Soup on a rainy day…only it’s not soup, and it’s not raining!

Today I am taking wifey out for a long overdue Valentine’s Day dinner. I was busy on V-day providing a cooking demo for a nice couple in Philadelphia.  It was exciting to know that my cooking demo was a Valentine’s Day surprise for someone else. Anyway, this morning I gave the kiddies a heads up that we will be out for dinner tonight and that the nanny would be coming by around dinner time. When asked what they wanted to eat tonight, my daughter immediately asked for chana masala (chick peas/garbanzo beans). My son asked for puri (a lightly fried, puffy version of a paratha or roti). What a combination…I’ve trained these kids well! For those of you who don’t know, chana and puri go together like steak and potatoes. But it’s like comfort food. It’s like cozying up on the couch with a bowl of warm soup on a rainy Sunday afternoon. At least in this household it is!

So being home today with the baby (7 months old), I had to do this quickly, and took a few shortcuts in the process. But it still turned out wonderfully.  Looks delicious, tastes delicious, and will surely make the kids happy this evening. It looks so good and now I feel like staying home for dinner…but don’t tell wifey that!

I’m providing the KID FRIENDLY chana recipe below. Feel free to add a little extra chili powder or garam masala, or some green chilies to suit your taste! I’ll get to the puri recipe later. Enjoy!

Chana Masala

Chana Masala


    • 2 15oz. Cans of chick peas/garbanzo beans
    • 3 plum tomatoes chopped
    • 1 medium onion finely chopped
    • 3 cloves
    • 4 cardamom pods
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
    • 1 tsp cumin powder
    • 2 tsp cumin seeds
    • 1 tsp coriander powder
    • 1/2 tsp chili powder
    • Salt (to taste)
    • 1/2 tsp lemon or lime juice
    • 1 cup chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
    • 1.5 cups water
    • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste or fresh chopped ginger and garlic

PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOK TIME: 35 minutes


    1. Drain the chick peas and set aside in a bowl.
    2. Add the oil to hot pan and sauté the chopped onions for 7-10 minutes on medium-high heat.
    3. Once the onions begin to brown, add the cumin seeds and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Next, add the turmeric and ginger garlic paste. Stir for an additional minute.
    4. Add the tomatoes, cumin powder, coriander powder, chili powder, salt, and water. Mix well and cover. Let the tomatoes cook on medium heat for 5-10 minutes, or until completely soft.
    5. Once the tomatoes are cooked through and doft, crush in yourvoalm, about 1 tablespoon of kasoori methi leaves (fenugreek leaves), and sprinkle into the pot. This step is optional, but does add a great flavor.
    6. Add the chick peas, cover, and cook on medium heat for an additional 10 minutes.
    7. Once the chick peas are soft, add a 1/2 cup of chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves, 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala, and a teaspoon of lemon or lime juice. Mix well, remove from heat, and garnish with remaining coriander leaves.

Use your best judgement for the water level. My kids like it a little watery so they can dip their puri. I like a little less water, and some more garam masala, and a sliced green chili. Either way, give it a try and let me know how it turns out for you!



Oh, and here’s some of the puri: