Thursday, February 17, 2011

Chana Masala with Saffron Scented Rice - The Lazy Way

My experience with Indian food has been very limited thus fur in life but I've yet to be disappointed. On my last trip to what could possibly be the best Indian market in my general area, Shivaa Bazaar, I found some ready to cook spice mix packets. I don't normally use pre-made anything if I can help it and would almost never blog about it. Almost. I prefer to make everything from scratch but because my Indian repoirtore is pretty much nonexistent I decided to pick up a few of the packets to see if they were something I liked and would want to make from scratch in the future. They are also great for those nights when you are too lazy or don't have time to cook.

I have never had Chana Masala before but when I saw the ingredients on the label I was sold. Another selling point was the fact that it A. contained chickpeas and tomatoes and B. I only had to add chickpeas and tomatoes! I had a feeling I wouldn't be let down and as usual my gut was right(though it usually is when it comes to food!) Chana Masala is a very popular dish in Indian cooking and I can see why. The combination of all of the spices give it an extremely savory flavor with the cumin really coming through.

I also made some half assed Saffron scented rice to go with it. I got a jar of it from Santa in my stocking this year and had not used any of it until tonight. I have never cooked with saffron and because it is a pretty expensive spice and not something I would normally buy for myself I have been saving it until I felt a dish really warranted me busting it out. Tonight was that night. I did plan on making it the proper Indian way but the lack of rice, time and energy I had just didn't allow for that to happen. I didn't realize I was out of rice until I was already home and had the saffron threads soaking so I had to use rice from the nearest convenience store, who of course only had shitty Minute Rice. The rice still came out pretty good even though I didn't soak the threads nearly long enough and again, had to use not so great rice.

All in all this lazy night dinner was pretty successful and I am really looking forward to making Chana Masala from scratch as well as proper Indian Saffron Rice.

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