Chickpea Spinach Masala

When I saw this recipe pop up in my latest Fine Cooking magazine, I knew I had to try it. I’ve shied away from making anything with even remotely Indian flavors as I was always afraid it would take too long and then at the end I would mess it up and it wouldn’t taste good. This recipe looked so easy though! So, I figured I would take it for a spin. When I was done, I was so glad I did. This was really easy to make and the flavors were wonderful. It was almost even better the second day for leftovers since the spices had more time to meld. I think I might make a large batch of this for work lunches, I think it would freeze well. This also makes a great weeknight supper because its pretty quick to make.

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I have a pretty healthy spice cabinet, but if you don’t you may need to go looking for some of these spices in the grocery store. The recipe calls for both whole and ground cumin seeds, but I am sure that if you only had ground, you would still get the flavor. The other spices you will need are coriander, turmeric, and cayenne. You will also need some fresh ginger and some fresh garlic. I like to buy the already minced jarred garlic at the grocery store. It really saves time and I think it tastes pretty good. If I was cooking for a “Top Chef” competition, I would probably not use that stuff, but for my purposes, it’s great.

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The first thing you need to do for this recipe is cook up some onions in a large skillet. The bigger the skillet, the easier when you add the spinach since it takes a second to cook down and when it’s all fluffy, it will take up quite a bit of pan space. With a bigger skillet, it’s easier to stir it around.

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Then you can add the spices and cans of tomatoes and chick peas, cook for a minute, then smash. The smashing is best done with a potato masher and is a good way to take out some aggression.

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When its all plated, the above is what it looks like. I served it with store-bought naan.

This recipe is adapted from the April/May 2016 issue of Fine Cooking magazine. They recommend serving this with a dollop of Greek yogurt, but I didn’t think it needed it so I left it out.

Serves 4

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8 oz baby spinach (I used the bagged-salad kind)
  • 1 15.5 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes

Heat oil in large skillet over med-high heat. Add onion and cumin seeds and cook, stirring frequently, until onion starts to brown, about 5 mins. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the rest of the spices and 1 tsp salt ad cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup water and stir. Add the spinach a few handfuls at a time and let it wilt. Stir in the chickpeas and tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Using a potato masher, mash most of the chickpeas. The mixture will thicken. Serve with naan or some other bread you can use to soak up all the goodness on the plate.

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