Indian Chana Masala with Cashews & Raisins

This dish is loosely based on Indian, Chana Masala is a popular Indian vegetarian dish, consisting of a mixture of chickpeas, garam masala, and lemon. I have never made Indian food but this dish came in my weekly Blue Apron subscription and was so delicious I wanted to share.

Not only was this a one pot dish (which I love for weekday cooking) it also is a very well rounded dish for your family. This recipe has a good amount of veggies between the spinach and carrots, golden yukon potatoes for a starch, cashews & pepitas for fat, and chickpeas for your protein & fiber.

Garam Masala is a spice blend that varies by region in India. The words Garam Masala literally means “hot spices”. In the case of garam Masala, the word “hot” refers to the intensity, rather than “heat” of the spices. The spices within a garam masala recipe are believed to provide warmth to the body, because they raise body heat and are thought to increase metabolism. The warming spice blend is usually made up of pepper, cloves, cinnamon, cumin, ginger, nutmeg, and cardamom.  If you make your own, feel free to play with different quantities or try adding fenugreek, fennel, black mustard seeds, or turmeric.

 I N G R E D I E N T S :

6-8 baby carrots
1 pound Yukon Gold Potatoes
3 onces baby spinach
3 cloves garlic
1 14 ounce can chickpeas
1 bunch cilantro ( about 4 sprigs)
1 lemon
1 shallot
1/4 cup cashews
2 teaspoons Garam Masala 
1 Teaspoon Cumin
1 1/2 cups of vegetable stock
2 tablespoons raisins
1 tablespoon pepitas
2 tablespoons olive oil

 D I R E C T I O N S: 

Wash and dry produce. Trim the carrots and cut into 1-inch pieces on an angle. Cut the potatoes into ½-inch pieces. Peel and mince the garlic and shallot. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Roughly chop the cilantro leaves. Cut the lemon into 6 wedges and remove the seeds. Roughly chop the cashews. Toast the cashews and pepitas in a dry pan on medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, or until toasted and fragrant, stirring constantly. Keep a close eye on the nuts as they can burn easily. Remove from pan and set aside. 

In the same pan, heat a couple teaspoons of olive oil until hot. Add the garlic and shallot and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant and softened. Add the carrot, potato, cumin and garam masala. Toast the spices for 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant and thoroughly combined, stirring occasionally; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Stir in the vegetable broth, scraping any bits from the bottom of the pot to incorporate into the stew. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through. Using a fork, smash ¼ of the chickpeas (this will help thicken the stew). Add all of the chickpeas to the stew along with the raisins. Cover and reduce the heat to low, then simmer 7 to 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. 

Once the potatoes are fully cooked, stir in the spinach and half the cilantro and cook 1 minute, or until wilted. Squeeze in the juice of 2 lemon wedges and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve in a bowl, top with the toasted cashews, pepitas and remaining cilantro. Garnish with the remaining lemon wedges. Enjoy!

Makes about 4 servings

Recipe adapted from Blue Apron

* Notes *  
You can purchase Garam Masala spice pre-made in the spices section at your grocery store