Chana Palak

Kaki,

This turned out sooo goood!

But I don’t know what to call it.  I followed a recipe for Chana Masala, but at the last minute I added some spinach.  Does that make it Chole Palak?  Does that have a different blend of spices in the sauce?  I’m going to call it Chana Palak, but let’s just establish that I can in no way claim this to be an authentic chana palak recipe.  It’s just freakin’ delicious, no matter the name.

Also?  I thought for sure I would want to add some feta cheese or sour cream to up the flavor, but it honestly didn’t need it.  Vegan wins again.  Who knew?  🙂

P1020530

Chana Palak

inspired by Cookie and Katie

serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with chiles
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas
  • 8 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped

Make your rice: Combined rice and water in a medium, lidded pot.  Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and leave covered to steam for another 10 minutes.  Set aside until chana palak is finished.

In a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Once shimmering, turn the heat down to medium-low*, then add the cumin seeds.  Stir the seeds around in the oil constantly for a minute or two, until you can really smell their lovely cumin-y scent.  (If you smell any hint of burning, it’s already too late; carefully wipe the oil and seeds out of the pan and start over.**)

Add the onion, garlic, and ginger, and raise the heat to medium again.  Saute these aromatics for about five minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the garam masala, coriander, tumeric, salt, and cayenne to the onion mixture, stirring to evenly distribute the spices.  Toast the spices for about two minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the can of diced tomatoes and stir to deglaze the pan.  After the tomatoes have warmed through for a minute, raise the heat a notch or two and add the chickpeas.  Simmer the mixture for about 10-minutes, adding the spinach and cilantro at about the 5-minute mark.

Spoon over the rice and dig in!

Enjoy, Kaki!

-Caitlin

*I definitely read this instruction the first time I made this.  What do you mean, “lingering burning smell” in my kitchen?  I’m not sure what you’re talking about.

**See * above.

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