Saturday, September 28, 2013

Slow Cooker Chana Masala

I have become addicted to this dish and have been buying the pre-packaged, prepared version that is microwavable. It is one of my new go-to, easy foods that I look forward to making after a long day. The fact that makes this meal so convenient also makes me a little wary of eating it too often. The drawback- microwaving food in a plastic bag. It seems...hmmmm... not so natural. Right? We hear so much about carcinogens and PCBs, yet these options are still available, Why are they so alluring? Because we are all busy and need food fast!!! While microwave beans and rice are still more healthy than the "fast food" alternative, it still is not a prime food choice. So I decided that this would be a great recipe to make in bulk with fresh ingredients. No.. it is not as quick but, the truth is, one Sunday afternoon before I went out to work in my garden, I threw the ingredients in the crock pot and in about 6 hours it was finished. Not bad when you consider all the "yucky stuff" that you are eliminating.  Feel good about yourself and your food and serve up another bowl.

Slow Cooker Chana Masala

All the spices in this dish make it really complex; yet simple and clean. It is the perfect addition to your weekly menu, especially to incorporate a few meat free meals. Give it a try!

3/4 cup dried chickpeas
2 1/2 cups water
salt to taste
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 onion, diced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander
3 tomatoes
1 inch piece of fresh ginger
2 green chilies
1 tsp. garam masala
1 lemon or lime
3/4 cup chopped scallion
2 tsp. chopped cilantro

Place the chickpeas, water. salt, and turmeric in the slow cooker and set to a 6 hour cycle on high.
After about 4 hours, add in onions, oil and cumin and coriander powder.
Grind the tomatoes, ginger and green chilies into a puree in a blender and place in the slow cooker. Let this cook for the remaining 2 hours.
The chickpeas should be very soft and the gravy thick, bright and saucy.
Turn off the slow cooker and stir in the garam masala and let mixture rest for 15 minutes.
Cut the lime or lemon and squeeze in the juice. Stir in the scallions (reserving a little for a garnish if desired.) Add the cilantro and serve.

Recipe from Cooking in Westchester

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