Chana Masala for a Quick and Easy Vegan Dinner

Maybe you wondered why I was even making garam masala. Or maybe not, and you don’t really care for such spiced dishes. If that’s the case, then just ignore this recipe and explore some of my other options. Just kidding! This is a really good recipe you shouldn’t ignore. And what you really should pay attention to is the cookbook it came from.

I have been following Angela Liddon’s blog Oh She Glows for several years now. Many of my favorite dairy free recipes have come from or been directly inspired by her fabulous blog. Nearly a year ago, when I heard she had a cookbook coming out, I was really excited and put myself on the preorder list. I’ve had the book for a few weeks now, and it was indeed worth the wait. I’m not the only one that thinks so; it has made its way onto the New York Times Best Seller list!

Chana MasalaIn the past few weeks, I’ve cooked at least one recipe per week from this book, incorporating it into the weekly meal planning options. I’ve been delighted and intrigued by some of the new flavor combinations. It’s helped me feel reenergized and reengaged in cooking and converting recipes into vegan or dairy free versions. I’ve also started to gain a new appreciation for sauces, dips, marinades, and seasonings, recognizing their importance in all meals, but especially vegetable based dishes.

The garam masala was one of the key ingredients in a simple Chana Masala from the The Oh She Glows Cookbook. I put my own spin on it and wanted to share this with you. I’d never considered serving this as a quick week-night meal, but with the easy instructions, and confidence that a well-written cookbook helps provide, I plowed ahead. We enjoyed this meal for several nights and I’ll add it to the rotation. This was especially useful as I found myself with a glut of chickpeas (thanks Costco!) and was just one of the many ways I found to add in chickpeas to our meals.

Chana Masala
Chana Masala
Serves 4
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 yellow onion, diced
1 Tbsp. minced garlic (1-2 cloves)
1 Tbsp. grated peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp. garam masala
1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. turmeric
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
1 can whole peeled tomatoes (28-ounce)
1 bunch collard greens, rinsed, trimmed, and coarsely chopped
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (14-ounce)

Garnish: lemon, parsley

1. In large saucepan heat oil over medium heat. When water droplet sizzles on pan, reduce heat to medium-low and add cumin seeds. Stir and toast seeds for 1-2 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Watch carefully to avoid burning them.
2. Raise heat to medium and add onion, garlic and ginger. Cook for a few minutes more. Add garam masala, coriander, turmeric, salt and cayenne. Cook for 2 more minutes.
3. Add the whole peeled tomatoes and their juices. Break them apart with a spoon in the pan. They should have a nice chunky texture.
4. Raise heat to medium and add collard greens. Cover and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes.
5. Add chickpeas and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes at low simmer, until flavors have combined and collards are cooked.

Enjoy served over rice and garnish with fresh parsley and a squeeze of lemon.