Monday, November 23, 2009

Creamy Chana Masala

I've been having some really interesting conversations with folks on returning to India. People's views and opinions are so varied. The older generation (who came here in the 60's and 70's) cannot seem to fathom why we'd want to go back while many of the younger generations do get it & many even think of returning back some day, though they may not have a timeframe in mind or even made the decision on whether or not they would actually do it. I think the newer generations are more deeply connected to India and and are more in touch with the extended families there (irrespective of whether they want to go back or not). I remember apart from one family, most of my US relatives used to visit India once in 3-4 years. We hardly were in touch with them when they went back. Technology was not so advanced then, of course. These days, we tend to visit India more often, have more relatives visiting us here and call/email/e-network more than ever.

The job market in India is so much better in the past few years than it has ever been. Salaries are at par with what you earn here. Being close to family and friends is the biggest draw. Food is another. Not just the various Indian cuisines but Bangalore, I've heard, has great international fare as well. Yeah, the traffic and the pollution have gotten worse over the years. And the red tape, corruption, tardiness and the difficulty in getting anything done is as bad as before. But as a person who grew up in India and who has been back almost every year, it will be relatively easier for me to adjust back versus someone who is less exposed to it.

I do miss our house here right now. It was pretty close to our dream house in terms of size and layout and the interiors reflected our tastes and personalities well. At the end of it all though, it's just a house, right? We had initially booked our one-way tickets for Dec end but after we sold our house and moved to a short term rental, we felt uprooted and so restless that we ended up moving the departure date up to early Dec. I just cannot wait to set up a home again in India, though that will take a few months.

Onto a recipe now. Here's a quick chole recipe with coconut milk (which these days, I seem to use in pretty much everything!), that is creamy and delicious.

Creamy Chana Masala

1 16oz can chickpeas
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 tsp ginger, grated
2 tbsp coconut cream (thick portion of the coconut milk can)
1/4 cup coconut milk (thin)
1 heaped tsp chana masala
1/2 tsp red chili powder (or to taste)
1/2 tsp amchur/dried mango powder
1/2 tsp anardana/dried pomegranate powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oil

Creamy Chana Masala

Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds. Once it starts to sizzle, add in chopped onions and ginger and saute for a couple minutes.
Add chopped tomatoes and fry for another minute or so. Season with some salt, chana masala and chili powder.
Add chickpeas, coconut cream and the coconut milk. Add a little water or more coconut milk if required. Bring to a boil. Then add amchur and anardana powders. Simmer and cook on low for 5-6 minutes.


Supriya said...

Chole with coconut looks very creative! nice recipe. Love the way you prepare simple recipe with easy steps and readily available ingredients.

Sharmila said...

Even I agree ... the job scene here is much better ... at least these days when recession is ruling the world. :-) Hope you have a great time back home here Vani. And those chole are another must try from your space ... am so bored with the usual masala version. :-)

Priya said...

Creamy chole looks tremendous Vani..Hope you have a great time back home..

Happy cook said...

Creamy channa looks so so good.
I think i would love to move back to India, we always say once when hubb retire we should do that.

Pavani said...

Chhole looks mouthwatering. Good luck with your move. Moving to India is always in our conversations but not sure when it is going to become reality.

indosungod said...

Vani, not many days left eh? I have heard from people who moved back that they have hardly any time to think about the life they left behind. I bet you will be the same too. Have fun. We will visit you in Bangalore :)

As for the channa it looks delicious. I always felt food, cooked back home tasted so much better. Tell me for sure if that is true OK?

Shama Nagarajan said...

awesome masala dear..nice post

Bong Mom said...

Job scene is definitely better. One of our friends moved back and then again moved back here, but even he says that the pay & job was much better while in India. What he didn't like though is the looong & uncanny work hours. The industry he chose to shift in here does give him the flexibility.

B'lore was a lovely place when I was there and heard they have some developments which are better (with help) than the ones here. So you are going to have a great life, you guys must be real excited :)

The chole masala looks great and what fun next time you will have someone chopping up all the veggies for you ;-)

Suparna said...

hey vani,
adding coconut milk is really a flavourful twist, thanks.

chakhlere said...

