Chana Paneer Masala

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Chana Paneer Masala
Originally a side dish that focused on paneer as the shining ingredient, I have revised the older recipe from way back in 2009 to make it more legume-centric. Thus, I have come up with a version of chana masala that includes shredded paneer along with mushrooms which are pan-fried near the end of the cooking time and then added to the dish for an unforgetable dish without too much fuss either.
Chana Masala with Paneer Cheese
Chana Paneer MasalaChana Paneer Masala
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on April 26, 2022

Buttery chickpeas, pan-fried mushrooms and soft creamy shredded paneer cheese cooked in a flavorful spiced tomato gravy

Preparation: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes

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  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • 3 black cardamon pods
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil or ghee
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 2 red or green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1-inch fresh ginger, minced (1 tablespoon)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri or other chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafetida
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons dried fenugreek leaves (methi)
  • 3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 8 oz (225 g) paneer cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz (225 g) white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro or parsley, trimmed and finely chopped
  • juice from 1 lemon (3 tablespoons)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
  • Rinse the chickpeas and soak for 8 hours or overnight in enough water to cover. Drain, rinse, and transfer to a large saucepan and cover with fresh water. Toss in the cardamon pods and bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour or until the chickpeas are buttery soft. Reserve 2 cups of the cooking liquid, drain, discard the cardamon pods, and set aside.

  • Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil or ghee in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and fenugreek seeds. Stir until the mustard seeds turn grey and begin to splutter and pop, about 60 seconds. Stir in the chilies, ginger, ground turmeric, ground cumin, ground coriander, chili powder, asafetida, ground cayenne, and dried fenugreek leaves and cook for another minute, stirring constantly.

  • Add the tomatoes and garam masala and simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes until the tomatoes have softened and the sauce has thickened. Add the cooked chickpeas, shredded paneer, and 1 1/2 cups of the reserved chickpea cooking liquid. Simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring often, adding more liquid or water as needed to achieve your desired consistency.

  • While the chickpeas are simmering, heat the remaining oil in a frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the mushrooms and cook for 5 to 8 minutes or until they begin to release their liquid and start browning. Transfer to the chickpeas, stir in the cilantro or parsley, lemon juice, and salt and simmer for another few minutes.

  • Serve hot over fresh cooked white rice.

Makes 6 servings
Chana Paneer Masala

More recipes featuring chickpeas that you may enjoy:
Black Chana Masala
Chana Palak (Spicy Chickpeas and Spinach)
Chickpeas Smothered in a Tangy Tomato Gravy
Spicy Sour Chickpea Masala

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