Do you ever feel like your life is always at one extreme or another in terms of chaos? I’m either super busy with no breaks, or sometimes I manage to find my weekends totally empty and relaxing. There never seems to be a happy medium! This weekend was one of those super chaotic weekends filled with errands and activities. Perhaps it seemed busier because I was coming off of a 5-day weekend followed by a short work-week. At any rate, I’m about to go into another full week of work and hoping to maintain my sanity and enjoy some time on my patio now that it’s getting warm again! I’m also cooking up this recipe for Easy Chana Masala tonight to celebrate Meatless Monday!
If you’re all about ethnic flavors with a bit of spice then I suggest trying out this recipe. I never thought of myself as a fan of Indian or Middle Eastern food until recently and now I can’t get enough of it! I also love that this dish is totally vegetarian and when you serve it over a bowl of fluffy Basmati rice you can enjoy the perfect weeknight meal.
I don’t know about you but I’m a total Costco shopper. I find myself picking up packages of naan bread in bulk and find that it lasts for a few weeks in my refrigerator. I dip it in hummus and serve it with my salads and it’s perfect with this dish. You can use it to wrap up small bites of chickpeas and rice with a dollop of cool yogurt to help you get through the bowl. The brand of naan is Stonefire and Costco sells their packages of mini naan bread. You can also find it in most grocery stores. Check it out for yourself!
This dish also makes for really great leftovers so if you whip it up for dinner tonight you’ll definitely be able to pack it up for lunch tomorrow! Try it out and let me know what you think!
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- ½ cinnamon stick
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 serrano pepper, thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup cilantro, roughly chopped (plus more for garnish)
- 2 (14.5 ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- FOR THE BOWLS:
- cooked basmati rice, whipped greek yogurt, chopped cucumbers, naan bread or pita chips
- Heat the olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the onions and allow them to brown for 8-10 minutes stirring every 30-45 seconds. After 5 minutes, add the cinnamon stick, bay leaf, and cumin. Continue to to cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the ginger and garlic and let cook for 30 seconds before adding the spices – turmeric, coriander, chili powder, and salt. Add the tomatoes along with the sliced serrano, cilantro, and ½ cup of water. Allow the sauce to simmer for 8-10 minutes. If the sauce seems too thick you can add another ¼ cup of water.
- Add in the chickpeas along with another ½ cup of water. Allow the chana masala to come to a full simmer before covering, reducing the heat to low, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add the lemon juice along with the garam masala. Add additional salt or chili powder to taste. Add additional chopped cilantro if desired.
- Serve on top of basmati rice with greek yogurt, chopped cucumbers, and pita chips or toasted naan bread.