I have been attempting to eat a primarily plant based diet after reading books like The Engine 2 Diet by Rip Esselstyn and The China Study by T. Colin Campbell. The documentary Forks Over Knives also makes a good case for a plant based diet. Because of this quest to eat lower on the food chain I have been exploring many different cuisines. My explorations have taken me lately into Indian cuisine. Great cookbooks to look at if you are interested in Indian cooking are Madhur Jaffrey's Eastern Vegetarian Cooking and India Cookbook by Pushpesh Pant. Many of the spices can be found at Asian grocery stores or online at sites like Penzeys.com Eating a plant based diet can be fun. I have been trying to explore a new recipe, spice, fruit, or vegetable for the last several weeks. I have been monitoring my nutrition by using Calorie Count.com which offers a way to log food consumed and then gives a nutritional analysis. I am hoping to see positive changes in bloodwork when I go for routine testing in a few weeks.
Channa Masala is a type of chick pea sauce that can be served over rice. It can range from mildly spicy to very hot depending on your taste. It also features some very nice sour and citrusy undertones. As I have said before, I am kind of a wimp when in comes to spicy food so this version is on the mild side.
5 cups canned or cooked chick peas
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, diced
1 mango, diced
2 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons garam masala (Penzey's Punjabi garam masala is very good!)
2 tablespoons fresh minced ginger
juice from 1/2 lemon
juice from 1/2 lime
1 small can of mild green chili peppers
1 14.5 ounce can stewed tomatoes
2 cups water
salt to taste
1. If you are not using canned chick peas, soak your dried chick peas overnight. Rinse them and pick out any that don't look good or any stones that you might find. Place the chick peas in a pot with sufficient water, bring to a boil, and cook for approximately 20-30 minutes until the chick peas are soft. Drain and rinse.
2. Place the olive oil, diced onions, diced mango, spices, and the citrus juice in a deep frying pan. Saute until the onions are translucent and the aroma is making you salivate.
3. Place the canned tomatoes in the onion and mango mixture. Stir to mix and heat through.
4. Place the chick peas, onion-mango-tomato mixture, and 2 cups of water into a crock pot. Turn on high and let the channa masala cook for about 4 hours. You could mix in the chick peas with the onion-mango-tomato mixture in the deep frying pan, heat it through, and serve it as is, but putting it in the crock pot lets the flavors meld together.
5. Serve over brown rice and enjoy!