This dish features a healthy mixture of chickpeas, tomatoes, onion, and spices. Both carnivores and vegetarians will enjoy this meal. Leave out the green chile if the kiddies will be eating. Serve over basmati or jasmine rice and enjoy. Namaste y'all!
1 cup uncooked brown basmati rice, for serving (rice is optional, I like to cook extra to have on hand for other meals)
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 tame the spice level)
½ 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 ½ teaspoons garam masala
1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional!)
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
Cook the rice (if you want to serve the chana masala on rice): Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove and rinse the rice in a fine-mesh colander. Once boiling, pour in the rice and give it a stir. Boil the rice for 30 minutes, then turn off the heat and drain the rice. Return the rice to the pot and cover the pot. Let the rice steam for 10 minutes. Remove the lid, fluff the rice with a fork and season with sea salt to taste.
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.