Forget Superfoods for a second. Let’s think Supermeals. Spinach, Channa, Turmeric, Ginger, Yogurt & a touch of Olive oil are the main elements in this meal. All of these ingredients are well documented sources of nutrition and I’m so happy to share my recipe with you today.
At the end of June, an eclectic group of us went to an Indian Restaurant for my Mom’s birthday, and I ordered the Channa (Chickpea) Saag with my go-to curry vehicle, Garlic Naan. I’ve had Paneer Saag before, which essentially is paneer cooked in a spinach puree. I generally actually prefer it to paneer in a tomato based curry. So I took a chance and ordered the Channa saag. It totally paid off. I enjoyed the chickpea saag immensely – it was wholesome and filling and not overly spiced.
So I decided to try it on my own.
Most indian recipes call for heavy cream. I approach heavy cream the way I approach fried food – I’ll never cook it because seeing it turns me off, but I’ll eat if someone else makes it and I don’t see how it’s prepared. Yes. Reality is fine until it’s inconvenient, ok?
I still wanted the creaminess in the dish, so I opted to add a little low-fat yogurt . I also used spinach that I had in my freezer, so there was enough stored liquid there to cook adequately.
5 cups spinach, tightly packed
3/4 cup cooked chickpeas
1 clove garlic
1/2 large onion
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
Red pepper flakes
3/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp. fat free yogurt
1/2 tbsp olive oil
Warm the oil in a pan. Add minced onion, & garlic and let cook until slightly browned. Add cumin seeds & ginger and toast briefly until fragrant. Add garam masala, turmeric, salt & red pepper flakes. Stir to combine and let cook for 30 seconds.
Add Spinach and stir to combine with mixture. Cover and let simmer for 1 minute. Uncover, add yogurt, and using an immersion blender (or regular blender), puree mixture. If you find it too dry or the yogurt makes things a gross colour, just add a bit of water. Add channa, stir and cover.
I actually put this together pretty quick. If you have frozen cooked channa (or in a tin, just make sure you wash it thoroughly), the hardest thing you have to do is mince the onions, garlic & ginger. I’m also bringing this to my Fiesta Friday crew. It feels like ages since I’ve properly chatted with the gals (and guys) so I can’t wait to visit all of you!
So Rabin’s verdict on the meal? “So delicious. It tastes very Greek.” :s …Andddd there you have it. I really can’t cook like an Indian even though I’m of Indian descent. So I present to you the first Greek/Indian curry. *Bows* Maybe I should run with it and open a restaurant? Opa Namaste has a cool ring to it, doesn’t it?
Update (September 18): I’m entering this recipe in the “A Taste of India on the Spice Trail” Contest hosted by Bangers & Mash . Wish me luck!