When I worked at the library in college, my then boss introduced me to my first taste of Indian buffet down the street.
Not having ever tasted Indian food before, I did what any hungry college kid would do when faced with a sea of interesting new food for the grabbing.
I tried a little bit of everything.
I sat down with my plate a patchwork of dishes with names I didn’t know how to pronounce and grubbed out.
Hours later at the library, my body told me (not so subtly, I might add) that it wasn’t very unhappy with my decision to consume all of those new flavors and spices.
I was all, “Keep it together, body, I have books to shelve!”
Then it was all, “<insert nauseous green emoji>”
…and I haven’t been to an Indian buffet since.
After going plant-based I decided to cautiously revisit all of those spices and flavors from the safety of my own kitchen, noticing how the cuisine naturally lent itself to a more plant-based diet.
Oh, and before you say anything– I’ve since been told by many trusted friends that there are actually some quite fantastic Indian buffets out there, and I don’t doubt it.
It’s just that I like creating them in my kitchen so much better because I can customize the spices and flavors the be the buffet of my dreams.
When I first tried Chana Masala, for instance, I loved the stewed chickpeas thing, but decided there was a definite lack of veg that needed fixing.
This Vegetable Chana Masala is packed with vegetables, chickpea protein, and the best spice blend!
It’s thick, stew-like, with a sweet saucy tomato base, tender veggies, and plenty of chickpeas.
Although the veggies are trying to stealing the show here, the main players in any good chana masala are tomatoes and chickpeas.
You might notice the beans and tomatoes in glass jars in these photos.
If you haven’t, take it a look, because you need to try Jovial Foods!
I first discovered their products while looking for alternative to canned goods.
Jovial organic diced tomatoes and garbanzo beans are grown on small farms in Italy, then packed immediately in glass jars without any additives or preservatives.
Perfect for when tomatoes aren’t in season, or you don’t feel like cooking up your own chickpeas.
The best ingredients for the best chickpea stew.
Enjoy this Vegetable Chickpea Masala whenever you’re craving a cozy spiced 1-pan meal.
Swap out the veggies for your favorites to mix things up! I found broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots worked well with the cook time, but anything goes!
For a more stew-like chana masala, omit or use less vegetable broth, and for more, add broth or diced tomatoes.
Most of the time I eat mine in a bowl with lots of cilantro and fresh squeezed lemon.
You can also serve it with cauliflower rice, quinoa, or your favorite grain of choice.
It’s easy enough to make for a quick weeknight meal but flavorful enough to make you think you’re out on the town!
If you make a pot of this Vegetable Chana Masala, I’d love to hear what you think!
Be sure to leave a comment and rating below so I can use your feedback to make more yums.
Give me a shout on instagram @flora_and_vino and use hashtag #floraandvino to show me your creations!
Want more colorful soups and stews packed with protein and veg?
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- 1 tsp avocado oil (or sub 1/4 cup veggie broth if OF)
- 1 medium white or yellow onion, finely diced
- 1/2 TBS ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp Himalayan sea salt
- 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 cup veggie broth
- 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets, roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 cups diced carrots
- 1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets, roughly chopped
- 1 1/4 cups of Jovial organic diced tomatoes
- 1 13 oz. jar of Jovial organic garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tsp pure maple syrup (optional)
- 1 TBS lemon juice
- fresh cilantro
- optional for serving: quinoa, rice, etc.
- Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add avocado oil (or veggie broth) and diced onion and saute for 3-5 minutes, until onions are translucent, adding more veggie broth to the pan as needed to prevent drying out.
- Next, add the cumin, chili powder, coriander, sea salt, turmeric, garlic powder, ginger, and garam masala and mix well with the onions. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Add a little more oil or veggie broth if the pan is dry at this point.
- Next add the broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, diced tomatoes, chickpeas, and remaining 1/2 cup veggie broth. The mixture should very thick and stew-like. (You can add more veggie broth or water later to thin out, if you prefer more of a “soup” consistency.)
- Increase heat to medium high until the mixture reaches a rolling simmer, then reduce heat to low or medium-low, cover, and simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until thick and stew-like, stirring occasionally.
- Taste and add more sea salt or spices as desired. I like a little extra cumin and chili powder.
- Remove from heat and add stir in lemon juice and a drizzle of maple syrup for optional sweetness.
- Serve with fresh cilantro and optional grain of choice.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 4-5 days and freeze for longterm storage.
*Jovial products are currently 20% + FREE SHIPPING with BACKTOSCHOOL18 valid 9/1/18 – 9/8/18!
- Category: Entree
- Cuisine: Gluten Free, Grain Free, Oil Free
This post is brought to you by Jovial Foods, but all words and eats are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that keep me hungry!