Juno came, saw, and conquered (well, not really) and now we’re left with the gray, slushy reminder of what once was. The thing about snow in New York City is that it looks so beautiful and pristine when it first falls, turning the concrete jungle into a wonderful winter wonderland, only to become a soupy mess the next day.
Nevertheless, despite the storm not being as big as people thought it would be, it definitely gave me, as well as hoards of other thrill-seeking New Yorkers, an excuse to dust off those sadly neglected sleds and join in the revelry that only freshly fallen snow can conjure. It was such a wonderful sight to see children and families having so much fun in Prospect Park and big, furry dogs trying to bury themselves in the snow, and despite not being a kid anymore, I definitely felt like one while running up and down the hill, sliding down as fast as I could. It really is the simple things in life that can sometimes be the best.
To help battle the cold as well as the hunger brought on by all of the sledding, I decided to whip up a very quick and easy Chana Masala inspired by the cooked food bar at Whole Foods. I was there the other day to pick up a few items and saw that this dish was being served, but instead of purchasing the ready-made option, I thought it’d be great to try making it myself.
Although I’m not sure that I’ve made the most authentic version of this Northern Indian dish, I would definitely say that I’ve given it a good try and put together, what I hope, is a delicious and satisfying meal that anyone would love to eat after a fun day of playing in the snow.
I used two different recipes, one from a website called Veg Recipes of India that offered a more complex, traditional version and a more simplified, quick version from Chow.com that allowed me to use many of the ingredients I already had at hand.
So the next time you find yourself living out your innermost childhood memories during an upcoming snow day, I definitely recommend giving this easy, but satisfying dish a try!
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 inch piece of ginger
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 (15 ounce) cans of chickpeas, rinsed
- 1 (28 ounce) can of whole peeled tomatoes, chopped with juices
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Make a paste by smashing the ginger and garlic together in a mortar and pestle.
- Heat the oil in a pot and add mustard seeds, making sure to cover the pot as the seeds will begin to pop. Then add the bay leaf.
- Once the mustard seeds have stopped popping, add the chopped onions and saute until translucent.
- When the onions are ready, add the ginger-garlic paste and continue sauteing until the paste is cooked through.
- Add the garam masala, ground coriander, turmeric, and salt to allow the full flavors to be released, making sure that the onions are fully coated.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, with juices, as well as the chickpeas to the pot and stir.
- Reduce the heat and allow everything to continue cooking for about 20 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken.
- Serve with basmati rice or naan and a dollop of plain yogurt on top.
Enjoy! And stay warm!