I can understand you must filled with all kind of mixed emotions. Specially about the house...I know how it feels when you have to leave it. Wish you all the best for everything!!

Chole looks very creamy and rich. Nice addition of coconut milk.

Gita said...

Chole with coconut milk sounds interesting Vani...looks creamy and tasty...good luck with your moving...take care :)

Jayashree said...

The one thing I truly miss from my US days is the total independence that you have are free to do whatever you want to do, whenever you want to. Here, you have to think not twice, but several times over....everybody from the milkman to the watchman will dole out advice....and that's something that I just hate. I also miss the awesome public libraries there.

Cham said...

Oh just few days left... I ve two of my friends who went India and came back after one year. They had few reasons : kids didn't like school, life is easy in US,...
Bgalore is a wonderful place! One of the place my son liked the most because of : MC donald and KFC! I asked If he wants to move back, he says : Mom is just a vacation spot! Better to move before they grow!
Everyone has a different views, opinions, never mind, as long you are happy that is a real deal!
Chole is creamy and tasty!

Smitha said...

It is so exciting again to hear about your move. I am sure people who came here 20-30 years back have no clue as to what India today is and therefore are surprised to hear your decision. India has since moved on and you are definitely right about the Indian job markets. We ourselves are planning to relocate once our baby is old enough for school.....Of course we care less for what others have to say about our decision!!!!

Vani said...

Supriya - thanks :)

Sharmila - good to know. yeha, me too bored with the usual chhole. this one does break the monotony :)

Priya 0 thank you :)

HC - that has been so many people's thought on returning! so interesting.

Pavani - I've heard that so often. Even we were in that same boat until a few months ago :)

ISG - yeah, a few days left! thanks for the wishes. Did not know you have a BLR connection. You must visit us in BLR! :)

Shama - thank yu :)

n33ma said...

u guys will have a great time back home:)Blore is the best. Go to all the good restaurants and post abt it.
channa looks good.

Vani said...

San - so good to hear about your friend's experience. I've heard many things, like delivery/maternal care etc, are much better there. I'm so looking forward to having a sous chef there! :)

Suparna - thanks:)

Chakhlere - thanks! many reactions have been the late kinds, including the house. I'm sure I'll find more in days to come :)

Gita- thanks for the wishes :)

Jayashree- that is one thing I'm dreading. I have one such person here, whom I rarely speak with and even less meet (thankfully!) but one conversation with her advice-giving, all-knowing ways, is enough to drive me up the wall. I'll miss the libraries too!

Cham - nice to hear about your friends. Loved your son's perspectve. It is so clear and he knows exactly what works for him! You are right - everyone has an opinion on this but I do find it interesting to hear others' views, though they won't affect mine.

Smitha - hope things work out for you too! People will voice their opinions and there will be plenty. Hearing about different perspectives from different people based on their lives, experiences has been quite interesting. Yeah, a lot of changes in India since the 70s. Most for the better but it's of course the ones that are not so good that gets harped on, right?

Neema - thanks! and yeah, BLR rocks! :)

DEESHA said...

I wish you a very smooth transition. Hope you set up yr new dream home. Loved the creamy chhole

Red Chillies said...

Goodness Vani, i seemed to have missed so many of your post and your recent happenings. So not many days left for the move then? Even though I know you through the blogs, I kind of feel that I will be missing you. But then wishing you and your family the best and hope to see you back with new posts/recipes. Hugs and love to M.
Chana looks delicious.

lata raja said...

Vani, Ask a nomad like me!! I will definitely vote to settling back home, never mind all the red-tapes, pollution,traffic whatnot, Mera Bharath mahaan!
All the very best in your new endeavour.

Rush said...

yeah i hope it starts a chain reaction too. Thankyou for ur blessings.

Ur creamy channa is real creamy...i am all alone right now to put in some effort, but will try once anil os back...always wanted a different take on channa...and this is one such delight!!

