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Quick Chana Masala

I fell in love with Indian food when I began to eat a more plant based diet and was very excited to find this recipe from Cookie+Kate for something quick and easy I can make at home. Authentic chana masala is typically made with whole spices as well as some dried mango powder but this recipe uses ground spices. Instead of dried mango powder, we’ll garnish the dish with a wedge of lemon for tart flavor. The beauty of cooking is that things can be added or removed based on what you have and what you like, its fun with food!

Cooking at home whenever possible is a simple way to control the amount of money you spend on food, you can also reduce the chance of consuming extra unnecessary salt or sugars. My favorite part about cooking at home is enjoying the benefits of plant medicine by combining aromatic spices and herbs with garlic, chickpeas, onions, and more delicious veggies that provides nourishment and healing at the same time! It's true, many of the foods in this dish are anti-inflammatory, immune boosting, and considered to promote a vibrant nervous system.

I hope you enjoy this "clean eating" recipe as much as I did and if you make it please share a photo or comment! Tag me on IG @sunmoonnstars_doula with the hashtag #FoodFrday I love to see how creative our community can be.

INGREDIENTS 1 cup uncooked basmati rice (or any rice you have on hand) 2 tablespoons coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil 1 medium yellow onion, chopped 1 medium serrano or jalapeño pepper, minced (remove ribs and seeds to reduce heat) 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste 5 cloves garlic, pressed or minced (about 1 tablespoon) 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger (about a 1-inch piece) 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric Pinch of cayenne pepper 1 large can (28 ounces) fire-roasted crushed tomatoes or whole peeled tomatoes, with their juices 2 cans (14 ounces each) chickpeas (or 3 cups cooked chickpeas), rinsed and drained Lemon wedges, for garnish Fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)

Cook the chana masala: In a medium Dutch oven or large saucepan, warm the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion, serrano and salt. Cook until the onion is tender and turning translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and ginger, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in the garam masala, coriander, cumin, turmeric, salt and cayenne (if using), and cook for another minute, while stirring constantly.

Add the tomatoes and their juices. If using whole tomatoes, use the back of a wooden spoon to break the tomatoes apart (you can leave some chunks of tomato for texture).

Raise the heat to medium-high and add the chickpeas. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook, reducing the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, for 10 minutes or longer to allow the flavors to develop. Season to taste with additional salt, if desired. If it’s not spicy enough for your liking, add another pinch of cayenne.

Serve over basmati rice, if desired, and garnish with a lemon wedge or two and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro leaves.

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