Skip to main content

Chenna Masala - Side dish for poori, batura and nann


This chenna masala is a simple home style dish. My mother often prepares this chenna masala in my childhood days.There is no need for chenna masala powder, amchur powder, tea powder or dried pomegranate seeds powder just simple garamasala powder is enough for the masala. Fresh onions, fresh tomatoes, ginger, garlic are made into a nice paste and little tamarind juice and jaggery are added to enhance the taste. A fantastic gravy with minimum ingredients.


This chenna masala is a simple home style dish. My mother often prepares this chenna masala in my childhood days.There is no need for chenna masala powder, amchur powder, tea powder or dried pomegranate seeds powder just simple garamasala powder is enough for the masala. Fresh onions, fresh tomatoes, ginger, garlic are made into a nice paste and little tamarind juice and jaggery are added to enhance the taste. A fantastic gravy with minimum ingredients.   Always try to use dried chickpeas rather than the canned peas because they are adding too much preservatives and sodium to keep it fresh for a longtime. Soak the dried chickpeas for more than 8 hours or overnight and pressure cook them thoroughly, they won't turn hard. Do you want a perfect Chenna Masala? The answer is let them to cook well until the raw smell of the garlic, ginger, red chillies and the coriander seeds disappear. Try to use unrefrigerated tomatoes for any dishes because the sweetness in the tomatoes tastes so bland after refrigeration.

Always try to use dried chickpeas rather than the canned peas because they are adding too much preservatives and sodium to keep it fresh for a longtime. Soak the dried chickpeas for more than 8 hours or overnight and pressure cook them thoroughly, they won't turn hard. Do you want a perfect Chenna Masala? The answer is let them to cook well until the raw smell of the garlic, ginger, red chillies and the coriander seeds disappear. Try to use unrefrigerated tomatoes for any dishes because the sweetness in the tomatoes tastes so bland after refrigeration. Let's see how to prepare this Chenna Masala with step by step photos.

Checkout my other masala recipes here
Chenna Masala with step by step photos

Prep time  :  20 minutes Soaking time : 8 hours
Cook time :  40 minutes
Total time : 9 hours
Serves 4



Ingredients

  •     1 cup(200g) chickpeas
  •     1 (thinly sliced) onion
  •     1 (Slit lengthwise) green chilly
  •     1 tsp tamarind
  •     1.5 tbsp garamasala powder
  •     1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  •     1 tsp jaggery
  •     1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
  •     2 tbsp oil
  •     salt

For Onion Tomato paste: 

 
  • onions
  • 5 tomatoes
  • 7 garlic
  • 2 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 6 red chilly or 2 tsp red chilly powder
 
Cooking Directions

1. Wash the chickpeas in cold water for 3 to 5 times and soak in 4 cups of water for 8 hours. Then pressure cook the chickpeas with 1 cup of water for 10 whistles.


2. Take a big mixer jar and add the red chillies, garlic cloves, chopped ginger, coriander seeds and onions. Grind them and add the chopped tomatoes. 


3. Grind it to a smooth fine paste.(No need to add any water). The paste will be in deep red colour.


4. Soak the tamarind in warm water and extract the juice thickly.
Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add sliced onions and saute till onions turn translucent.


5. Add the masala paste and saute them in low flame for 10 minutes.



6. When the oil starts to leave the sides of the masala add the tamarind extract, turmeric powder and slit green chilly.


 7. Add the cooked chickpeas. Stir well.Add the required salt and 1 cup of the boiled water in which the chickpeas were cooked.



 8. Add 1.5 tbsp garamasala powder and bring it to a low boil.After 5 minutes,  stir to coat evenly with the chickpeas and let the masala simmer for 15 to 20 minutes on a low flame.Keep on stirring in between. (Check on the masala frequently because it must have enough water to boil or you will need to  add some more water).

 
9. Finally, add the powdered jaggery and cook till you get the consistency you prefer. It should be medium thick. Now this is the time to adjust your seasonings. Taste and add if anything was missed. I always prefer a masala which is very well seasoned. 


  10. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with roti, batura or jeera rice along with sliced onions and lemon.

