Slow Cooker Chana Masala
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 3 hours
I recently got my first slow cooker, and have been loving it as a way to make great meals with less effort. I've also been trying to be more budget conscious over the last few months, and I am always looking for ways to make beans and rice type meals more exciting.
This Chana Masala (Chickpea Stew) recipe is a great addition to the repertoire of anyone looking to cut food costs and animal content. I need to give credit to the Smitten Kitchen post, which is my main inspiration for this recipe. My version has a bit more liquid than most other Chana masala recipes, but I don't mind that as it comes with lots of good flavor and the ease of Crock Pot cooking.
Yes, I did put the chickpeas in the crockpot dry, and I let them cook in the broth for the stew. This cut my costs, added flavor, and cut my prep time, though it added to the cook time of the recipe. If you are running short on time, replace the dry chickpeas with 2 cans prepared, cut the boiling water out of the recipe, and you can also cook it on the stove in this case rather than in the slow cooker.
One last note is that Indian or Asian groceries may carry a Chana Masala spice mix, and using that will ease a lot of the prep and gathering time for this recipe. If you don't have that mix handy, use the spices as indicated below:
- 2 cups dry chickpeas, rinsed
- 1 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes – Plain and fire roasted flavors fit this recipe well. Basil flavor also tastes great, but signifcantly changes the flavor of the dish. Choose what sounds best to you.
- 1 cups boiling water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, diced
- ½ teaspoon black salt, or table salt if black is not available
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 fresh, hot pepper, minced – can be cut to reduce the heat of this recipe
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 2 teaspooons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes – can be cut to reduce heat
- 1 teaspoon ground tumeric
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- Add your rinsed chickpeas, crushed tomatoes, and boiling water to your crock pot and set to high.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet, and add the onions and salt. Cook the onions until translucent, then add the ginger and garlic. Cook an additional 5 minutes, but moving to the next step if the garlic starts to brown.
- Add the rest of your spices to the onion mixture, and cook together for 5 minutes. Turn on your oven fan, as this stage can produce some smoke.
- Add the onion and spice mixture to the slow cooker and stir well. Cook for approximately 3 hours, or until the chickpeas are soft. Check the stew occasionally during the cooking process, and add more water if necessary.
This stew can be served alone, or it is also great with a side of rice. Enjoy!