back to article Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Chana masala

Regular readers will know that we at the Special Projects Bureau have a bit of previous form when it comes to chickpeas – from boiling enormous cauldrons of the things as part of the Live Below the Line challenge to creating rather more appetising winter-warmer stews – so it was only a matter of time before we turned our wobbly …

  1. Harry the Bastard
    Pint

    best served with a batura

    ...or two, or lots of puri

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: best served with a batura

      I'd almost forgotten batura - fabulous stuff. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    roasted chickpeas

    15oz/425g can chickpeas, drained

    spice mix

    1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil

    Mix and slather ingredients onto a foil lined baking sheet. Bake at 450F/230C for 25-30 minutes. 30m if you want to eat by hand (still messy)

  3. Little Mouse Silver badge

    Tinned chickpeas

    Tinned chickpeas all have a plasticy skin on them, and my inner Rainman has to remove them all before cooking...

    Presumably it makes no difference - but can someone confirm?

    I put it down to the childhood trauma of frequently being forced to clear my plate of tough-as-old-boots broadbeans. Some scars just never fade...

    1. Flatpackhamster

      Re: Tinned chickpeas

      The plasticy skin is the just the outer layer of the chickpea which comes off when you cook them from fresh (dried/soaked) anyway, so I don't see how it would make any difference.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Broad beans!

      You just spoke to my inner child - and now my inner child is crying and wants the horrible man to go away and never say that again. A neuron not triggered for 25 years just leapt up with the memory of leathery skin like a small and flattish Alien egg, only with the lurking surprise being the floury slightly sour taste within (a surprise transformed to weary familiarity across summer since the the damned plant was as fecund as E. coli)

    3. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Tinned chickpeas

      To this day I have to 'skin' my broad beans to eat them, although nowadays I actually like them as opposed to being forced to eat 'what's good for me'.

      The best value for money chick peas are those sold in (at least in Spain) Lidl, cheap, tasty and precooked, a jar of them goes into most of my stews and chilis.

      I also always buy the kidney and pinto beans that Lidl do in a jar as the dried beans sold in Spain never lose that plastic skin quality no matter how much you cook them, it's not possible to make good refried beans with the dried item as the skins ruin it.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tinned chickpeas

      My general opinion of beans is that they're like eating a beetle. I expect beetles at least have the advantage of being crispy.

      Our second-nearest indian restaurant* loads their appetizers with chaat masala. It even makes the lettuce taste good. (The lettuce is just decoration for the plate, but when you are left with a plate of lettuce and chaat masala there's only one thing you can do.)

      * A mere 52 miles away. It was the closest until 4 months ago when one opened less than a mile from my house.

  4. coolAG

    Easier method....

    Perhaps buy the chaat masala in Sainsburys or Tesco. Makes for an easier life I think.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    asafoetida

    I believe that the name "asafoetida" shares a derivation with the word "foetid" and for a good reason.

    1. Vincent Ballard

      Re: asafoetida

      I've seen a few references to its use in placebos because the recipient was invariably convinced that anything that foul must be powerful medicine.

  6. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Holmes

    So...

    You're going to be eating a bit better next month, then, Lester?

    Archetypal boffin with pipe -->

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    tinned chickpeas FTW

    Else it has to be a very well organised hangover, involving washing & soaking them the night before, cooking forever, etc. Or driving a pressure cooker while still probably legally intoxicated: endless possibilities for mayhem when an impatient drunk engineer with vague memories of James Watt's glorious place in history is let loose in the kitchen.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: tinned chickpeas FTW

      Bagged chickpeas do lower the cost, however, allowing you to impress your friends with your shoestring budget food that took 12 hours to prep

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too wet

    The only way I really like chana Indian style is as the crunchy dry chana dal often eaten as a snack with beer or 'english wine' in India, and also found in the UK as part of 'bombay mix'. The best in this country though comes in large bags from any of my local East London corner shops, and varies from 'seriously hot' to 'nuclear'.

    The true masters of the chick pea though (and pretty much anything else) are certainly the Lebanese. If it's actually possible to have a bad meal in Lebanon, I certainly haven't come close.

  9. ukgnome

    In the hope my woman reads this, can I have these for my tea?

  10. Oldgroaner

    Yummy

    For a real street-food experience follow the onion etc recipe -- and add chopped raw red onion, green chilli rings and fresh mint/coriander just before serving.

  11. Finder Keeper

    For a nice variation in taste, add half a cup of grated coconut to the stir-fry onions and garlic. Continue frying until the coconut turns slightly brown.

  12. EddieD

    Found it...

    http://mitchbenn.bandcamp.com/track/make-yourself-a-sandwich

  13. Varnel
    Alert

    Recipie Suggestion

    I have a recipe for your collection. I work in a professional kitchen, and after getting a version of this recipe from my mother, I had to give it a go at work. If I ever make it again, I've made some adjustments that I would absolutely do, but when I made this, I was doing so for more of a commercial scale (about 220% of what is quoted). So the original recipe fell short on several levels. After that one go, this is what I would do on any future occasion (on any scale):

    The one time I've made this, had I personally purchased everything, this would have been $100 (but fed 12-15 ppl). The reason mom found this to be the "keeper" recipe, is that this stuff tastes just as good microwaved a day or so after it came out of the oven. Hence, while not cheap, it would be a good post pub nosh (reheating ez).

    On we go, these are the ingredients: (apologies for being American and using Imperial...)

    $100 Mac-n-Cheese!

