Monday, August 10, 2009

Chana Masala - Yum!

Ok...what is that you may be asking? Ingredients include chick peas, fresh tomatoes, red onion, and a lot of spices such as coriander, salt, dry mango, pomegranate seeds, chili, cumin, musk melon (cantaloupe to most of us), pepper, salt, fenugreek leaves (say what?), cloves, mint, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, bay leaf, cardamom, caraway and mace....yes, it's an Indian dish. Masala means, big surprise, spice mixture; chana means chickpeas. This Chana masala was spicy and sweet and really cranked up in flavor and heat.

When I was visiting my brother in NYC this past weekend, he escorted me to Patel Brothers Market in Jackson Heights. He knew I'd love it and, I did. Patel Brothers Market carries everything from Ching's Hakka Egg Noodles to Parachute Coconut Oil to nearly 40 different curries. You can find this fabulous store online at and in 35 locations it's not your typical or local mom-n-pop, neighborhood Indian store, but it's amazing, nonetheless. Patel Brothers carry literally hundreds of spices and spice mixes. On one back wall I found numerous bags and tins of spices (paprika, curry) and in one amazing little corner we looked over ceiling-high shelves of boxed spice mixes for chicken, lamb, fish. After much searching, I bought a jar of Garam Masala curry paste with cinnamon and ginger; Fish Curry masala; Hot curry powder; and Tandoori Chicken masala, all for $8.00. Jai ho!

I have decided that for the rest of August we are cooking Indian. Tomorrow I will try out Tandoori Chicken masala, spiced and marinated in yogurt and then slow-cooked in my shiny, blue clay tandoori pot, I know this chicken will be delectable. And, I'm excited to finally use my tandoori pot which we received from my sister-in-law for our wedding several years ago and have never used....yet! We are having guests over for dinner. I hope they like spicy food! No worries, the cool mango lassi (that bright yellow yogurt, mango drink) we are also trying out should turn down the burn if their mouths are aflame :)


  1. Did you know the stronger IPA beers were originally brewed to paired with Indian food. They were to be treated more like a wine with the meal but the beer cuts the burn. I just read that, kind of interesting uh? Looks like you had a blast. How could you not with Michael;)

  2. What fun, Joy Lyn!! I love this. How great. How did it taste with the mix coming from a box? I can't believe you are diving into Indian food so fearlessly! Right on! AND you're making mango lassi's?! I am in awe! If you can, detail these in recipe form so others can see and make. GREAT STUFF!! Namiste over and over, cool sis!!

  3. The box mix was just fine...just a bunch of spices tho I added a tone more. It's so much fun! Jai Ho!