Thursday, September 17, 2015

A Homemade Life: Channa Masala

The last time we went to the Museum of Making Music, Thatkid had just turned one.  So to say it's been a while would be an understatement.  When I saw a Groupon for the museum I decided it was time for us to visit again.

I have to say, there are various pros and cons to visiting the museum at both ages.  At one, we were able to get more out of the museum, reading the informational placards, listening to the music, and enjoying playing with the instruments ourselves. 

At 3, we raced through the museum as he declared "I'm done with this" 2.5 seconds after looking at each exhibit/instrument.

But at 1, Thatkid didn't get as much out fo the museum since he couldn't reach pedals and didn't really know what he was doing.  There was a lot of lap sitting, and even napping.

At 3, he was able to really play the instruments.  Although he still can't reach the pedals, he knows how to strum a guitar, and the earphones fit on his head.

Even Thatbaby got into his first visit to a museum.

It's fascinating that you can have different experiences with the same thing as you get older.  Like me and chickpeas.  I've always been a fan of chickpeas.  I could eat them by the handful when I was a kid.  But as I've gotten older, I like my chickpeas a little more complex. 

Channa Masala is an ideal way to eat chickpeas.  I love masala, which is really like Indian tomato sauce.  And while chicken tikka will always hold my heart, you can't deny that sometimes vegetarian is the way to go.  And when you seek vegetarian, then we're right back at chickpeas! 

This recipe can't be easier.  I've made masala before, and this is by far the most accessible recipe.  It also is nice and mild, which is good when you're feeding both adults and children.

Channa Masala (From A Homemade Life)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp garam masala
3 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed under the side of a knife
1 tsp salt
28 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes
1 Tbsp coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
pinch of cayenne or red pepper
2 15-oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup plain yogurt
few lemon wedges
  1. Pour the olive oil in a Dutch oven and warm it over medium heat.  Add the onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, ujntil it is deeply caramelized.
  2. Reduce heat to low.  Add the garlic, cumin seeds, coriander, ginger, garam masala, caradmom pods, and salt and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and toasty, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add 1/4 cup water and stir to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  Cook until the water has evaporated completely.
  4. Pour in the juice from the tomatoes, followed by the tomatoes themselves, using your hands to break them apart as you add them.
  5. Raise the heat to medium, and bring the pot to a gentle boil.  Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer, add the cilantro and cayenne, and continue to cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reduces a bit and begins to thicken, abotu 5 minutes.
  6. Add chickpeas, stirring well , and cook over low heat for 5 minutes.
  7. Add 2 Tbsp water and cook for another 5 minutes.
  8. Add another 2 tbsp water and cook until it is absorbed, a few minutes more. Taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary.
  9. Stir in the yogurt, if you like or serve with a lemon wedge on the side.  Either way, sprinkle it with a pinch or two of garam masala and some chipped cilantro.


  1. Channa masala is one of my all time favorite Indian dishes -- and one of the first ones I tried when I first had Indian food as a kid. So, it holds a very special place in my heart.

  2. This is one of my favorite Indian food dishes! Love that it's simple and so good for you,