    Ingredients:

    3 1/2 cups large elbow macaroni

    10 ounces Valveeta (American) cheese (cut into 1/4" cubes)

    10 ounces White Vermont Cheddar cheese (cut into 1/4" cubes)

    15 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded

    1-2 cups Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese (combined) shredded

    4 ounces Cream cheese (at room temp)

    2/3 cup Sour Cream

    1 1/3 cup Heavy Cream

    1 1/3 cup Half-and-Half

    1 Egg (unspecified size--I used 2x Extra Large US sized on my 220% batch)

    2 2/3 tbsp flour

    1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (USE THE GOOD STUFF!)

    1 tsp garlic powder

    1 tsp onion powder

    1 tsp dry mustard powder (Sub Honey Dijon mustard!)

    1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

    1/8 tsp nutmeg (fresh if possible)

    1 tsp kosher salt

    pinch paprika (smoked if available)

    1 tbsp fresh chives (garnish)

    1. Grease a 9"x13" nonstick baking pan with 1 tbsp butter (sub olive oil), preheat oven to 350 deg F. Prepare macaroni according to package, but do so to al dente. Be sure to add a some salt and olive oil to the water. Drain well.

    2. In a large mixing bowl, add the heavy cream, half-n-half and sour cream. Break the room temp cream cheese into little bits with your fingers as you add it to the bowl (seriously, this is the best way to do this, and I work in a professional kitchen with all kinds of kit). Add the egg, flour, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and onion powders, dry mustard (seriously, WTF, go with real Dijon mustard), cayenne pepper and nutmeg. Combine very well with a wire whisk to help break up the cream cheese. It will look lumpy, that is OK.

    3. This is where I depart heavily from the original recipie. Layer down some noodles, 1-1.5cm max. Sprinkle that cubed Valveeta/Cheddar, then sprinkle a very light layer of the Gruyere. Add another layer of noodles, and repeat. Much like making lasanga. (Original recipie called for shoving these cheeses down into the entirety of noodles using your fingers.) Goal here is to have all of those cubed cheeses scattered around in the noodles as randomly as possible with a light layer of that delicious Gruyere.

    4. Sprinkle the remaining Gruyere cheese evenly over the top (this should be the heaviest layer). Gently and evenly pour that artery-clogging mixture of cream on it, covering all areas. Gently shake afterwards to make sure the liquid is even.

    5. Top the pan off with your shredded Monterey Jack and Vermont Cheddar, and then sprinkle your (hopefully smoked) paprika on top. Put on middle oven rack and bake until brown and bubbly--approx 30min Should be creamy in the center and more crusty on the top and edges.

    6. Garnish with the chopped chives

    When I prepared this for staff lunch at the Country Club I work at, one of the Administrative staff told me it was the best Mac-n-Cheese they had ever had. Some of the young college students working as servers told me, "It was too cheesy." I don't know how Mac-N-Cheese can bee 'too cheesy.'

    Enjoy.

  14. Varnel

    I knew even while doing my initial prep of this dish, 1" cubes (as was originally called for) was far to big for a dish that does not get stirred post bake. Used 1/2" the first time, was still too segregated a flavor. No way would I not do 1/4" in the future (perhaps even shredded on those cheeses).

    Considering it microwaves well, thought it might fit the post-pub nosh series. I live in the cheese state (Wisconsin), and have access to just about everything. What I can't get at the market, I can likely get thru the Country Club (at cost). I've tasted everything from dolphin to goat to lamb to horse in the past few months. Rare stuff I cannot find at the market the CC gets NP.

    Oh and will be cooking El Reg's english muffins at work Thrus. Only one cook there has ever done it, many had never even seen a recipe for them. Not ballsy enough yet to try the Hollandaise sauce

  15. Varnel
    Happy

    I knew even while doing my initial prep of this dish, 1" cubes (as was originally called for) was far to big for a dish that does not get stirred post bake. Used 1/2" the first time, was still too segregated a flavor. No way would I not do 1/4" in the future (perhaps even shredded on those cheeses).

    Considering it microwaves well, thought it might fit the post-pub nosh series. I live in the cheese state (Wisconsin), and have access to just about everything. What I can't get at the market, I can likely get thru the Country Club (at cost). I've tasted everything from dolphin to goat to lamb to horse in the past few months. Rare stuff I cannot find at the market the CC gets NP.

    Oh and will be cooking El Reg's english muffins at work Thrus. Only one cook there has ever done it, many had never even seen a recipe for them. Not ballsy enough yet to try the Hollandaise sauce.

    That is something we make at the CC regularly, in fact, more then once daily. I have yet to show the el reg version to the cooks.

  16. Eltonga
    Thumb Up

    I just made this dish (with 30% of the spec'd chat masala) and it was a great success with my family.

    I took the license of pushing them down with Tempranillo red wine instead of cold beer and...

    grrrrreat!

    Thanks guys for the recipe!

  17. Andus McCoatover

    Having a problem...

    ...getting the Black Salt.

    My local, friendly ISIL shop has no problem poisoning this infidel kafir with asafoetida, (€1,50 for about 100g), nor ground mango powder (€1 for maybe 500g,) but they failed to send me to Paradise with the black salt.

    Anyone know any other names for it?

    Ta muchly.

  18. Compression Artifact
    Happy

    Chaat masala hummus

    Since hummus is basically pureed and spiced chick peas and since I make my own, I decided to try making a chaat masala hummus; and it turned out great. I use 20 grams of chaat masala with a one pound can of chick peas. The other ingredients are the standard stuff (lemon juice, sesame seed paste, garlic, etc.)

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