Tag Archives: chickpeas

Chana Masala

Chana Masala

For a long time now, my good friend and I have been planning on having a cooking day where he would show me how to make some of his amazing authentic Indian recipes. When I say a long time, I mean we’ve been talking about this for close to 2 years now, but haven’t set aside a day to make it happen…..until now. This past week we finally got together and cooked up an incredible Indian feast. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing the recipes we used, starting with this one for Chana Masala.

Before I really delve into the recipe, it’s important to point out that a lot of the measurements give you a range to work with and a lot of the instructions give you an estimate of time. This is because with authentic dishes like this, there really is no recipe. There’s only a general idea of the steps involved and the ingredients used. From there you create your own dish.

The term masala refers to the base of the cooking method, which is onions, ginger and garlic, cooked beyond the caramelization point until it almost becomes a paste. This method forms the base of many Indian dishes. If you’re familiar with French or Italian cooking, masala could be considered India’s answer to mirepoix and sofritto, respectively.

This dish is incredibly healthy, full of flavour and at this time of year, it makes for some serious comfort food. Enjoy!

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

4 onions, finely chopped

2″ piece of ginger, minced

8 – 10 cloves of garlic, minced

2 – Β 3 tbsp tumeric

4 tbsp coriander

4 tbsp garam masala

4 – 398mL cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

water to cover

2 bay leaves

salt to taste

cayenne to add some heat (optional)

Start by heating the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions to the pot and begin to saute, adding a splash of water when the onions start to stick. Keep cooking and deglazing with water until the onions are very soft and brown, at least 15 – 20 minutes. It’s important during this phase to keep an eye on the pot to prevent the onions from drying out and to be stirring fairly often.

Once the onions are ready, add the ginger and cook for about 5 minutes, again, adding a little splash of water if it gets to dry. Then add the garlic and cook for a minute or two, before adding the tumeric, coriander and garam masala. Stir the spices into the onion mixture and allow to cook for another minute, until fragrant.

Stir in the chickpeas and add enough water to cover by at least 1 inch. Add the bay leaves and a little salt. If you’re adding cayenne, you can add that now, as well. Stir and bring to a simmer. Continue simmering, stirring occasionally until the water is reduced to a “stew”like consistancy. This is a great time to taste the dish and add more salt if necessary.

Using the back of a spoon, mash up some of the chickpeas in the pot to help thicken the dish. Continue simmering for another 10 – 15 minutes, until thickened. Serve with rice or naan.

Serves 4 – 6

I’ll be sharing this dish at the Fiesta Friday blog party. Pop by if you’re interested in finding other delicious recipes.

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Falafel with Tzatziki

Falafel with Tzatziki

Falafel with Tzatziki

Firstly, please excuse the picture. It’s not my best. My husband and I had a ball game that night and I was in a bit of a rush. I didn’t want a bad picture preventing me from posting a delicious recipe, so I’ve decided to go ahead, unflattering picture and all.

After making a delicious chocolate tart last week and then eating far too much of it, I’ve decided to try and eat a bit healthier this week. Actually, I’m usually a pretty healthy eater throughout the week, it’s the weekend that I struggle with. We seem to be on the go a lot or just in the mood for over indulging. Come Monday I always feel like healthier fare. Keeping that in mind, I decided to start this week off with home made falafel and tzatziki sauce, served along with a salad. If you’ve never or had falafel before, they’re definitely worth trying. They’re full of flavour and loaded with nutrition, plus, “falafel” is just a really fun word to say. Or maybe that’s just me πŸ™‚

Falafel are a traditional middle eastern food, though where they originated in the middle east is still debated. Made from mashed chickpeas (or fava beans in Egypt), the mixture is formed into a ball or patty and then served in a pita. They can also be served by themselves as an appetizer, which is my preferred way of eating them. While you can find these little gems pre-made at the grocery store, I prefer to make them myself. Mostly because I’m a pretty big fan of knowing what exactly is in my food. Even though the ingredient list for this recipe is long, it comes together quite quickly.

I served the falafel with tzatziki because I love how it’s tangyness (I don’t think that’s a word, but you know what I mean) off sets the savoury flavour of the falafel. Enjoy!

