Welcome to The Storied Recipe! I host a unique podcast where every guest gives me a recipe that’s significant to their culture, life, and memories. I make, photograph, and share the recipe with you. I invite you to listen to Shayma's story as you learn how to make her Traditional Chanay Recipe (aka Chana Masala, aka Chana Ki Dal)!
Really, this is the perfect simple, staple dish. It's flavorful, easy on the stomach (and the wallet), pantry-friendly, full of fiber, protein. This Chanay recipe is as good the next day (and the next) as it is the first. It was an instant classic in our household. I'm so thankful to Shayma for sharing this traditional dish - with her one little personal touch 😉
What Shayma Says About This Chana Masala
This is a typical Punjabi pantry-friendly dish which I learnt to make from my mother. When I used to live in Rome, it was my go-to on nights that I didn’t feel like making a laborious meal for myself. I always had a can of ceci (chickpeas), some pomodorini (cherry tomatoes), and aglio (garlic). If I was lucky, I would have some fresh coriander, which was very hard to find in Rome. I would steam some Tilda basmati rice, and pair it with my chanay. This dish is the taste of home, no matter where I live.
A Few Questions I Asked Shayma About Her Chanay Recipe
Do you include the "chickpea juice" - the liquid from the can - in your version of this Chana Masala?
During her interview, Shayma said her grandmother used to do this. Many cooks agree with the standard advice to rinse the chickpeas, but Shayma chooses the path of her grandmother and includes the aquafaba in her Chanay!
Why do you include Aleppo pepper in your version?
Shayma and I had a little laugh over this "incendiary question" that I posed! As a little background, our entire conversation was around the topic of authenticity in food and the several reasons Shayma believes "authentic" is a harmful label to put on foods (while embracing the word "traditional"). It turns out that Aleppo pepper is not a traditional spice to add to Chana Masala, and probably her mother would not approve of this choices. However, it is a nod to the time Shayma and her husband spent in Turkey and their love for all things Turkish. (They even named their son a Turkish name.)
Episode Related to This Chana Masala Recipe
Visit the episode post: "I Thought Authentic Was a GOOD Thing" with Shayma Saadat, Presenter at the Oxford Symposium of Food
How to Contact Shayma Saadat of The Spice Spoon