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Chana Tikka Masala


"The little meat that I do eat is a dish I get at one of the local Indian restaraunts called Chicken Tikka Masala (I started liking this before I knew it was a craze in England)," writes Murray Henderson. "I've looked for an adaptation of this to chana dal but haven't found any, so I've created my own recipe:"


  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups chana dal
  • 1 tsp salt
  • dash hing (asafoetida) (optional)
  • 3 Tbl ghee (more or less depending on the onion and how brown you like it, I use vegetable ghee)
  • 1 large onion, chopped (I like 2-3 inch narrow strips)
  • 2 tsp garlic paste (I'm lazy, probably could grate a fresh head)
  • 2 tsp ginger paste (again, I'm lazy, probably could grate 1/2" of fresh root)
  • 3 Tbl tikka masala paste (can also use 3 tbl of tikka paste for Chana Tikka)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbl lime juice
  • 1 6oz can tomato paste

  • Sort, wash, and soak chana dal for at least 5 hours in hot water (can add a pinch of baking soda, helps on gas).
  • Heat the water to boiling with salt and dash of hing.
  • Add dal and cook about 10 minutes uncovered on medium to medium high heat and skim the froth.
  • Then cover and cook on low to medium-low heat for 70 minutes.
  • After the 70 minutes are up, leave the dal on, and start stir-frying in the ghee, the onion, garlic, ginger, tikka paste, and cayenne.
  • I usually like the onion to be somewhat translucent, but not too brown; this is a matter of taste.
  • Add fry mixture to the dal, the lime juice, and tomato paste and cook another 5-10 minutes uncovered, stirring frequently.

Contributed by Murray Henderson.

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Last modified: March 25, 2004

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