Chana Masala- Makes 4-6 servings
1/c. olive oil (you could use canola oil or I think coconut oil would be amazing)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp. cumin seeds (I didn’t have cumin seeds so I just used ground cumin)
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. garam masala, plus more for serving (I found this spice in the bulk section of my grocery store, they carry spices in bulk-AWESOME)
3 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed under the side of your knife
1 tsp. salt, or to taste
1 28oz. can whole peeled tomatoes (I used 2 jars of my canned tomatoes)
1 T. cilantro, chopped, plus more for serving
pinch of red pepper flakes, more to taste
2 15oz cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/3-1/2 c. plain yogurt (I used greek yogurt, if vegan omit yogurt)
a few lemon wedges, for serving
*I added a container of fresh spinach just before serving. Turn the heat off before adding the spinach and the let the heat from the mixture wilt the spinach.
* I served the Chana Masala over Millet, Millet is a gluten-free grain that you can find in the bulk section of the grocery store. It has a 2-1 cooking ratio, I like to toast my millet in a dry saute pan over medium heat until just starting to brown. Add the water and a pinch of salt, place the lid on the pan and turn the heat to low- cook for 20-25 minutes and fluff with a fork.
1. Pour the olive oil into a dutch oven or large pot and turn the heat to medium. Add the onion and cook stirring occasionally until deeply caramelized. It’s okay if they get a little charred in spots, be patient! The more color the more full-flavored the dish will be.
2. Reduce the heat to low. Add the garlic, cumin seeds, coriander, ginger, garam masala, cardamom pods and salt. Cook stirring constantly until fragrant and toasty, about 30 seconds. Add 1/4c. water and stir to scrape any brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Cook until the water as evaporated completely. Pour in the juice from the tomatoes, use your hand to break up the tomatoes before adding them to the pot.
3. Raise the heat to medium and bring mixture to a boil. Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer, add the cilantro and cayenne and continue to cook gently, stirring occasionally until the mixture reduces and starts to thicken, about 5 minutes. Add the chickpeas stirring well and cook for 5 minutes. Add 2 T. water and cook another 5 minutes, add another 2 T. water and cook until absorbed, a few minutes more. This process helps concentrate the flavors as well as it makes the chickpeas more tender and toothsome. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
4. Stir in yogurt if using and fresh spinach if using. Serve over rice or grain of your choice and garnish w/chopped cilantro, slice of lemon and a pinch or two of garam masala.
Chickpeas- Chickpeas are a good source of protein and fiber. They can help lower cholesterol and improve blood sugar levels, making them a great food for diabetics and insulin-resistant individuals. Serving them with high quality grains (like Millet), garbanzo beans are extremely low-fat, complete protein food.
Spinach- Spinach is an EXCELLENT source of vitamin K, carotenes, vitamin C and folic acid. Historically it was regarded as a plant with remarkable ability to restore energy, increase vitality and improve the quality of the blood. Spinach contains twice as much iron as most other greens, it is also one of the most alkaline-producing foods- making it useful in helping regulate body PH. Spinach, like other chlorophyll (green) and carotene containing veggies is a strong protector against cancer.
Millet- Millet is generally superior to wheat, corn, and rice in terms of its protein content. Millet is also a good source of minerals phosphorous and magnesium as well as B vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and B6. It is a gluten-free grain and like other grains is a good source of fiber and offers protection against heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
(Courtesy of ‘The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods’)
I found this recipe in a book that we read for Slow Food Book Club called ‘A Homemade Life’ by Molly Wizenberg. I read that book in two days this fall on a little getaway that Bill-y and I took to Sundance after a sad loss we had just went through. This book was a perfect escape, and I knew the second that I read the recipe for Chana Masala that
we I had to make it! In the book it says that this dish is better after a few days, so I made it last Monday and we had it for Wednesday nights dinner, then again for lunch on Sunday and the rest will be eaten for tonight’s dinner. It’s delish, a great vegan/vegetarian meal and a perfect winter dish to warm you up. Enjoy!