    Notes:

    If you forgot to soak the chickpeas, then bring 2 cups of water to a rapid boil and add the washed chickpeas. Along with the chickpeas allow them to boil for 10 to 15 minutes and keep it covered. After 2 to 3 hours pressure cook for 10 whistles.
    While grinding remember to chop tomatoes, ginger and garlic.
    The gravy will splutter while sauteing so close it with a lid and stir in between.
    The gravy will reach a unique taste only if the raw smell of the ginger, garlic and tomatoes disappear.(Again the same point because this is the most important step in chenna masala).
    In the final stage you can add 1 tbsp of butter for rich taste.
    Leftover gravy can be mixed with puffed rice and have a quick masala pori. 


    If you try this recipe for Chenna Masala then leave a comment below and share the recipe for your friends and family.



      

    Comments

    Post a comment

    Popular posts from this blog

    Tirunelveli Kootanchoru - Mixed vegetables rice with dals and spices

    Kootanchoru is a popular lunch dish from Tirunelveli. This is our family favourite rice and it is rich in nutrients as it contains lots of vegetables and dals. We prepare this rice frequently for special events and family get togethers. 


    In most of Tirunelveli dishes we use small onions, garlic, coconut and generous amount of jeera. In this dish also we have used coconut small onion paste and good amount of fresh vegetables. We add commonly used vegetables such as raw banana, brinjals, drumsticks, carrots, beans and potatoes. I have learned this recipe from my grandma. She taught me with her some useful tips and techniques about how to cook, when to add the ingredients and how to choose the correct vegetables. My son named as Tirunelveli biriyani for this rice. Now let's see how to prepare this kootanchoru with step by step photos.



    Here is a short video for Tirunelveli Kootanchoru


    Ladies finger Pachadi - Tirunelveli Vendakka Pachadi

    This is a wonderful Tirunelveli Ladies finger pachadi that is usually served with sambar and rasam. There are many versions for this recipe. This version includes ladies finger, tomato, raw mangoes and it gets flavouring from small onions, red chilly powder and asafoetida powder.  The coconut paste adds a delicious richness to the pachadi. Simple to make and a very tasty side dish for traditional South Indian meals.





    Toor dal rice - Tirunelveli (Thuvaram paruppu sadham)

    Toor dal rice is my husband's favourite dish. I learnt this recipe from my grandma. This rice really tastes well if you add the right quantity of ingredients. We have to add good amount of small onions, garlic, chillies and asafoetida. In Tirunelveli we prepare this rice for short picnic trips. If you want to add any vegetables in this rice you can add chopped bottle gourd or chopped chayote in the final stage and then pressure cook the rice. This is also one pot meal and it is easy to prepare and also protein packed rice. You can serve this rice without any veg side dishes. Vathal, vadam and appalam are the best accompaniment for this rice. A piece of dry narthangai(citron) pickle is also served with the rice. Let's see how to prepare this toor dal rice with step by step photos.

    Similar Tirunelveli Lunch Recipes
    Tirunelveli KootanchoruBlack urid dal rice-Ulundam paruppu sadhamTirunelveli SodhiTirunelveli Idi SambarTirunelveli Puli Thanni Kuzhambu Tirunelveli Vellai Curry Kuzha…

    Vegetable Kurma - Hotel Style Vegetable Kurma (Carrots, beans, potatoes and green peas in rich coconut paste)

    Vegetable kurma for chapathi restaurant style


    Vegetable kurma is a family favourite dish for everybody. This vegetable kurma and chapathi is our weekend special during our childhood days.  The classic combination of carrots, peas, beans and potatoes is enriched with coconut masala paste and other spices.Any type of kurmas cooked in medium flame allows the ingredients to give maximum richness. 



    Make sure to cut the vegetables in equal size so that you don't have some vegetables overcooked and others undercooked. Do not cook the vegetables for more than 2 whistles because the beans and green peas will turn to grayish colour when overcooked. For a perfect kurma,taste as you cook and make sure there is a nice balance of flavours and you  will be able to determine any adjustments needed for it. After finishing the kurma do not hurry up to serve immediately because you can enjoy the flavours once the kurma is at a room temperature. Let's see how to prepare this Hotel Vegetable Kur…

    Paruppu Keerai (Common purslane greens ) Kootu/ Greens with dal

    Paruppu Keerai (Common purslane greens ) Kootu/ Greens with dal

    I always like to work any greens into our diet because they are just good for you and I happen to know these types of kootu are really delicious with any South Indian meals and also for rotis & parathas. I like paruppu keerai greens very much because it's flavorful and quite healthy. I added some chopped tomatoes for taste and soaked moong dal for thickness and as usual, small onions coconut paste for the flavours. You can eat them as a side dish or you can mix it in a bowl of plain rice and eat it as a meal. I kept the ingredients pretty simple, but if you want to make it rich you could add some chopped garlics, green chillies or even some chopped big onions. The amount of kootu that this recipe makes will vary a quite bit depending on the size of the keerai(greens) bunch. My kootu yielded about 2 cups, but you could even add another bunch if you want more.