Falafel:

398 mL chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 Cup onion, finely chopped

1/4 Cup carrot, grated

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 Cup mint, chopped

1/4 Cup italian flat leaf parsely, chopped

1 lemon, juice only

1 tbsp all purpose flour

1 tbsp ground coriander

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp ground cardammom

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cayenne

salt and pepper

2 tbsp vegetable or coconut oil

Remove the skins from the chickpeas and then mash them in a bowl using a potato masher. You could also use a food processor. I just find that by the time I assemble mine, I could have already mashed the chickpeas by hand. Stir in the remaining ingredients until well combined. Β Roll the mixture into 2″ balls. Heat the vegetable or coconut oil in a frying pan. A few at a time, add the falafel to the pan and cook until golden on all sides and heated through.

*Another option for cooking the falafel is to place them in the oven at 400 degrees Farenheit for Β 15-20 minutes.

Tzatziki:

3/4 Cup full fat plain greek yogurt

1/4 Cup cucumber, grated

2 tbsp mint, chopped

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 clove of garlic, minced

Stir all the ingredients together until well combined. Store in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, until ready to serve.

 

Chickpea Avocado Spread

Chickpea Avocado Spread

Chickpea Avocado Spread

Once a month, I contribute a recipe to quicktastymeals.com. In support of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, this months post was for two kid-friendly smoothie recipes. If you’d like to see the recipes, you can check them out here. If you’re interested in finding out more about Food Revolution Day, you can click on the link here.

Now for this weeks recipe:

I’m a super big fan of recipes that come together with very little effort and require very few ingredients. Recipes that, despite their simplicity, still pack a ton of flavour into every bite. Attempting to eat healthfully and squeeze extra veggies into my day, I’ve been making veggie sandwiches for lunch lately. They’re super healthy, satisfying, and can be super delicious if you add a delicious spread or sauce. My usual favourite additions are hummus or mashed avocados, so the other day I thought “what would happen if I combined the two?”. What happened was complete deliciousness and a new favourite sandwich spread. The bonus is that the leftovers make a fantastic veggie or cracker dip. With only 5 ingredients and 5 minutes, you really can’t go wrong.

1/2 Cup chickpeas, rinsed

1/2 avocado

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp mint, finely chopped

salt to taste

Mash together the chickpeas and avocado. Stir in the lemon juice, mint and salt until well combined. Spread on sandwiches or use as a dip for veggies and crackers.

Chickpea and Cauliflower Curry

Β Chickpea Cauliflower Curry

Happy Meatless Monday!

We try to eat a vegetarian dinner at our house at least twice a week, although not usually on Monday. Most of the time I’m not organized enough for that. Typically our Meatless Monday happens on Tuesday after I’ve planned the meals for the week and been to the grocery store. Β There’s no denying that adding a vegetarian meal into our dinner rotation is better for our health. It’s also better for the planet. And with less meat on the menu, the grocery bill tends to be a bit lower, too.

I think it’s important to continually expose kids to a wide variety of foods, vegetarian or otherwise. A great way to do that is to try making dishes from another country or culture. My son has always been very interested in learning about other countries, so for us it becomes a great conversation topic at the dinner table, as well. One of the recipes I make fairly often is this Chickpea and Cauliflower Curry. It’s loaded with healthful ingredients and is the perfect dish to warm you up on a cold winter night. I love the spice from the madras curry and the punch of flavour from the tomatoes, lime and cilantro. Madras curry Β is what I typically have on hand. It’s a fairly spicy curry hailing from the south of India. If you prefer things a bit milder you can certainly use a milder curry or whichever curry powder you’re comfortable with.

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp ginger, grated or minced

2 Tbsp madras curry

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cumin

2 tsp coriander

1 Cup vegetable broth

398 mL (14oz) Chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 head Cauliflower, cut into bite size pieces

2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size pieces

796 mL (28oz) can of whole tomatoes

1 lime, juice only (about 2 tbsp)

1/2 Cup cilantro

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and ginger and saute for about 2 minutes until the onions are starting to sweat. Stir in the curry, turmeric, coriander and cumin. Cook for about 1 minute until it starts to become really fragrant. Stir in the broth and then add the cauliflower, potatoes and tomatoes. Simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the potatoes and cauliflower are just tender. Add the chickpeas and continue simmering for about 15 minutes longer. To finish, stir in the lime juice and cilantro right before serving. Serve over rice or with naan bread.

 

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