Chana Masala (No added onion and garlic, made of dry roasted coconut paste. Best with batura / poori / chapatti … My amma’s recipe !!
For the dry roasted coconut paste:
1/2 coconut, grated
6 dried red chillies (medium size) or 8 dried red chillies (small size)
1 tablespoon (15 g) coriander seeds (kothamberi)
1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
½ teaspoon jeera (cumin seeds)
½ teaspoon perunjeerakam (saunf)
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
Heat an iron kadai. Dry roast grated coconut for 15 - 17 minutes on a low to medium heat or until the moisture completely dries up from the grated coconut and also started getting light brown color.
At this point, add dried red chillies , coriander seeds, jeera, perumjeerakam, peppercorns, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon. Dry roast on a low to medium heat for another 15 minutes or till golden color. Switch off the heat. One can notice a color change in red chillies, grated coconut and also a nice aroma. Add turmeric powder and stir well. Keep aside to cool for 20 minutes.
Transfer the dry roasted coconut mixture into a small mixer bowl and make a paste. Sprinkle 2 – 3 tablespoon of water if required to make a smooth paste.
For chole (channa):
1 cup (200 ml / 8 oz – Indian standard measuring cup) chole (white chick peas)
2 ½ cups water (500 ml)
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon salt
Wash and soak Kabuli channa / white channa for 6-8 hours (or overnight) in 2 1/2 cups water (500 ml). Add salt and turmeric powder and pressure cook (pressure cook along with soaked water – Final water level should be 1 – inch above chole / channa / chickpeas) for 30 minutes ( reduce heat from high to medium after 3rd whistle and cook for 25 minutes ). Allow to cool naturally. Open the lid , keep aside to cool for 15 – 20 minutes. Reserve 1/4 - ½ cup (50 - 75 ml) stock for later use.
In a bowl or pressure cooker itself (without pressure cooker lid), mix boiled chana (along with stock) with 3 tablespoon (or to taste) dry roasted coconut paste. Add extra ½ cup water (water level should be ½ - inch above chana and coconut masala) if required. Adjust salt to taste. Mix all the ingredients well. Cover with a normal lid and cook on a medium to low heat for 10 – 12 minutes until chana combined with coconut paste / fragrant. Serve with batura / poori / chapatti / phulkas ..