A couple of unrelated things have played a part in the putting together of this dish. First, Tata Sky has this irritating channel where the same ad keeps getting repeated over and over again. That's right....there's no program on this channel....it is just one ad that gets repeated for an entire slot of 30-60 minutes. So, one day when I switched on the TV, I got to see this Maggi bhuna masala ad (several times) before I changed channels. I took a fancy to the name bhuna and decided that I too would make bhuna masala minus the unhealthy preservatives and the price-tag. I did no reasearch to see how to "bhuna" something, and so I must warn you right at the outset that this recipe is totally based on a vague recollection that I had of reading somewhere that bhuna means frying in hot oil until all the moisture evaporates. Based on that memory,some onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and cardamom got pureed in the mixie. Oil was duly heated and this puree was bhuna-ed(I love saying that).
The other thing that led to this is the fact that the only things I had on hand were cauliflower and some soaked black channa. So these were cooked and added to the bhuna masala with some salt, turmeric powder and a teeny bit of sugar. That's it....no additional masalas.
Here's what you need:
Black chana/chick peas - 1/2 cup, soaked for about 8 hours and then cooked
Cauliflower - a small one, separated into florets and boiled till just soft
Onion - 1 large, chopped into large chunks
Tomato - 3, medium sized, chopped
Green chilli - as per taste
Ginger - a small piece
Garlic - 6-7 pods
Cardamom - 2 pods
Oil - 3 tbsp
Grind to a smooth mixture all the ingredients except the chana and cauliflower. Heat oil in a kadai. Stir in the ground mixture. Cover and cook, stirring every now and then, until all the moisture evaporates(about 10-15 minutes on low heat) and the oil separates. Then add the cooked chana and cauliflower. Also add salt, some sugar and turmeric powder. Stir well. I added some water at this point and boiled it for another 5 minutes to get a slightly moist gravy, but you can serve this dry. Garnish with some fresh corriander. Enjoy with roti, puri or rice.