Undercover Homemade Channa Masala at a Health Food Shop

Balance Life is a small, family-owned health food store/grocery in South Park Slope. The expensive groceries are not the reason to go here--instead, find a little hand-lettered sign on the refrigerator that reads "homemade Indian food." The exceedingly nice woman who owns the store comes from the Pakistani side of the Punjab, and she whips up basic Punjabi staples like channa masala, daal makhani, and saag aloo, and sells generous portions for $2.50.

Today, I bought the channa masala, expecting it to be good but not mind-blowing. Actually, it is a channa masala of uncommon delicacy--gingery, and full of the warm, aromatic flavor of garam masala. The taste of the spices is so round and vibrant that she must grind her own spice blend instead of buying pre-made garam masala.

Balance Life 624 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn 718-768-1091

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