Chana Masala

My cousin had asked me to post the recipe for Chana Masala a few days (ahem, months ) back… Though this dish is a regular at home, I was skeptical of posting this – mainly because this is my own version …

Friends often ask me if the recipes posted in this blog are my own recipes or not.. Nope, almost all the recipes posted till date are from magazines, or cookery shows or given to me by friends and relatives. I am too bad in inventing new dishes – I know people who create dishes on the spur of the moment, adding a little bit of this and a little bit of that..  But I need a clear recipe beforehand and most of the time follow the measurement to a tee..

So that was my confusion – whether my recipe is worth posting  🙂 … Last day, after having Chana Masala for dinner , my son declared that it tastes like restaurant version… and that was my green signal to go ahead..

I think, the authentic recipe calls for amchoor powder (dried mango powder) and crushed pomegranate seeds.. But I use the shortcut version – Chana Masala powder …

So let’s get to the recipe..


  • Chickpeas, soaked overnight – 2 cups
  • Onions, sliced – 2
  • Ginger paste – 1 tsp
  • Garlic paste – 1/2 tsp
  • Green chilly , slit – 2
  • Tomato, chopped – 1
  • Kashmiri chilly powder – 3/4 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 3 tsp
  • Garam Masala – 1 tsp
  • Chana Masala powder – 2 tsp
  • Cardamom – 3
  • Cloves – 2
  • Cinnamon – 1/4 ” piece
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Oil – 3 tbsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Sugar – a pinch
  • Coriander leaves – a few sprigs


  1. Mix the chilly, turmeric , coriander and garam masala powders with a little water to form a smooth paste. Keep this aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add cardamom, cloves , cinnamon and cumin seeds.
  3. Add the chopped onions , slit green chillies and saute them in medium flame, till they turn light brown in colour.
  4. Add the ginger paste and garlic paste and saute well.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and saute till they turn soft.
  6. Add the chilly, turmeric , coriander and garam masala  powder mixture and saute well.
  7. Toss in the chickpeas and stir well.
  8. Add about 1 cup of water and enough salt. Close the pressure cooker and cook the chickpeas. (After 1 whistle, keep the flame low and cook for about 12 minutes).
  9. Lightly mash the chickpeas in the gravy (this is to get a thicker consistency).
  10. Add 2 tsp of Chana Masala, chopped coriander leaves and cook on medium flame, with the lid open, for 3-4 minutes . Add a pinch of sugar and turn off the flame.
  11. Garnish with chopped onions, ginger strips and coriander leaves. Serve hot.


Ethakka Pineapple Pachadi

My friend, Zareena called me up yesterday to ask if we would like to join her for the Onam sadhya , at ISC. Eagerly accepted the invitation, no way was I going to  miss a sadhya.. And at the back of my mind, I wanted to let the kids see and feel the festive atmosphere. Festive is the worda really nice sadhya with Onam songs in the background and most of the people wearing traditional Kerala dress…. took me back to the days in Kerala… Onam with pookkalam and sadhya, especially paaysam… Though my eldest son wasn’t quite thrilled to eat from a banana leaf , the younger one was quite happy and even enjoyed the vanchippattu  ..  Thanks Zareena, for the invitation.

[A modest Sadya that I made for Onam… As it was a last minute decision the number of curries was less, nevertheless managed to make Parippu Paayasam..]

My favourite among the sadhya dishes – Madhura Curry/ Ethakka Pineapple Pachadi – a tasty combo of fruits in ground coconut. Though the name mentions only ethakka and pineapple, this one has mango and grapes added which adds a really nice flavour. I think the curry should be called Fruit Salad Curry, (courtesy my sister in law) . What do you say?

Here’s the recipe


  • Banana (frying variety) , cubed – 1 cup
  • Pineapple , cubed – 1 cup
  • Mango , cubed – 1 cup
  • Black grapes – 5
  • Turmeric powder- 1 tsp
  • Chilly powder – 1 tsp
  • Sugar – 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Coconut, scraped – 6 tbsp

For tempering

  • Coconut oil – 3 tsp
  • Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
  • Red chillies – 4-5
  • Curry leaves – a few


  1. Keep the grapes in hot water . After 10 minutes remove  from hot water and keep them aside.
  2. Mix the banana, pineapple and mango pieces with the chilli and turmeric  powders. Cook the pieces adding about 1/2 cup of water and salt.
  3. When the pieces are cooked well and all water is absorbed, add the sugar and mix well.
  4. Grind the coconut into a smooth paste and add to the fruits mixture.
  5. Add the grapes.
  6. Heat a pan for tempering. Add oil . When oil gets heated , add the mustard seeds. When it starts to splutter , add curry leaves and red chilies.
  7. Pour the oil over the curry.

Sending this the events- Food Palette Series- rainbow colours , Life is Green , Kerala Kitchen hosted by Easycooking, and Anyone Can Cook events

Paneer Tawa Masala – Tried and Tested Event

For this month’s  Lakshmi’s Tried and Tested Event hosted by Priya the selected blog is Aipi’s US Masala . I came across the event and landed on Aipi’s beautiful blog..  loved the header, the snaps , the awesome recipes… As I had been posting more desserts of late , thought of trying one of the Curries from her blog… Paneer is a favourite in my family , but I always prepare the less spicy versions  keeping the kids in mind. This time thought of breaking the normal pattern and try the Paneer Tawa Masala…  wow.. never thought Pav Bhaji Masala and Paneer could blend so well.. loved the combo and am sure going to make it more often..


