This shana saag recipe marries chickpeas and spinach on this one-pot curry

Chana Saag (Spinach, Tomato and Chickpea Curry)

Complete time:50 minutes

Servings:7 (makes about 7 1/2 cups)

Complete time:50 minutes

Servings:7 (makes about 7 1/2 cups)


The standard Mediterranean food plan has turn into a default setting for healthful consuming for good motive. It gives healthfulness and pleasure in spades, and it has been completely researched — with many research pointing to its advantages.

However all the eye it will get would possibly inadvertently depart the impression that different cultural foodways don’t measure up health-wise, and that’s plainly unfaithful. There are highly effective classes to glean from a large number of conventional diets worldwide, methods of consuming which have developed over generations to optimize individuals’s well-being. Widening our perspective past the Mediterranean opens us as much as boundless healthful culinary alternatives.

With that in thoughts, all this month and periodically all year long I’ll dedicate this column to exploring nourishing recipes from world cuisines which could not usually make the well being headlines, shining a light-weight on cookbook authors who characterize these cuisines.

Within the coming weeks you’ll get healthful dishes from India, Mexico, Ghana, and North American indigenous culinary traditions, every of which, in step with how I usually roll within the kitchen, are fast and easy to arrange, however supply a wow issue of taste and nourishment. In fact there isn’t any one recipe that might replicate the whole thing of any tradition’s delicacies, and each nation includes micro cultures which every have distinctive meals traditions. The concept isn’t to distill that wealth of selection right into a single dish however moderately to supply a style of healthful meals from all over the world to encourage you to discover additional.

First up, this mouthwatering, plant-powered curry from Meera Sodha’s e book “Recent India,” a nutritious, weeknight-friendly dinner that dispels any notion you might have of Indian meals being heavy or difficult, and highlights the extraordinary custom of India’s vegetarian delicacies. Sodha is from Gujarat, a small state on the nation’s western coast the place, she explains in her e book’s introduction, “over 1000’s of years, a wealthy and resourceful vegetable-first approach of cooking has developed.”

Her tackle chana saag, a dish she says is sort of as in style in England, the place she lives now, as it’s in India, is particularly handy and fresh-tasting. It brims with healthful taste from fragrant spices, is filled with protein-rich chickpeas, savory tomatoes and piles of just-wilted contemporary spinach. This one-pot stew takes nearly half-hour to make and tastes even higher the following day.

I couldn’t agree extra with what Sodha expressed to me by way of e mail: “If readers need to eat a extra plant-based food plan to place greens on the centre of their meals and for a myriad of the way to prepare dinner them merely and deliciously, I feel India is a good place to look.”

I couldn’t agree extra. And this dish, I’ll add, is a good place to begin.

Chana Saag (Spinach, Tomato and Chickpea Curry)

Storage: Refrigerate for as much as 4 days.

The place to Purchase: Kashmiri chile and black mustard seeds might be discovered at well-stocked supermarkets, Indian markets or on-line.

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  • 3 tablespoons impartial oil, reminiscent of canola or grapeseed
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 giant yellow onions (1 1/2 kilos whole), diced
  • 5 medium cloves garlic, minced or finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon grated contemporary ginger
  • One (14-ounce) can plum tomatoes, with their juices
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Two (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons floor coriander
  • 1 teaspoon floor Kashmiri chile (might substitute 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon fantastic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon floor turmeric
  • 1 pound child spinach
  • Plain whole-milk or reduced-fat yogurt, for serving (non-obligatory)

In a really giant, huge, lidded pot over medium warmth, warmth the oil till shimmering. Add the mustard and cumin seeds and prepare dinner, stirring, till they start to pop, about 30 seconds.

Add the onions and prepare dinner, stirring often, till translucent and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and prepare dinner for two minutes extra. Add the tomatoes and their juices, crushing every tomato by hand as you add it to the pot, then stir within the water.

Cook dinner, uncovered, stirring often, till many of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Stir within the chickpeas, coriander, floor chile, salt and turmeric to include. Working in batches, if wanted, add the spinach, letting it wilt so you may stir it into the combination earlier than including extra spinach. Cowl and prepare dinner, stirring often, till the spinach is gentle and tender, about 5 minutes.

Take away from the warmth, ladle into bowls and serve, topped with a dollop of yogurt, if desired.

Per serving (beneficiant 1 cup)

Energy: 214; Complete Fats: 8 g; Saturated Fats: 1 g; Ldl cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 590 mg; Carbohydrates: 27 g; Dietary Fiber: 7 g; Sugar: 2 g; Protein: 9 g

This evaluation is an estimate primarily based on accessible elements and this preparation. It shouldn’t substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s recommendation.

Tailored from “Fresh India” by Meera Sodha (Flatiron Books, 2018).

Examined by Rachel Sadon; e mail inquiries to [email protected].

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