Friday, January 7, 2011

Chana palak

Spicy chickpeas and spinach are one of my favorite dishes when we go out for Indian food. Chana palak is always on the dinner buffet when we go to our favorite Indian restaurant around the corner. It seems so simple in ingredients, but so flavor-packed and satisfying. I set out to re-create this vegetarian dish at home. I read a whole bunch of recipes and this is what I came up with to try. I think that it turned out really well. Plus, it's a snap to make up for an easy weeknight dinner. I wouldn't say that mine is as delicious as the Indian restaurant version, but I think it's pretty good for a first attempt. You should be able to find garam masala fairly easily at most large grocery stores, or you can make up a batch of it for yourself. Serve this dish up with some basmati rice (or any other long grain rice) and some naan (or pita). This should serve about four people. 

Chana palak
1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups packed full of frozen spinach, thawed
1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 small white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1 green chili, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons garam masala
sea salt to taste
extra virgin olive oil
fresh chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)
plain yogurt, for serving (optional) 
basmati rice, for serving

In a large, deep skillet warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and stir. Add the chili, tumreric, cumin, and garam masala. Cook until the onions become translucent.

In the food processor, puree the spinach until smooth. Add the tomatoes and spinach to the skillet and stir to de-glaze the bottom on the pan. Add the chickpeas and salt and taste for seasonings. Adjust as needed and continue to cook until it begins to bubble. Reduce the heat to simmer and continue to cook for about 10 minutes.

Serve hot over rice. Top with some fresh cilantro and some yogurt, if desired. I added some diced cucumber and lemon juice to some Greek yogurt.

What was I cooking one year ago? (I'm a little behind): tomato-basil soup and pumpkin custard

1 comment:

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