I've got a group of friends that have been getting together for a decade and having pot luck dinners. This weekend I'll be hosting one at my house that has been in the making for months. The theme? Vegan, of course!
So I decided to go crazy and make 5 vegan Indian dishes (have I told you that I was Indian in a past life?). I was inspired by a cookbook I just got called The Candle Cafe Cookbook, More than 150 Enlightened Recipes from New York's Renowned Vegan Restaurant. This restaurant is beloved and I hope to get the chance sometime soon to visit.
Here's my first adventure, Chana Masala. I am very impressed with the results. Quite addictive actually.
Here's a photo of all of the ingredients prepped and ready to go before I started to cook anything. The french term for this is "mise en place" meaning "everything in it's place" and believe me when I tell you, this recipe moves along very quickly, so getting everything ready beforehand is a must. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mise_en_place
Vegan Chana Masala (Indian Chickpea Stew)
makes about 5 cups
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 Tbsp coconut butter or vegetable oil
1 large onion (about 2 cups), diced
2 Tbsp finely minced garlic
2 Tbsp grated (on a microplane) fresh ginger
1 cup vegetable broth (or water)
1 medium tomato (1 cup), diced
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
3 cans (15 oz. each) chick peas, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp sea salt
Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the mustard and cumin seeds and cook, stirring often, until they begin to pop. Lower heat to medium. Add the coconut butter or oil and stir for about 1 minute.
Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook for about 8 minutes, until softened. Stir in the broth (or water), tomatoes, chickpeas, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom.
Reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes. Serve immediately or reheat gently before serving.