Chana masala with homemade Chana masala powder, Yogurt-Semolina Batura, Aloo-Matar Chana Masala Bhaji
Hey, hope you are all doing well. Nothing much to write this week except that it's raining Cats and Dogs here for the past 2 days which we needed desperately after months of relentless heat. Lawn is green and temperature has gone down too, it's all good here. Finally enjoying Spring as it should be with relatively less Pollen in the air!
I even deep fried for the first time in almost 6 months! I successfully avoided deep frying the whole Winter, most part of Spring and decided it's about time I deep fried something. Usually I tend to deep fry more in Winter than any other season, specially Vadas and Pakodas, didn't do it last Winter! :D
Well..here is another round of Chana masala and Butura at my kitchen again! Probably blogging this combo for the 5th time in my blog with some variations every time! This time I adapted the Chana masala recipe with homemade Chana masala powder with some changes of my own to suit our taste from a book called "Vegetarian Nirvana" by Santosh Jain. It's a great book with very simple traditional recipes. I enjoyed the taste of this Chana masala with freshly ground masala which makes it really delicious. Also making the Batura dough from this book is little different from what I usually do, comes out very well, give it a try. We loved the combo. Since my kids like Potato dishes, I added the same Chana masala powder to make Aloo-Matar Bhaji as well.
Chana masala with homemade Chana masala powder:
I used canned Organic Chickpeas but you can soak and cook the dry Chickpeas in a pressure cooker. Gravy for this Chana masala is little thinner than the usual Chana masala I make but you can add 1 tsp Cornstarch to make it thicker or you can mash some of the chickpeas to give a thicker texture. Another thing I do when gravy is thinner is to add 1 tbsp of unflavored dry Potato flakes from the box we get to make mashed Potatoes, as it cooks gravy gets thicker. Another tip is once you make the dish on the stove top, transfer it to the Microwavable dish, heat it at 100% for 5-6mins until the the gravy is thicker.
2 Cans of (8oz each) Organic Chickpeas/Garbanzo/White Chana, drained and rinsed. If you use dry Chickpeas, soak overnight, drain the water and cook with enough fresh water until soft. Set aside.
2 Bay leaves.
1 onion, grated or ground,
Grate or grind 2" fresh ginger to paste.
2 Green Chilles, slit into two.
1 tsp sweet Paprika for color.
1/2 cup Tomato sauce.(My addition for the reddish color, book says to use Tamarind paste)
1-2 tbsp homemade Chana masala powder.
Chopped Cilantro for garnish.
To make Chana Masala:
1. Heat 1tbsp butter and 2 tsp oil. Add Bay leaves, green chillies, saute. Add in grated or ground onion, stir fry for 2-3 mins until soft but not brown.
2. Then add ground Ginger, stir for 2 minutes, add tomato sauce and Paprika. Cook until raw smell of Tomato goes away and thickens to leave the sides of the pan.
3. Add cooked Chana with 1 cup of water, 1 tbsp or more homemade Chana masala powder, salt, simmer until oil shows up on top or you can do this faster in the Microwave.
4. When sauce thickens fairly, garnish with Cilantro. Tastes better if you keep this for a day or so in the fridge.
Homemade Chana Masala Powder:
I made freshly ground Chana masala for the first time to make Chana masala, usually I use MDH Chana Masala which is not bad at all but nothing beats the aroma and fresh flavor of homemade spices. I loved it, made double the amount and stored in a jar in the fridge for next time. I add Paprika for bright red color.
Chana Masala Powder:
Roast all these well without oil, cool, add Paprika, Ginger powder and then powder everything in a coffee grinder.
(Use only as much as powder you need, store the rest in airtight glass jar in the fridge. Double or triple the amount if you want)
3 tbsp Coriander seeds,
1 tbsp + 1 tsp Cumin seeds,
1 tsp Peppercorns,
2-3 dry Red chillies,
2" Cinnamon stick,(Dalchini)
1/2 tsp Cardamom seeds,
a small piece of Mace.
Mix the above powder with 2 tsp store bought dry Ginger powder and store in a airtight jar.
Chana masala with spicy gravy:
Another look. Most Indian side dishes with gravy always taste better the next day. I make the side dishes with gravy day before and keep it in the fridge. Beans get a chance to soak in spicy gravy and helps it to get really tasty the next day.