    Similar Keerai Recipes
    Mudakathan Keerai DosaManathakkali K…

    Puli Thanni - Tamarind sauce with onions and red chillies - Tirunelveli Puli Thanni Kuzhambu

    Puli Thanni - easy kuzhambu for your lunch with simple ingredients in just 10 minutes. This was my first kuzhambu dish I prepared for my family during my college days for dinner. We all enjoyed this kuzhambu with warm rice, sutta appalam and fried gram chutney. Once you try this easy kuzhambu, you will prepare this twice or thrice in a month.


    Idi sambar - Tirunelveli Idi Sambar

    Idi Sambar recipe with step by step instructions. I learnt this recipe from my Grandma. My Grandma prepares several sambar recipes and each sambar has a unique taste. Each slightly different. All of her sambars are delicious. This Idi sambar is one of my favourite recipe from her. The aroma in the house was mouth watering when she cooks this sambar. For my grandma this Idi sambar and aviyal are quick and easy lunch dishes. Give it a try when you want something special but quick and easy.




    An important first step to note when making this sambar is to bring the frying pan up to the required heat and fry the spices for about 3 minutes or until fragrant.
    All the ingredients are handy and it is easy to prepare your own sambar powder. I always like sambar with mixed vegetables. The concept of adding different vegetables to make sambar was common in every household. I have used drumsticks, ladies finger, brinjals and mangoes. In addition, you can add potatoes, Indian beans, broad beans and bitt…

    Nanjil Sambar - Nagercoil Style Sambar

    Nanjil Sambar - prepared with the  combination of seasonal vegetables, toor dal and flavoured with freshly prepared sambar powder. Another interesting recipe from my Rema athai. As Nagercoil is her hometown, I learned many nanjil recipes from her. Nanjil refers to the area around Nagercoil, Agastheeswaram, Thovalai etc. Last month I prepared 30 varieties Nanjil recipes for the Aval Vikatan magazine. I have no time to take step by step pictures for all the 30 recipes, but took some pictures for a few recipes. All the 30 varieties are evergreen recipes of Nanjil.


    This Nanjil sambar is one of my favourite sambar for lunch. This sambar is similar to our Tirunelveli idi sambar but there is no need for any coconut paste.In both Tirunelveli sambar and idi sambar we add coconut paste in the final stage. For this sambar, you need fresh vegetables like drumsticks, brinjal, lady's finger, raw mango, yellow pumpkin, potato and carrot. Plus sambar onions, green chillies and freshly ground sam…

    Suraikai Adai - Bottle Gourd Dosa

    Suraikai (bottle gourd) adais are healthy and filling dish for breakfast. These Suraikai (bottle gourd) adais are made with chana dal, toor dal, urid dal, rice and grated bottle gourd.

    This adai is very easy to make, nutritious and perfect way to include bottle gourd for all of us. Simply soak the dals, grind them and add the grated bottle gourd, chopped onions and curry leaves. These are the three simple methods needed to make these healthy adais. You can also add grated coconuts, chopped coriander leaves for this adai. You can serve this adai without any chutney and sambar.

    Check out my other similar tiffin recipes

    Millets and toor dal dosaPepper dosaTomato dosa

    Sambar - Tirunelveli Sambar for lunch

    Sambar is the most common kuzhambu (curry) in all of South Indian cuisine and staple in any restaurant and on important occasions. There are many variations for sambar depending on region or taste preferences. Tirunelveli sambar has some variations in the taste and the ingredients. Most of Tirunelveli recipes consist of coconut and small onions.



    In this sambar also we add coconut, small onion, garlic and jeera paste. There are two keys to make tasty sambar. The first is to start with the fresh vegetables. When we prepare any dishes with fresh vegetables the result will be the best in taste and quality. The second is to add the correct amount of spices for the nice flavours. Now let's see how to prepare sambar with step by step pictures. Click here for Homemade Sambar Powder recipe.
    Here is the recipe video for Tirunelveli Sambar




    Check out my other Sambar recipes

    Idi SambarKeerai SambarRadish SambarWhite pumpkin SambarKilli Potta Sambar Pacha Milagai Sambar Nanjil Sambar - …