Chana Masala with BabeSauce

This past month has been insane! I turned 29, ate döner kebabs in 6 countries in 3 weeks, started a new job at my company (now I technically have 4), witnessed my buddy reach level 40 in Pokemon Go, got a soda stream, and just generally became completely overwhelmed with life. Through all of the chaos and the travelling and the pokemon and the soda, I felt this grounding presence in the back of my mind: the memory of the meal my wife made me for my birthday dinner! I remembered it when I was meandering through the narrow alleys of Old Town in Stockholm, when I was traversing the ramparts in Luxembourg, climbing spiral staircases to the tops of church towers in Copenhagen. I tasted it hidden in the depths of train station samosas in Antwerp, smelled it in the shawarma shops lining the streets of Eindhoven, and felt it in the warm words of my wife every night and every morning when we would speak on the phone. Ok Ok I know it seems ridiculous to remember one meal all the time during all of that, but it was my last food memory of my wife before leaving her for three weeks! Sue me!

Anyway, Indian food is probably my favorite, which may come as a surprise considering how many pizzas and cookies I make. To be honest, I have always been a little afraid to attempt it. In the past, I have tried to make chicken tikka masala, yellow curry, and all manner of standard Americanized Indian dishes, but there is something about the ghee here, or the tomatoes, or something that has always rendered my sauces separated to some degree, or my flavors dulled. But now, finally, I have a recipe that works! And obviously it was not borne of my own innovation, but came from the ever-electric brain juices of my genius wife, whom I long ago nicknamed BabeSauce. Always, things that take me weeks of planning and testing and refining and perfecting, she has been able to produce flawlessly on the first try, and this was one of those times!

Ghee Count: 0 Tbsp


1 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 tsp ginger paste

2 Tbsp garlic paste

1/2 tsp garam masala

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp thick yogurt

2 cans low sodium chickpeas

1 green bell pepper, diced

1/2 onion, diced



1. Drain the chickpeas, then add all of the marinade ingredients to a bowl and lightly stir until the ingredients are combined. Cover and refrigerate overnight.



4 Tbsp vegetable oil, separated

1/4 tsp cinnamon

2 pods black cardamom, crushed

4 green chili, sliced

1 cup tomato puree

1 Tbsp chili powder

1 cup water

1 tsp cornflour

1 tsp ketchup

2 tsp dry fenugreek leaves, crushed

1 inch ginger, grated

1/2 tsp cumin powder

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped



1. Heat 2 Tbsp oil over high heat in a non-stick pot. Add the cinnamon and cardamom and cook about 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the green chili slices, tomato puree, and chili powder. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the oil begins to collect at the sides of the pot.

2. Heat the remaining 2 Tbsp oil over high heat in a separate large non-stick saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium and add the marinade ingredients to the pan and cook until the sauce starts to brown slightly.

3. Add the cornflower and water to a bowl. Add the ketchup and mix until well combined. Add this to the sauce and bring to a simmer. Add the chickpeas from the pot with as few other ingredients as possible.

4. Add the fenugreek leaves and ginger and mix to combine. Add the cumin powder. Raise the heat slightly and bring to a soft boil to thicken. Season with salt to taste.

5.Once thickened, remove from heat and add the heavy cream. Mix well, and top with cilantro.