Slow Cooked Oil Free Chana Masala
About This Recipe:
Chana Masala is a hot favorite in our home and the dish has to be served atleast once a fortnight at our dinner table. I have to confess that sometimes if i’m lazy i do reach out to the pre-packed ready to heat & packets if chana is the requested. My work schedule is crazy and sometimes i just need food that tastes great, is healthy, easy to make & can last for more than 1 or 2 meals. Additionally, if i have a dinner party coming up, i make chana masala using the below recipe so that, it takes a bit of the stress away from cooking the entire meal.
Cooking it as per the traditional recipe, tastes mind blowing but, it takes a while because the onions, ginger and garlic are sautéed on a slow flame before, the tomatoes are added to create the gravy. Plus i don’t like food laden with oil during the week so, this works great on all accounts.
In the method given below, i have added a few alterations to make the cooking process as hassle free as possible.
You will be happy to know that this recipe is easy to correct not matter what happens!
Prep Time: 20 Minutes if you use a can of garbanzo beans or 12 Hours (Optional) If Dried Beans are Soaked Overnight
Cook Time: 4 Hours in a CrockPot
Equipment Required : Slow Cooker or Crock Pot
1 Can of Garbanzo Beans 15 oz/ 425 gms
2 Cups of Garbanzo Beans that have been soaked in 4 Cups of Water for 12 Hours (Optional)
3 Medium Sized Vine Tomatoes or 2 Beef Tomatoes
1 Chopped White Onion (Yellow or Red Onions taste equally good)
1 or 2 Thai or Indian Green Chillies that are split lengthwise (You can add more if you like the heat and flavor)
4 Cloves of Garlic
½ Cup Chopped Cilantro
1 Tsp Coriander
1 Tsp Cumin
1 Tsp Turmeric
½ Tsp Garam Masala (Indian All Spice)
½ Tsp Red Chilli Powder or Cayenne Pepper Powder or To Taste
3 Tsps Salt or To Taste
1 inch Ginger cut into matchsticks
If you have ginger, garlic paste in the fridge, then add 2 Tsps Ginger Paste and 1 Tsp Garlic Paste.
If you have canned tomatoes, add 1 can and use only 200ml to max 250ml of water otherwise the stew can get watery.
Avoid adding too much garam masala as the flavor can get overwhelming
1.Combine all ingredients except salt and ginger in the crockpot, add 300ml water, stir it up and set the crockpot on low for 4 hours.
2.After 1 to 2 hours check the crockpot to see if the tomatoes have cooked. Since they tend to generate liquid, it is advisable to use very little water. if you need more add only 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water.
3.If the stew is watery, spoon out at 2 to 3 ladles of the liquid & adjust the spices (cumin,coriander,cayenne & garam masala).
4,At the 3 hour mark, the aroma of the stew will start emanating from the crockpot which is an indicator that the dish is close to ready.Add the ginger matchsticks and give the stew a stir.You can add the salt at this point
5.When 4 hours are up, check beans for readiness. You can do this by taking a few beans and mashing them with a fork. You will also be able to tell whether you need to adjust the heat and salt levels.
6.If the dish is ready, add the chopped cilantro and serve with rice, any flatbread, a piece of toast or eat it by itself. You could a wedge of a lemon to elevate the flavors.
1.You can also combine all the ingredients except for the water and ginger in a magic bullet or blender & pulse it so that it is chunky.
Put the mixture directly into the cooker with the beans.If you do that, I recommend adding only 150 to 200ml max of water and checking it after 1 hour. If all is well, then come back after an hour and add the ginger.
2.If the salt or spice levels are more than you can handle, add a dash of lemon and ¼ tsp of sugar.
If you like this dish or have any cooking hacks that could make it easier to prepare feel free to share your feedback in the comments section below.