July 12, 2010

Chicks and Pot

last night I soaked a heaping cup of chickpeas with hopes of making falafel. The falafel plans fell through (for now!) but I wanted to do something with the chickpeas. I've had intense Indian food cravings due to Gina, so I knew exactly what to do with my soaked 'peas.

Crockpot aloo chana

Serves four

- 1 cup dry chickpeas
- 1 large russet potato, or two medium
- 1 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup of reserved chickpea cooking liquid
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon, zest of half
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 small yellow onions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp ginger, grated
- Cilantro, for garnish
- Green onion, for garnish

- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2-1 tsp tumeric
- 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
- 1/2 tsp mild chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp clove
- opt: 1/4 tsp curry powder
- S&P


- Soak chickpeas overnight in at least 3 cups of water. To cook, rinse and drain soaked chickpeas and put into a large pot with 1-2 garlic clove(s) and enough water to cover chickpeas by 3 inches. Bring to a boil, then simmer for an hour.
- Heat a large skillet on medium-low heat. Add half the olive oil, then add spices. Stir continuously until spices turn one shade darker and you can smell a delicious aroma begin to fill your nose.
- Add onions and garlic along with the remaining oil. Stir to coat them in spices and saute for 2-3 minutes.
- Add crushed tomatoes and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add tomato/spice mixture, along with cooked chickpeas, potatoes, ginger and lemon into a crockpot. Set on high for 3-4 hours or low for 4-6 hours. It's done when the house smells like amazing, aromatic spices and your stomach is desperately grumbling. Garnish with cilantro and/or green onions and serve plain or with rice. Enjoy!

This was perfectly spiced. I wasn't running for the water but I wasn't missing any heat, either. There was a note of aromatic sweetness but also a nice kick. It was definitely the best Indian dish that I've ever made and it was easy! Don't let the long instructions scare you, the prep time takes 10 minutes (minus the soaking) at most, then the rest is done in the crockpot. I'm so glad I have leftovers because it will probably taste even better in the morning. I need more Indian food in my life.


  1. Ah this sounds so good. I have seen a couple of similar recipes and have yet to try it. I love love love chickpeas. Nicely done!

  2. You most certainly should try it. Thank you. :D

  3. I love this! Thanks so much for this recipe! I'll be making it this week. Is it possible to have a vegan version of the Indian butter chicken??

  4. Thank you! I hope you enjoy!

    I haven't made it, but here are substitutions I would make to veganize the dish:

    - Wildwood plain soyogurt in place of regular yogurt (it's unsweetened - you can find it at Whole Foods)
    - Unsweetened soy milk or soy creamer in place of cream.
    - Earth Balance in place of butter
    - Gardein chicken cutlets in place of chicken

    Aside from that, everything in the original recipe should work! If you need anything else lemme know.

  5. This looks SO good! I love that it has cilantro in it - my fave!!!!

  6. Thank you! Cilantro is definitely in my top 5 favorite herbs. Basil and rosemary own my heart, though. :)

  7. You are awesome! Somehow I didn't think you'd actually figure out a recipe for me - this is the one thing my kid still eats if we go out for dinner. So, thank you again. Will try very soon and let you know :)

  8. I hope you enjoy it if you try making it! Maybe I'll try it as well and report back. Also, if you want to get fancy, you can make the "chicken" using homemade seitan. :)

  9. I'll leave the fancy you, Miss Gourmet Chef. Seitan sounds too close to 'he who shall not be named' or some kind of karate battle cry :) One day I'll try and please do report back/create a post if you try.