This Chana Makhani, I promise, is going to become your favorite way to eat greens. And chickpeas. Or greens and chickpeas. Because it’s quite simply, in a word, awesome.
My Chana Makhani with Greens is a smooth, velvety curry of leafy greens with the perfect hint of spice and the luxurious creaminess of cashews. And into all this goodness I added some green chickpeas. Sprouted green chickpeas, and if you are wondering, go read my last post. I told you, I’m really into sprouts right now.
Green chickpeas are chickpeas that are picked younger, and while you can actually buy fresh green chickpeas in India, where they are called lobhia, and even here, in the United States, the ones I used for this curry are the dry kind that I bought at the Indian grocery store.
If you’re a bean enthusiast like me, and you’ve never been to an Indian grocery store, you must. It’s like wading into a legume wonderland. There are brown chickpeas and green chickpeas and the regular beige ones that you see everywhere. There are red kidney beans and dark red kidney beans, tiny red mung beans and tiny green mung beans, lentils in every shade of yellow and every shade of green. Pink lentils and white lentils and black lentils.
Anyway, getting back to the green chickpeas, you could use regular chickpeas or brown chickpeas in this recipe, if you’d rather. In fact, the green chickpeas cook up brown too. The green and brown chickpeas have a sturdier, nuttier texture than regular chickpeas, which can be really nice if you’re craving for something with a bit of a chew.
And you don’t have to sprout the chickpeas, but if you do, good for you! Your body and your tastebuds will be thanking you even more.
Now enjoy the recipe.
- 1 cup green or regular chickpeas. Soak overnight and cook until tender. You can also substitute with canned chickpeas.
- 3 cups of frozen spinach. Place the greens in a microwave-safe bowl, add a couple of tablespoons of water, and microwave for five minutes. Set aside.
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1- inch knob of ginger, julienned
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 2 green chillies, chopped
- 1/2 cup cashews, soaked in water for 30 minutes, then blended into a smooth paste with 1/2 cup water
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Heat the oil.
- Add the mustard seeds and fennel seeds. When the mustard sputters, add the ginger and garlic, saute for a few seconds, then add the onions and the bay leaves.
- Add a generous pinch of salt and saute on a medium-low flame until the onion turns translucent.
- Add the cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala, green chillies, and turmeric. Stir well.
- Add the cooked greens. mix well, and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat and cook for five minutes. Let it cool a little and then transfer to a blender and blend into a smooth paste. Be very careful handling the hot mixture. If you have an immersion blender, this is good time to break it out.
- Add the greens paste back to the pan with the cooked chickpeas. Turn on the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Add water if it's too dry. Add the cashew cream, the lemon juice, and salt to taste.
- Serve hot with rice or phulkas.