Chana Masala

Chana Masala

Here is my take on an oldie but goodie Indian dish. I have customized it to be oil-free, and strictly plant based so everyone can enjoy! Originally inspired from an article I read in “Rodale’s Organic Life”. I then had the fantastic opportunity of having an Indian friend show me the ropes to cooking in ‘their style’ (God we love America!). So this is the combination of things I picked up along the way. I hope you enjoy it and that you get to experience the spirit of the dish that we so often enjoy.

Ingredients:

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
40 g or 1.5 oz finely chopped fresh ginger
1 (or 2 or 3…) medium clove of garlic, minced
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp turmeric
4 bay leaves
1-2 chile de arbol (broken in half) OR Serrano peppers (cut in quarters),  (only if you want it spicy-you may omit otherwise!)
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half OR 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 plum tomatoes, finely chopped (roma) OR 1-1.5 can low sodium diced tomatoes
2 cans (15 oz each) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
2 tsp garam masala
4 cups cooked rice
Kosher salt
Whole wheat Naan or Tortillas

Directions:

  1. In a crock pot (on low) add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until hot, about 5 minutes. Stir in the coriander, cumin, turmeric, bay leaves, chile/peppers, & cinnamon; cook until toasted and fragrant, about 5 minutes more.
  2. Add the tomatoes and cook until almost dry, about 10 minutes. Add the chickpeas, 1/2 cup water and a ‘hollowed palm’ of salt (see pic below); cook in the crock pot on a low setting, stirring occasionally until the flavors meld and a ‘sauce’ forms, about 8 hours.
  3. Stir in the garam masala and season to taste with salt. Remove and discard the bay leaves, chile/peppers (Jason likes to keep them to the side to add back in later), and cinnamon sticks (if applicable).
  4. Serve over rice and top with cilantro. May eat by itself or with naan or tortillas (again God Bless America!)
  5. Note: I cut the onion, garlic and ginger in a manual hand processor (making like a relish) together and proceed with step 1.
salt-palm

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