I don’t identify or label myself as a “vegetarian” or “vegan”, however I do enjoy a good meatless meal and have been trying to incorporate more of them into my daily diet as a way to encourage a greater vegetable intake. Sometimes I just get tired of eating chicken 90% of the week, too 😉
I’ve never been a huge fan of either Asian or Indian cuisine. Not because I think it tastes bad, but rather because I usually don’t understand what the meals are on the menu, ha! I recently had Thai food for the first time in December (at Basil in Charleston) which I LOVED, so I’m starting to explore more uncharted territory and tastes.
Okay. So, you know that feeling when you hear about something for the first time, and all of a sudden it pops up EVERYWHERE? That’s how my encounter with Chana Masala occurred. I first saw a recipe for it in a magazine, then saw it on Instagram I kid you not, at least seven times in a week. I took it as a sign that it was something I needed to make, as soon as possible. Finally jumping on the train last week, I tweaked the recipes a bit to make it a bit more simplified, and I thought it turned out fairly tasty! I honestly shouldn’t even upload the picture of it…the lighting in our house is absolutely terrible after the sun goes down, and it makes my food look less appealing. #firstworldfoodieprobs
Clara’s Chana Masala
1 acorn squash
1 cup no salt added chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
dash of nutmeg
dash of sea salt
1/2 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, with juices
5 stalks asparagus, cut into 2″ pieces
handful of kale
1) Preheated oven to 425*F. Cut acorn squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds, and place cut side down on aluminum-foil covered baking sheet. Allow to bake for 30 minutes.
2) Rinse chickpeas from can, set aside.
3) In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add yellow onion and garlic, allowing to cook for 2-3 minutes, or until onions are translucent.
4) Add in turmeric, coriander, garlic powder, nutmeg and sea salt and cook for 2 more minutes.
5) Add in 1 cup of chickpeas, 1/2 can diced tomatoes, asparagus and kale. Allow mixture to come to a simmer, and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes.
6) Remove acorn squash from oven, and serve chana masala inside acorn squash, like a bowl. Sprinkle with juice of half a lemon and enjoy!
Also note, the typical chana masala dish is made with something called “garam masala”, which is a special blend of Indian-esque spices and includes cinnamon, bay leaves, cumin seed, coriander seed, cardamom, black peppercorns, cloves, dried red chile, nutmeg and ground mace. I didn’t have any on hand so just got creative with what I had, but McCormick’s has a bottle of it all mixed up that you can find in the spice section of your grocery store!
There ya have it, super simple! Leftovers tasted even better, too.