  • Paneer cubed – 2 cups
  • Oil – 1tbsp
  • Cumin Seeds  – ½ tsp
  • Onion  chopped – 1
  • Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tsp
  • Tomato Puree or crushed tomatoes – ¾ cup
  • Pav Bhaji Masala – 2 tsp
  • Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp
  • Garam Masala – ¼ tsp
  • Amchur Powder or lemon juice – ½ tsp
  • Asafoetida – a pinch
  • Red and green bell peppers , cubed – 1 each


  1. Heat oil in a non stick pan. Add in the cumin seeds and asafetida. Let it splutter.
  2. Add in the onion, turmeric and salt. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Add in the tomato puree and ginger garlic paste. Cook for 1-2 minutes while stirring.
  3. Add in the chilli powder, pavbhaji masala and mix. Cook till oil starts to separate from the mixture. Add the garam masala  and amchur powder.
  4. Stir in the bell peppers and sauté for 2-3  minutes. Add the paneer. Add 1-2 tbsp water if required. Add in the cilantro mix and take off the heat.

Sending this as entry to Tried and Tasted Event hosted by Priya

Palak Paneer

The  first time I made this dish it didn’t come out quite well.. The  mistake was that I had made it using coriander ,chilli, turmeric & garam masala powders… Later my sister in law explained to me that this was one dish that you make with minimal ingredients; there is no need for any spice powders. Just blanche the palak , grind it with chillies, and add to sautéd onions.. that’s it.. easy and delicious..

Recipe Source (slightly adapted)
Sanjeev Kapoor


  • Spinach – 2 large bunches
  • Cottage cheese (paneer)  – 100 grams
  • Green chillies – 2-3
  • Garlic – 5 cloves
  • Oil -3 tablespoons
  • Cumin seeds -1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt -to taste
  • Lemon juice -1 tablespoon
  • Fresh cream – 4 tablespoons


  1. Remove stems, wash spinach thoroughly in running water.
  2. Blanch in salted boiling water for two minutes. Refresh in chilled water. Squeeze out excess water.
  3. Remove stems, wash and roughly chop green chillies.
  4. Grind spinach into a fine paste along with green chillies.
  5. Dice paneer into one inch by one inch by half inch pieces.
  6. Peel, wash and chop garlic.
  7. Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds. When they begin to change colour, add chopped garlic and sauté for half a minute.
  8. Add the spinach puree and stir.  Add water if required.
  9. When the gravy comes to a boil, add the paneer and mix well.
  10. Stir in lemon juice. Finally add fresh cream. Serve hot.

Sending this to AWED Indian Cuisine Event hosted by Umm Mymoonah of  Taste of Pearl City , started by DK of Chef In You

Paneer Stew

A mild gravy of paneer and green peas cooked in coconut milk. Goes well with Kerala Appams…

Recipe Source
Magic Oven

  • Cloves – 4
  • Cardamom – 3
  • Cinnamon – 1 inch piece
  • Ginger, julienned – 1 tbsp
  • Onions big, cubed – 2
  • Green chillies, slit – 2 (if the chillies are not spicy you can add upto 4)
  • Paneer – 100gm
  • Boiled green peas – ½ cup
  • Crushed pepper powder – ¼ tsp
  • Flour – 1tsp
  • Coconut Milk (second extraction) – 1 1/2 cup
  • Coconut milk (first extraction) – 3/4 cup
  • Curry leaves


  1. Deep fry paneer and soak them in hot water for 10 minutes, squeeze and keep aside. (If you want to cut down the calories, skip the deep frying part)
  2. Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan .
  3. Add the spices and when they start to splutter, saute the ginger.
  4. Add onions and green chillies , sauté till onions turn light pink. (Do not sauté till onions turn brown) Add salt and curry leaves.
  5. Add 1tsp flour and sauté well.
  6. Add the second extraction of coconut milk and when it starts to boil add the paneer cubes and boiled green peas.
  7. Cook on low flame for  7 to 10 minutes.
  8. Add the first extraction of coconut milk and pepper powder and cook for 5 minutes.

Bittergourd Fry

Last time I visited my parents, my mother gave me these fresh bittergourds from her vegetable garden. The kids are not so fond of bittergourd. But they like it when they are deep fried.So here is the easy and tasty preparation of bittergourd…


  • Bittergourd cut into roundels  -1
  • Turmeric powder – 1tsp
  • Kashmiri chilli powder – 2tsp
  • Rice flour – 1tsp
  • Cornflour – 1tsp


  1. Rub the bitter gourd with salt and keep aside for about half an hour
  2. After half an hour squeeze the bitter gourd pieces (this will help to decrease the bitterness..)
  3. Make a paste of turmeric powder, chilli powder, rice flour and cornflour adding sufficient quantity of water.
  4. Dip the  bittergourd into the batter and deep fry them.

Navaratna Kuruma

A delicious combo of fruits and vegetables in a rich creamy sauce..


  • Onion – 3
  • Cashewnuts – 75 gm
  • Milk – 2 cups
  • Cardamoms – 5
  • Ginger garlic paste -1 tsp
  • Green chilli paste – 1/2 tsp
  • Carrot – 2
  • Beans – 10
  • Caulifower – 5 florets
  • Paneer cubes – 1/2 cup
  • Raisins – 1 tbsp
  • Apple chopped – 1/2
  • Pineapple chopped – 2 slices
  • Grapes – 10
  • Garam Masala – 2 tsp
  • Corainder leaves – to garnish


  1. Boil onions and cashew in milk.Strain and make a smooth paste.
  2. Heat pan and add 2 tbsp oil.
  3. Add the cardamoms, saute ginger garlic paste and the green chilli paste.
  4. Add the onion cashew paste and saute till oil rises to the top. Add 1/2 cup water and boil. Saute till the gravy thickens.
  5. Boil the vegetables and add to the gravy.
  6. Add paneer, raisins and the fruits and finally the garam masala.
  7. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.