I impressed friends and family alike on Friday night with this yummy and easy recipe from Debbie Koenig's new book, Parents Need to Eat Too, coming out THIS week!
I served this on top of brown rice, with some plain yogurt on top. And since we were on a cheating theme, I made some Cheater's Naan, which Dinner a Love Story (another favorite blog, check it out if you aren't already a fan) wrote about in the fall.
Without further ado:
Cheater’s Chana Masala
From Parents Need to Eat Too
Cooking time: 25 minutes (15 minutes active)
Traditional chana masala—a spiced chickpea stew you’ll find on the menu of almost any Indian restaurant—is a complicated affair, with an ingredient list as long as your arm. We’re not going there. Remember my mantra: New parents don’t have time for authenticity! Instead, I’ve simplified things to make this a quick and easy dish based almost exclusively on pantry items. It still tastes warm and comforting, but you’ll have dinner on the table in no time.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated, or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
Two 15- to 16-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3⁄4 cup water
One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained (SBC note: I didn't spaced on draining the tomatoes and it still turned out great)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon garam masala
Juice of 1⁄2 lemon (about 11⁄2 tablespoons)
Cooked brown rice, plain yogurt, and prepared chutney, optional, for serving
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. When it shimmers, add the onion, fresh ginger, if using, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent but not browned, about 5 minutes.
Add the coriander, cumin, cayenne, and ground ginger (if not using fresh) and cook for 1 minute.
Add the chickpeas, water, diced tomatoes , and salt to taste and raise heat to medium. Simmer uncovered (if it spatters too much, cover it partially - SBC note: I used a splatter guard, like this one) until the sauce has thickened, 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove from heat, then stir in the chopped cilantro, garam masala, lemon juice, and salt to taste.
Serve over brown rice and top with a spoonful of yogurt and chutney, if desired.
MAKE BABY FOOD: Leave out the cayenne if you’re nervous about spicy foods, and if you’re wary of the acidity in citrus add the lemon juice after reserving baby’s portion. This’ll puree nicely (make sure to include some of the liquid), or you can serve it as finger food—just smash the chickpeas with a fork, to prevent a choking hazard. SBC note: My 8 and 5 yr olds wouldn't touch it, but I have high hopes for baby #3, and will definitely be making this again for him/her to sample.