Chana Masala and Kale

L. and I have been trying to embrace this whole Meatless Monday movement. In general we’re fans of vegetarian food, but don’t think about incorporating it into our menu often enough.

Last night I made Orangette’s Chana Masala. It was so divine and delicious. Even as I was cooking and tasting it, I could tell the pay off was going to be huge. The dish was well-spiced, but not hot, full of tomato and onion flavors. It was incredible and I had to fight not to consume the entire bowl right then and there.

I followed Orangette’s recipe to a tee, with the following exceptions:

– I topped ours with a serving of tofu, to balance the carbs and protein ratio. In general, I would have preferred the protein to come from paneer but our local market didn’t have any. Apparently you can use Queso Blanco for a substitute but I know paneer is super easy to make at home. My co-worker Seema is always talking about how she makes it in the morning before work. Maybe I’ll give that a try.

– We didn’t have any garam masala on hand. Garam Masala is actually a spice blend and I was able to find the right combo of spices on the internet. The combo we used was the second one listed here. To be honest though, we did not mix up a whole 1/4 cup. I just tossed in a little bit of each with the spices.

– We had ground cardamom and not cardamom pods, so we substituted 1 tsp per pod. The actual ratio is 1/6 tsp per pod, so we were probably a touch heavy on the cardamom.

Next week I plan to use Orangette’s recipe as a base, but substitute okra for the chickpeas, making one of my favorites: bhindi masala! I’m also going to make some Naan because the dish was crying out for some yummy bread to scoop up the sauce.