Bean-A-Thon: To India & Back in 60 Minutes


So I’ve been slackin’ on the Bean-A-Thon posts, but that does not mean I’m still not sticking to it.  Its still my goal to cook through all my beans…or most of them (I did invest at the beginning of the year in a 10 pound bag of pinto beans, and lets be honest.  If I eat them all now I’ll probably die of bean overdose).

That being said, on my to-make list since…October when I ran around town in search of anchoor (unripened mango powder) and couldn’t find it, so I managed to convince the only Indian restaurant in town (that I could find) to sell me a box of their chana masala spice mix (which included anchoor powder).  Unfortunately, it them sat on my counter for months while I dreamed about making it, but shied away from it because I thought it would take hours.

Then, last night, I decided to take the loooong trek to India, and much to my delight: the box claimed the trek would only be 60 minutes!  At that moment, I jumped for joy (yes, really), and prepared to embark on my journey:


I started by heating up some olive oil in a large pan.

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And then chopped up some onion, added it to the pan, and fried until golden brown.

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Then, I added my can of tomatoes, the chana masala spice mix, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 can chickpeas.

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Then I added fresh water and baking soda.  Then I brought it to a boil, and let it simmer for about 40 minutes (the recipe called to cover it, but as I don’t have a lid for this pan, I just let it simmer on low for 40 minutes on low heat.

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Then, once it was nice and thick, I put it over brown rice and indulged.  Literally.  Because by this point, my kitchen smelled so good I couldn’t wait any longer.


This was a long time awaited.  And I was super excited.   I was also slightly afraid it wouldn’t live up to my expectations.  However, the dish was incredible.  While I wish I had had time to make my own chickpeas and use real fresh tomatoes, I was happy with the substitutions and the time using cans saved me.  While I think I may have added too much spice (I added 2 tbsp instead of the recommended 1 1/2 tbsp), I was thrilled with the final product and it made a great, tasty (smelly) , & curry-tastic meal.  (I didn’t realize how smelly until I went for my run this morning, and then came back to the house and was overwhelmed by curry).

60 Minute Chana Masala
(recipe adapted from the back of the MDH chana masala spice mix box)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (I get it ‘no salt added’)
  • 1 chopped medium white onion
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chana masala spices (I used two and the spice was a bit overwhelming)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2-2 1/2 cups water

Heat up the olive oil in a skillet, add the chopped onion.  Fry until golden brown, then add tomatoes, chana masala spices, salt, garbanzo beans, and stir for five minutes.  Then add the water and baking soda.  Bring to a simmer, and cover (or not – I didn’t) for about 40 minutes, or until the mixture thickens.  (You may need to add another 1/2 cup of water depending on how hot your stove is to prevent drying out).  Then spoon over hot rice, and enjoy.


Do you like Indian food?  Do you make it at home?  What’s your favorite recipe?  (Want to share it?!) I love Indian food – probably more than is good for my health…spice can be bad for the intestines, just saying Winking smile


3 thoughts on “Bean-A-Thon: To India & Back in 60 Minutes

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