• Chana masala

    Photo: Randy Graham, Valley Vegetarian

    This vegan and gluten-free dish is a favorite at our house. It is a savory dish of cooked garbanzo beans (chickpeas), onion, garlic, bay leaves and various Indian spices. It gets its heat from small red chilies and although I only use one chili in this recipe, you can add more if you like it hotter.

    2 tablespoons coconut oil
    1 medium yellow onion (chopped fine)
    1½ teaspoons ground coriander
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 teaspoon turmeric
    2 bay leaves
    1 dried red chili (break in half)
    1 cinnamon stick (break in half)
    1 pinch asafetida
    1 clove garlic (minced)
    2 plum tomatoes (chopped)
    2  15-ounce cans chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
    1 tablespoon fresh ginger (grated)
    1 cup vegetable broth *
    Salt to taste
    1 teaspoon garam masala
    ½ cup cilantro (chopped for garnish)

    Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the coriander, cumin, turmeric, bay leaves, chili, cinnamon, asafetida, and garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more.

    Add the tomatoes and cook until almost dry, about 2 minutes. Add the chickpeas, ginger, broth, and a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the flavors meld and a thick sauce forms, about 15 minutes.

    Remove and discard the bay leaves, chili, and cinnamon stick. Stir in the garam masala. Garnish with cilantro and serve with a side of rice.

    * I don’t care for dry chana masala. If you like it on the dry side, reduce the broth to ½ cup.

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