This is a slightly different recipe than the usual Batura I have made before. You add fine Semolina to hot water and soak it for an hour and then add to plain flour and Yeast mixture to knead. If you don't like Yeast, just skip it, but texture is better with Yeast. This is the first time I added Yeast to Batura dough, liked it. Yeast gives it nice texture when fried but can skip it I guess. Don't fry the Baturas until it's reddish, keep the whitish color, take them out before they start to brown.
1/2 cup fine Semolina+1/4 cup water+1/4 tsp salt.
1 tsp Yeast+1/4 tsp sugar+ 2 tbsp warm water.
1 1/2 cup Plain flour,
1/4 cup Yogurt,
1 tsp salt.
Water as needed to make the dough.
To make Baturas:
(make the batura dough not more than 3 hrs before you need to make Baturas)
1. Mix fine Semolina, warm water and salt, keep aside for 1 hour. After an hour, soak Yeast in warm water and sugar, let it froth.
2. Mix Plain flour, salt, then add in Yogurt and add Semolina mixture, mix well. Add Yeast mixture, mix and knead everything very well adding extra water only if necessary to make a semi-soft but not sticky dough or very firm dough.
3. Divide into slightly bigger than a golf ball size portions, brush some oil on them, cover and set aside for 2 hours.
4. Heat oil to 380F. Roll out the Batura bit thicker than Pooris about 1/8" thickness and deep fry until cooked. Don't let it brown on top, keep the Baturas light colored. Drain on a paper towel and serve hot with Chana masala or Aloo-Matar Bhaji and onion relish.
Slice 1-2 onion thinly, soak them in icy water for 1/2 an hour. Drain and squeeze the water out. Add 1/8 tsp of salt, Juice of Lemon juice, paprika for color, mix well and serve on the side with Chana and Batura.
Spicy Potato-Greenpeas Bhaji:
As I said earlier my kids love Potatoes, so I experimented with freshly made Chana masala powder in Potatoes and frozen Greenpeas. Frozen Peas tends to get mashed up when cooked. I think I will use dry, soaked and cooked Peas next time. Tasted great with Baturas, hope you try.
To make Aloo-Matar Bhaji:
Microwave or cook 3-4 medium sized Red Potatoes until almost cooked, peel and cube. Set Aside. Take 1 cup of frozen Greenpeas, keep it ready.
1. Heat 2 tsp Butter/ghee and 2 tsp Oil in a pan. Add 1 tsp Mustard seeds, 1 tsp Cumin seeds.
2. When they splutter, add 1/2 cup cubed onion, saute until soft. Then add 1 tbsp grated or ground Ginger, saute for a minute. Turn down the heat. Add 1 tbsp water, 1/4tsp Turmeric, 1/4 tsp Cayenne powder. Stir.
3. Add 1 tsp Cumin seeds powder, 2 tsp Coriander seeds powder, 2 tsp or more Chana masala powder to taste, 1/2 tsp salt and 1 cup of water.
4. Add Potato cubes, Greenpeas, 1 tbsp Sour Cream or 1/4 tsp Tamarind paste, mix well and simmer.
5. Adjust the salt, masala powder etc and add 3 tbsp finely chopped Cilantro. Serve.
I didn't watch any new movies. Since daughter is home, she has been borrowing lot of old Western Gun slinging movies from the library. We watched "3:10 to Yuma"(good one to watch once, Russel Crowe is great in this movie), "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly", "for a few Dollars more" and "Blazing Saddles" and few more movies of John Wayne and Van Cleef. Daughter has gone crazy over Spaghetti Western movies this Summer holidays! :D
I love "Blazing saddles" , a classic movie (1974) by Mel Brooks, it's so hilarious! It never gets too old to watch it again and again. The main character and the situation there reminds me of President Obama!! A new African American Sheriff arrives in a small western town which shocks the heck out of white population who were expecting a White Sheriff as usual! Can you even imagine the chaos? Watch how the new sheriff handles it all efficiently with humor to endear himself to the town people and I promise, you will die laughing!!
Of course, Clint Eastwood is as handsome as ever in all his old movies and new, loved his "Gran Torino" too. He reminds me of our own Dev Anand of Bollywood, young forever! :)
"Hallelujah! The Welcome Table: A Lifetime of Memories with Recipes" by Maya Angelou. Interesting book to read with heart warming stories with great southern recipes. I haven't tried the recipes yet but I am familiar with very southern dishes like "Smothered Chicken", "Chicken and dumplings" etc.
I specially LOVE her angelic voice reading her own books on CD books and her books like "The complete collection of Poems", "I know why the caged bird sings".
That's about it for this week, enjoy! :)