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.

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