger and spices and tomatoes and chickpeas and it all adds up to perfect. I didn't use a recipe this time but a packet mix, but I was kind of confused by it and I ended up putting in too little of the spice mix, I think. But still, delicious in every way. See, what was so confusing about the mix is that it said to use 750g dried chickpeas or else 3 cans of chickpeas, 60oz, but the way it was worded didn't make it clear if it should be 60oz total or... 60oz per can. But I don't know. Do they even make cans that big? It doesn't seem right, but 750g dried chickpeas adds up to A LOT of beans once they're cooked. Anyway, I still have most of that spice packet left, so I'll try it again some day with another can of beans and will just put in more of the spice than I did this time.

The potato and pea curry was quite different from anything I've made before. I found the recipe in a magazine at my mom's house. I'm not sure what I did with it, but the basic recipe was this:

Puree in a blender 2 tbsp garlic, 2 tbsp sliced ginger, and 1 small onion with about 3 tbsp water. Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet. Pour the onion puree into the skillet and cook until the water evaporates, about 5 minutes. Add 4 or 5 large button mushrooms, quartered, and cook about 3 minutes or until they've softened up. Next, add a couple teaspoons garam masala, or to taste. Let cook for a half minute or so, then add in 3-4 medium red potatoes, cut in chunks. Add 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer, cover and let cook about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Add 1/2 cup or so frozen green peas. Heat through. Remove from heat and stir in about 1/4 cup yogurt. Eat and enjoy.

I really liked this quite a bit, though I think I liked it even better on the second day. After sitting, the spices overpowered the acidity of the yogurt and it just seemed more balanced. I think I'll definitely make this one again. Yum.


  1. Looks lovely - just my kind of food.

  2. @mangocheeks: It was really tasty!

    I'm so jealous of your garden - I've been looking at your blog - we do have a back yard, but the weather here makes growing food quite difficult. This year, it wasn't warm enough for planting until late in May, and then it snowed once in June. That killed most of the flowers we'd planted, though our tomatoes survived by virtue of being so close to the house and a bit protected from the wind and snow. Nearly every plant on our property (except our trees) was destroyed by a wicked hail storm and then we had an early frost, followed by too much heat. We always have a short and sort of confused growing season, but this year was particularly bad.