Sometimes I find that there’s there’s a big misconception surrounding Indian food, which is that it’s heavy, creamy, and puts you straight into a food coma after consumption. I’m not saying that it’s impossible to get to that place, but I will say that traditional home-cooked Indian food is nothing but the complete opposite.
I grew up eating and cooking with my mom – who always opted for tomato-based curries over cream-based, olive oil over butter. She taught me that Indian food is warming, comforting, hearty…but also healthy.
It’s funny because I think everyone is just now waking up to the healing benefits of certain spices and herbs and methods of eating and cooking that have been used in Indian cooking (cue Ayurveda, turmeric, etc…) for eternity. I have been eating turmeric in my food since I was a kid, and unintentionally eating lots of vegan and vegetarian recipes just due to the nature of Indian cooking.
So with all of that, my 2019 goals is to share a lot more of my healthy Indian recipes with you all on DADAEATS. Not because it’s “trendy” or “vegan” or “healthy”…but because its an inherent part of who I am and how my experience in the kitchen has been informed.
ALRIGHT. So to the recipe. Chana Masala. In some restaurants, you may find it with a lot of butter or cream, but we are nixing both of those things in lieu of a hearty, tomato and onion based sauce. It’s got all of the masala spices we love (turmeric, cayenne, cumin…) and has a huge boost of plant-based protein from the chickpeas. I am obsessed with eating my chana masala with some tricolor quinoa, wild rice, or naan. A delicious and easy dinner or lunch recipe that is quick to whip up and will definitely impress your friends. Just saying!
If you make this recipe tag me @DADAEATS on instagram and #DADAEATS so I can see your creations!! xx
Healthy Chana Masala (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
- 3 tbsp grapeseed oil
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 3-inch piece of ginger
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 can chickpeas
- 1 can crushed or diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 2 handfuls spinach
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1.5 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- pepper to taste
- salt to taste
- cilantro, to garnish
- rice, quinoa, bread to serve
Heat grapeseed oil in a medium pot. Add onions, ginger, garlic, and stir-fry until onions are slightly browned and translucent.
Add salt, pepper, turmeric, cumin, coriander, and cayenne pepper. Stir-fry until masala has cooked and the “raw” masala smell goes away, about 4 minutes.
Add can of diced tomatoes and 1 tsp tomato paste. Continue to cook until masala spices have infused with the tomatoes. Season again with salt and pepper.
Add vegetable broth to the pot. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
Add chickpeas. Cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring throughout. You can cook for longer if you want the chana masala to be a little bit thicker.
Add spinach into the masala and cook until it wilts. Cook for another 10 minutes.
Serve with rice, quinoa, or bread. Enjoy!