Chana Masala & Yogurt Chutney

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Ever since my sister returned from a trip to India, she has been raving about the amazing impact that using Indian spices in your everyday cuisine can have. She has cooked my brother and me a few memorable Indian meals and both of us have been eager to master the skills as our own. This past weekend us three siblings finally got together for the cooking lesson we had been waiting for. Combining the flavors of saltiness, sourness, sweetness, and heat, my sister taught us how to make a killer chana masala and a re-imagined cilantro chutney using yogurt as a base. It was the perfect way to invigorate an otherwise boring vegetarian meal, using creative flavors to enliven the healthy ingredients of chickpeas, ginger, yogurt, and other veggies. The great thing is, many of the spices used for the chickpea dish can be incorporated into other vegetable combos for a delicious, healthy meal or side dish. At the end of the day though I think anything made on a fun afternoon with my family would taste perfect. 

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my big brother and sister (:

Ingredients:

For the Chana Masala

2 Cans Organic Chickpeas

2 Small Tomatoes, Chopped

½ Red Onion, Chopped

1 Tablespoon Fresh Ginger, Chopped

1 Bunch Fresh Cilantro, Chopped

3 Cloves Garlic, Chopped

1 Lemon

1-Teaspoon Cumin

1-Teaspoon Turmeric

½ Teaspoon Garam Masala

Pinch of Chili Pepper

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper to Taste

For the Yogurt Chutney

Handful Fresh Cilantro (stems included)

¾ Cup Plain Yogurt

½ Lemon

Tablespoon Fresh Ginger, Chopped

1/3 Cup Cashews

1 Small Cucumber, chopped

Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper to Taste

Directions:

For the Chana Masala

In a large non-stick skillet heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place the cumin, turmeric, garam masala, chili pepper, salt, and pepper in the skillet and cook until fragrant. Add the onions and sauté until caramelized. Add the ginger and garlic and cook until brown. Add in the chopped tomatoes and sauté until the tomatoes start to break down. Drain the chickpeas and add them to the skillet. Stir until the chickpeas begin to soften. Squeeze in the lemon and fold in the cilantro.

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For the Yogurt Chutney

Place all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until everything is fully incorporated.

Serve on top of romaine lettuce or brown rice and enjoy!

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