chickpea tikka masala


These days, life is a whirlwind. I know, when is it not is the bigger question, but somehow things have felt exceptionally busy the past few weeks. While spending most of my days working from home would seem to free up a lot of other time (you know, the time people spend commuting or picking out workweek outfits while I lounge about in something lightyears more comfortable - lightyears is the right measurement for the comfort of pants, right?) and would seem that I could spend some time whipping up some pretty fantastic meals, sometimes I still find myself feeling really short on time. How can that be, you might wonder, and trust me, I often wonder, too. Weeknights like these (when I can make a tasty, healthy meal that seems like it was a lot of work) are best for quick recipes with lots of flavor, like this easy tikka masala inspired by Vegetarian Times.

For this recipe, you'll need:

1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon garam masala (We took turmeric, peppercorns, red pepper flakes, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, cumin and cardamon and crushed them up using Jamie Oliver's genius flavour shaker)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 15-ounce can of crushed tomatoes

Heat your olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add your onion and sauté for about 5 minutes or until they start to brown and caramelize. Add your garam masala, tomato paste, ginger and, if you'd like, a bit of salt. Stir together and cook for one minute more. This will start to sizzle and stick to the pot, so it's best to work quickly. Which is the name of the game anyway, right?

Next, stir in your crushed tomatoes and chickpeas. I also added a bit of water to loosen up the mixture. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer, covering for about 15-20 minutes. Now, the trick of this is that it's a super quick meal, but of course the flavors can always be enhanced and intensified if you can let it cook longer. That, of course, is up to you and how hungry you are.

These stewed chickpeas are great over rice or quinoa, and the heat can be nicely balanced with a small scoop of plain yogurt. VT also recommends serving with a bit of chopped cilantro (pass), but I think fresh mint would also be pretty damn delightful.