15 September 2009
Channa Masala with Curried Potatoes and Peas
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.