Thursday, November 24, 2011

Chana Masala

Breakfast: Scrambled tofu with toast

Lunch: Lentil shepherd's pie with salad followed by vegan red velvet cupcake

Dinner: Chana masala followed by Live's raw, vegan, gluten-free strawberry "cheesecake"

Yesterday was my first vegan birthday (well, Tuesday, as I'm writing this on Wednesday night, but let's not quibble). More momentously, I didn't cook once. I was treated to breakfast a la Putin, lunch a la Tea Tree Cafe (Erin, you're great!) and dinner a la Udapi Palace with dessert a la Live. It was a veritable cacophony of delicious dairy-free noms.

I enjoyed my dinnertime chana masala so much that I had to come back and make a batch up for the week. This recipe is adapted from a few sources, one of which is from the wonderful Madhur Jaffrey. I wanted to use fresh tomatoes and this gave the dish a great creamy tomato feel. And of course, it's vegan!

You'll need:
(Feeds 2)
1 can chickpeas
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup water
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 small red chili
juice of 1 lemo
fresh coriander

Fry the onion, garlic and chili in a little oil until the onion is browned
Add in the cumin seeds, ground coriander, turmeric, paprika, and cayenne pepper
Add in the tomatoes, water, chickpeas and ginger, and simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring often
If necessary, add in a little more water
Just before serving, stir in the lemon juice and serve with fresh coriander on top

This is best served after you've allowed it to cool for 3-5 minutes, and serve on top of white rice with pappadoms and chapatis, if you have them.

I was really surprised at how great this turned out. It's nice to know that even though you can't eat out every night, you can at least recreate the experience back home on non-birthday days!

Oh, and how old am I? Well, let's just say I moved up a box.

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