Chana Masala with Cucumber Cashew Raita (Vegan, GF)

 
 
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I'm going through a huge Indian food/curry powder/garam masala phase right now. Last month it was smoked paprika. What can I say? I love me some flavahhh. This vegan chana masala recipe is adapted from the tikka masala Vegetarian Times recipe -a dish that's been bookmarked on my Chrome browser for approximately ever. The cucumber cashew raita is my own creation, bursting with mint (from the garden, finally!), hydrating cucumber, lemon, and creamy cashews. It's made very thin, as is traditional, or so I've read, but I'm no expert on authentic Indian food (my heritage is Danish for goodness' sakes!). 

This is quickety-quick, healthy, and tastes fairly "authentic" -three things I look for in take-out recreations at home. Of course, the brown rice is optional, however, I eat brown rice with pretty much everything, so you better believe I'm going to suggest that you cook it up. For those of you that own The Oh She Glows Cookbook, there's a fantastic chana masala recipe in there that's similar to this one, and equally as delicious. Both chana masala recipes follow a similar format, so you really can't go wrong with whichever recipe you choose. And let's be honest, it's all about the condiments, so as long as you have the creamy raita, you're good to go!    
 

Chana Masala with Cucumber Cashew Raita (Vegan)

Serves 4

Chana Masala 
Adapted from Vegetarian Times 

Ingredients: 

1 onion, finely chopped 
2 stalks celery, finely diced 
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced 
2 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp curry powder (mild or hot) 
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp garam masala 
3/4 tsp sea salt 
chili flakes, to taste (1/4 tsp makes a "mild" chana masala, spicy food lovers can add more) 
freshly ground pepper, to taste 
1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes or diced tomatoes 
2 heaping cups cooked chickpeas 
2 cups hot, cooked brown rice or quinoa, for serving 
Cucumber Cashew Raita, for serving (see recipe below) 

Directions: 

In a large pot over medium-low heat, add coconut oil, onion, celery, ginger, garlic, curry powder, fennel seeds, garam masala, sea salt, and pepper. Sauté over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, until the vegetables are translucent. 

Add in whole tomatoes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon (if using diced tomatoes, just add them in), and chickpeas. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook on medium-low for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make cucumber cashew raita. 

To serve: Add 1/2 cup hot, cooked brown rice or quinoa to each bowl and ladle the chana masala top. Serve with cucumber cashew raita on the side.  

Cucumber Cashew Raita 

Ingredients: 

1/3 cup raw cashews, soaked for 4 hours, drained and rinsed 
1/3 cup fresh water 
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice 
2 tsp nutritional yeast 
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil 
1/4 tsp salt 
1 cup peeled cucumber, cut into tiny cubes 
1/4 cup fresh mint, finely chopped 

Directions: 

Add all ingredients, except cucumber and mint, to a Blendtec or other high-speed blender, or mini food processor. Purée until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in cucumber and mint. Cover and chill until ready to use for up to 1 day.
 

 

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