Mark and I often go out to dinner at a tiny little North Indian restaurant 3 blocks from our house. Luzzat only has a few tables, and the entire staff is the chef, and occasionally another man who helps serve. The food is simple, honest Indian cooking, and she makes every dish with care. You can taste the love that she puts into her food; never rushed, but always tasty. Luzzat covers the basics of indian dishes very well, and we always enjoy picking up some wine at Taste Food & Wine across the street to drink with dinner. Probably my favorite dish to order is chana masala – chick peas simmered in a tomato gravy with onions and masala. I love chick peas any way you cook them, but chana is perhaps my favorite chick pea dish.
A few years ago, Orangette posted a great recipe for chana masala, and now it’s my go-to recipe. I usually cook my own chick peas for this recipe, but canned are perfectly fine to use here too. I also usually cook a whole pound of chick peas, and if you do that, you’ll need another 14oz can of tomatoes in addition to the 28oz can given in the recipe, and add an additional pinch or two of the spices to the mix. I also like to add about a tablespoon of brown mustard seeds while caramelizing the mushrooms, and add 3-4 fresh curry leaves to the simmering tomatoes. And I will be happily eating the leftovers all week for lunch.