Chickpeas made with Indian spices? I’m there. Chickpeas made with Indian spices plus kale? Hold me back. This is my fusion-y take on Chana Masala (read: chickpeas with spices), made so gloriously nutritious by the addition of kale that I have to call it Super Chana Masala. You get all the healthy perks of chickpeas and kale, and they’re totally wearing little mustaches in disguise as exotic, delicious Indian cuisine. And it’s naturally vegan. Yes, this is really happening.
There might be something healthier you could eat, but I can’t prove it. Check out these intense nutrition statistics: Low fat. No cholesterol. Almost no sodium. 13.3 grams of protein. 19% of your calcium, 28% of your iron, and 45% of your fiber in each serving. Oh, and 193% of your vitamin A and 274% of your vitamin C, too. In each cup that’s so good you’ll want another cup. I often have this as a meal, but it’s also great when I’m being fancy and having several things for dinner (ooooh). I made this along with samosas about a week ago, and that was a yum night, my friends. Of course, there was raita, but when I cook Indian, there’s always raita.
Super Chana Masala with Kale
makes about 5 cups
1 cup dried chickpeas, either soaked for 12 hours or quick-soaked (see step 1)
1 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp garam masala*
1 tsp red curry powder*
*if you don’t already have these, check the McCormick® Gourmet spice section in your supermarket
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
half a medium-large yellow or white onion, sliced
about 2 cups red bell pepper, sliced (I used three medium peppers)
1 14 oz. can salt-free tomatoes, drained
1 Tbs peanut butter
about 1 Tbs fresh grated ginger (or substitute 1/4 tsp ground ginger)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Mrs. Dash® Table Blend, Original, Garlic and Herb or Onion and Herb variety
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup water
a 1 lb. bag kale greens (weed out and discard enormous, tree trunk-esque stems if necessary)
1. If your beans are already soaked, place them in a medium saucepan, cover them with water and simmer on medium low heat for about an hour. If you’re going to quick-soak (that’s me), place the dry beans in a medium saucepan, cover them with about 5 cups of water, and bring them to a boil. Let them boil for about 2 minutes, then put a lid on the saucepan, turn off the heat and let them sit for about an hour. Soaking’s done! Now cook them: drain the water, cover them with fresh water, and simmer on medium low heat for about an hour. Drain and set aside.
2. Combine the olive oil, garam masala, curry powder, cumin and chili powder in a large saucepan over medium low heat. Simmer the spices in the oil for about 2 minutes, then add the onion and red bell pepper. Turn the heat up to medium and saute the veggies until they’re tender and starting to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Turn the heat back to low and put a lid on the pan. Give them a stir every so often.
3. Combine about 1/4 cup of the chickpeas with the tomatoes, peanut butter, ginger, garlic powder, Mrs. Dash® and cinnamon in a food processor or blender and whir until the mixture looks mostly uniform. Stir this into the peppers and onions and let everything simmer together for about 5 minutes.
4. Add a 1/2 cup of water and a few good handfuls of the kale to the pot. Work the kale into the rest of the ingredients using a folding motion. As it wilts, add more, and more water if things look dry. Once all the kale’s in and fairly wilty, stir in the chickpeas. Let everything simmer together on low heat for a few minutes before serving.
Per 1 cup serving, roughly 262g: 271 calories (68 calories from fat); 7.6g fat (12%)(1.0g sat, 0g trans); 0mg cholesterol (0%); 83mg sodium (3%); 41.5g carbohydrates (14%); 13.3g protein; 11.3g fiber (45%); vitamin A 193%; calcium 19%; vitamin C 274%; iron 28%