Simple, filling, and delicious. Scrumptious. Luscious. And coincidentally, insanely healthy. This flavorful crockpot dinner simply must happen.
So how is this little recipe different from alll the others? Because chana masala is a traditional Indian dish, so the internet is full of recipes for it. …Well, I added extra stuff. Mushrooms. Potato. And cooked it slowly and lovingly in the slow cooker. My reasoning is that if this was just chickpeas in yummy sauce over rice, that would be yummy, yes. But chickpeas alone are not enough, and I would have been raiding the fridge before midnight. This is key I think, as I progress on my vegan-ish journey. We can’t feel deprived, we have to be full and happy.
Because food and flavor and feeling truly satisfied are important. They ALL matter. Like, a lot.
So, I wanted to make a slow cooker-friendly, vegan dinner using chickpeas. I have fallen in love with chickpeas and have been eating them really often (if you have never roasted them, THAT is a must-do), especially in lunches. But that was my inspiration. Also, I love masala and Indian Butter Chicken and such. I wanted those flavors. So, I did a little research and learned about chana masala – a chickpea masala. Traditional chana masala varies by region in India, and I chose to go with the mello-er “southern-style” which I believe is the more savory, with coconut milk added to make it all heavenly. This is as opposed to the other tradition to add a bit of citrus for some pucker. I wasn’t feeling that. I was feeling the coconut. Chicka-chicka-boom-boom. 😉
This dinner was fantastic. All those spices, all those flavors – so rich, so balanced. DELICIOUS. And, as a bonus, I froze leftovers to eat for lunches later, and it did freeze well. Good thing too, because my recipe makes a shit-ton of food. (Couldn’t help myself folks, I just kept adding and adding to the crock-pot). The masala recipe itself also makes enough for two batches, so you can just use half and freeze half for later too.
So that’s if folks. A delightfully easy and ridiculously flavorful dinner, that will warm your heart and soul. Health and happiness cooked up slow and low …for 6-8 hours. 👍
Say it with me …Vegan once a week. Vegetarian twice a week. …It’s a start. 🌎💚
- 3 (15.5 oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (13.66 oz) can coconut milk
- 8 oz baby bella or white button mushrooms, quartered
- 2 large red potatoes, 1/2-inch dice (with the skin)
- 3/4 cup Masala Paste (recipe follows; freeze leftover paste for another meal!)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- pinch fresh cracked pepper
- options for serving: basmati rice, fresh diced tomato, sniped chives, toasted coconut, and additional red pepper flakes for desired heat
- 2 yellow onions
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1-1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, skin removed
- 3 Tbs garam masala
- 1 Tbs chili powder
- 1 Tbs turmeric
- 1 Tbs cumin
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley or cilantro (see note)
- 1/4 cup almonds
- juice of one lemon
- Make the Masala Paste in a food processor. Transfer 3/4 cup to a slow cooker; freeze remaining for another use.
- To the Masala Paste, add the remaining ingredients. Cook on low 6-8 hours at least until potatoes are tender. Serve over basmati rice, topped with fresh tomato, chives, toasted coconut, and additional red pepper flakes to taste for heat. Yields a bunch, like 6 servings.
- I had a complete brain-fart at the store and got parsley instead of cilantro. Either would work, cilantro is more authentic, but this is really not a big deal here.