Indian food. I love it. It’s my second favourite ethnic food (my first is Ethiopian). I actually didn’t try Indian food until my mid twenties. Nick and I were on our first date and he took me to a trendy restaurant on Commercial Drive, but when we arrived the power had gone out. So with some quick thinking he decided to take me to an Indian Restaurant back in our neighbourhood. I admit I was nervous as it was a first date and the first time I was about to try several Indian dishes. Luckily I really enjoyed it all, the flavours were strong and spicy but so delicious, plus the date obviously went well since Nick became my husband three years later! My absolute favourite dish was called Chana Masala and still is to this day. It’s a chickpea dish that has a gravy like sauce with tomatoes, onions, garlic and ginger.
The Chana Masala you get from a restaurant most likely has plenty of sodium and ghee. Since we’ve cut back on eating out to avoid many processed foods, I’ve created this version in my kitchen which is vegan and gluten free too. It’s a great dish to prepare in the morning or early afternoon and let simmer all day, or at least an hour or two. This allows the tomatoes to breakdown creating the sauce and allows the flavours to develop fully. This could also be done in a slow cooker to allow you to leave the house while its simmering.
Matti enjoys this dish mixed with brown rice. I simply take his portion out before adding the chilli power to make it kid friendly. Luc wouldn’t be able to tolerate the tomatoes in this dish as they are high histamine. So for him I would make this dish the same except simply switch out the tomatoes for roasted red peppers. Unfortunately the past few weeks Luc has been quite reactive and has stopped wanting to eat food, except for a handful of crackers, his special formula with meds, and sometimes a ‘Luc friendly’ smoothie. It’s so hard for Nick and I to watch his refusal of food and not worry about his caloric intake. We have to constantly remind ourselves that he’s still a healthy weight and seems to have energy throughout his day, so we have to just let it be. Easier said than done though!
- 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
- 2 medium Yellow Onions, finely diced
- 6 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1-1/2 tbsp Ginger, grated
- 3 tsp Cumin
- 3 tsp Garam Masala
- 2 tsp Coriander, crushed
- 6 Roma Tomatoes, deseeded and diced
- 4 cups cooked Chickpeas
- 1 tbsp Coconut Sugar or Date Paste
- 2 cup Water, or more if needed
- 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1 tbsp Amchoor Powder (dried mango powder) or Lemon Juice
- ½ cup Cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp Sea Salt, or to taste
- Chilli Powder, to taste
- In a large pot, heat coconut oil and add the diced onions. Cook on medium low heat until translucent, stirring often.
- Add the minced garlic, grated ginger, cumin, garam masala, crushed coriander, and finely diced tomatoes. Continue to cook, stirring for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the cooked chickpeas, date paste, water, tomato paste and amchoor powder. Stir well, then reduce heat to a simmer.
- Simmer for an hour minimum or longer until ready to serve. The longer it simmers the better as the tomatoes will breakdown and it will allow the flavours to develop fully. And more water if needed.
- Add sea salt and chilli powder to taste. Stir in fresh cilantro just before serving.
- Serve with brown rice for a complete meal.