- Kirn Pitamber
Crockpot vegan chana masala or chikor chole...whatever you call it, it's good!
Every family has those busy days during the week. After school activities, late work nights, etc... all make dinner time particularly difficult. It's easy to order pizza and call it a night (my hubby's idea of cooking). Or with a little planning you could have a delicious, healthy and easy meal waiting for you at home!
This meal is isn't just for dinner. Make this Friday night for a tasty, easy weekend brunch! It's great when you have a big crowd to feed. I grew up eating this for brunch with fresh puri. Then we enjoyed leftovers the next day with rice or roti. The leftovers actually taste better in my opinion. All the flavors are brighter and richer!
Why use a slow cooker? Slow cookers were meant for chole (garbanzo beans or chick peas)! The slow cooking process tenderizes the chole and it absorbs all the amazing flavors! Not to mention the aroma that hits you once you walk in the door from a long day. It's heaven!
Let's also talk about the healing ingredients in this meal. Honestly everything in this meal is nutritious, but we have to spot light some superstars. Turmeric, ginger, garlic and tomatoes are known for their anti- inflammatory properties. Chole (or chick peas or garbanzo beans) have a low glycemic index and help control blood sugar. One cup of chole has up to 12 grams of fiber and up to 15 grams of protein!
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp garam masala (check for heat, use less if you'd like)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp amchur (or juice of 1 lemon)
1/4 tsp ground clove
2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp oil
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes or chopped fresh tomatoes
6 garlic cloves minced
1 inch piece minced fresh ginger
1 large onion diced
Fresh chopped cilantro for topping(optional)
2 dry cups chole. I highly recommend soaking for 6 hours or over night with 1/4 tsp baking soda. Soaking aides with digestion and lessons cooking time.
4 cups hot water
Red pepper if you want more heat
1. To soak chole, place in a large bowl. Fill bowl with enough water making sure about 3 inches of water is above the chole. Chole will double in size so enough water is important. Add 1/4 tsp baking soda to the water and mix well. Soak for about 6 hours or overnight. Drain chole and rinse well. If you do not want to soak chole, simply clean and rinse dry chole.
2. Heat oil in a pan and sauté onion on medium heat till lightly brown. Add garlic & ginger and saute till fragrant.
3. Lower heat & add spices and diced tomato(with juices) and cook for a 2-3 minutes.
4. Add the tomato mixture, hot water and chana to the crock pot. Mix everything well and cook on High. For non soaked chana, add an additional 4 cups water to crockpot and cook on high for 10-12 hours. For Soaked chana cook on high for 8-10 hours. (Please keep in mind this is an estimate as all slow cookers are different)
5. Chana is done when it's soft. Use a masher and mash the chana a couple of times to give it thickness. Add fresh cilantro and lemon juice to top it off and your'e done!
Serve with roti, puri, naan, rice or just on it's own is fabulous! It's perfect for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. Enjoy!!!!