Roopa (KitchenAromas) said...

Hi Vani,
Just sent you an email. Lovely curry - will try!

sunila said...

Hey Vaans,
Creamy gravies are a gr8 antidote to uprooted and restless states and I guess ur body is nudging u into going that way to keep it sated and comfy :0).what a yummy chhole variation sure u will make use of all the best that is there in beautiful Bangalore to ur best advantage. the -ve points we r adept at dealing with anyway ,what say ?pollution is a tough one to me but one gets used to it sure is interesting looking at diff: perspectives and we get stuff out of them too I guess.when and if we go back we will miss the libraries immensely too and will take time getting back into the swing of things.May u find the best Sous chef btw :0)get well balanced work ,a good school, bounteous foods and all the love and warmth frm ur family and frens ...I,m selfishly glad that ur getting back earlier so we r certain to meet :0)oops what a long comment ...

s said...

ooohh this looks really GOOD!

Arch said...

Vani, your creamy chana masala looks good...Nice break from the usual...And all the best dear girl, with your shift back -its not easy settling anywhere after so many years, but Bangalore rocks, really...And plus having your people around is a such a boon...I know you have enough people back here, but if there is anything Bangalore specific that you need help with, do drop me a line, will be more than willing to help out...It will be great for lil M to grow there, lots of things for kids to do...

Vani said...

Deesha - thanks :)

RC - thanks. I know what you mean! But at least we're connected thru FB and feel like we're staying n touch that way.

Lata - thank you so much! :)

Rush - great resolution to do something every thanksgiving. all the best!

Roopa- thanks :)

Su - you're right. you do get a lot out of other people's viewpoints. thank you, thank you for your wishes! Will be in BLR end of Dec/early Jan. Looking forward to seeing you then!

S- thanks :)

Arch - thank you! Will be sure to contact you for any help. thanks, girl1 :)

Nandini Vishwanath said...

I like the idea! :) And looks creamier no?

Aaah, Bangalore. I don't want to talk about it. I want to go back so badly its not funny!

Nostalgia said...

Nice recipe and all the best in your endeavors.

Divya Vikram said...

Hope u have a great time in India. Channa looks creamy and delicious with the coconut milk!

Aps said...

We Just returned bac from u mentioned blore has changed a lotz....hope u have a gr8 time nd chole luks awesome :)

Aps said...

We Just returned bac from u mentioned blore has changed a lotz....hope u have a gr8 time nd chole luks awesome :)

Parita said...

Chana looks very rich and creamy...job scene will return back to good it might take some time though

Asha said...

Hi Vani,

I too am from Mysore..
came across your blog while searching for khara biscuit recipes..would love it if you can post your wheat and onion baked biscuit recipe..I do not have access to read your archives..


meeso said...

Nice recipe, super tempting! Looks awesome!

Linda said...

Vani, see what I missed, that's what I get for being away so long! Wishing you all the best in your new home... hurry back to blogging! :)

Savithri said...

Good luck with your move! What a lovely post. Thanks for sharing.

Jaya said...

best of wishes for the moving ....
inspite of many drawbacks etc in India ,it still a best place for bringing up your child and there are many positive changes going on ..job market is much better there, except for the long wee hours ...So stick to your plans and all the best ...we will also be going back to home ...

hugs and smiles

Vani said...

Thank you for the lovely comments, all!

Asha, Nostalgia and Savithri - welcome to my blog! and thanks for taking time to comment :)

Jaya - you are right. I already see such a change in little M. It will be great for her. thanks for the wishes :)

Linda, Nandini, Divya, Meeso, Aps, Parita - thanks girls!

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Asha said...

Hi Vani,

Could you please give access to read your previous blog entries.
I am particularly interested in your onion biscuit recipe from Feb 2007. Here is what I get when I click on the recipe link:
""It doesn't look like you have been invited to read this blog. If you think this is a mistake, you might want to contact the blog author and request an invitation.""


Sharmilee! :) said...

Channa masala with coconut, nice creamy and tasty!