Chana Bateta 01/07/2010
 
Thank you to Big Girls, Small Kitchen: A Guide to Quarter-life Cookingfor this recipe! Felt like trying out something light, healthy, vegetarian, and spicy and this was exactly what the doctor ordered.
I didn't have all the exact ingredients so here's their original recipe with my changes:
(Photo credit goes to the Big Girls as well!)

Picture
Chana Bateta(Click for complete original recipe) Serves 2, literally
NOTE: This tastes best made ahead, so if you have time, cool it, then transfer to the fridge until ready to eat. Then reheat until piping hot, add the vinegar, stir to distribute, and serve, garnished with fresh cilantro.

Ingredients
1/2 cup diced tomatoes (we used canned ones left over from the braised ribs)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds (black or brown, not yellow) (we actually used seedy Poupon mustard...worked just fine!)
2 shallots, sliced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp coriander (we didn't have coriander so I used 1 1/2 tsp of garam masala)
1/4 tsp cayenne, or more to taste
1/3 cup coconut milk
1 tsp salt
2 large Yukon Gold potatoes (about 7 ounces), diced into an approximate 1 1/2" cubes
1 can chickpeas (8 oz. can...we used half of our 19 oz can)
2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro, plus a few springs for garnish (we used dried cilantro...cheating, but it still added just enough of the right flavor)
1 tsp white wine vinegar


Directions
  • Combine the diced tomatoes and tomato paste until smooth and almost paste like. You can use a food processor if you like, or you can just mash with a spoon. This worked well with the diced tomatoes from a can. Set aside.
  • Heat the oil over high heat in a medium cast iron pan (it has to be just large enough to hold the amount of potatoes, but not too large or you'll have trouble with the ingredients burning in places) until smoking.
  • Add the mustard seeds (or the mustard) and cover immediately, and wait til they stop popping (15 seconds). When using mustard, make sure to spread it out across the pan so the seeds are exposed to the heat.
  • Turn the heat to medium and add the shallots, garlic, and ginger. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring nearly constantly, until the shallots are quite golden.
  • Add the cumin, coriander (or garam masala), and cayenne, and cook for another minute or so, to toast the spices. It does still need to cook this long when using powdered spices. Just make sure they're well mixed in with the shallots, garlic, and ginger.
  • Pour in the pureed tomato and cook down for 3-4 minutes. It should be reduced to an almost paste-like consistency.
  • Pour in the coconut milk and the salt and bring to a boil. This should not take very long at all, as the pan is already quite hot.
  • Add the potatoes and return to a boil, then turn the heat to low and cover the pan. Cook until the potatoes are soft--easily pierced with a knife. This takes about 15 minutes.
  • Uncover and add the chickpeas with some of the liquid from the can. Cook for 5 or 10 minutes, until heated through.
  • Add the cilantro and cook a minute more.
Because this is best made ahead, we made it, put it in a pyrex dish, stuck it in the fridge for an hour while we caught up on Heroes (yes, we're dorks...), and heated it up with the white wine vinegar after about an hour of fridge time. It was delicious! Make sure you have some kind of yummy Indian bread around and Chai!
 


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