Happy 2016, everyone! I hope you all had excellent holidays. I certainly appreciated the break even though- as expected- I spent way more of it lazing around than being ultra productive. On the bright side, I feel amazingly well-rested and ready to conquer this first week back at work and back at the blog.
For various reasons, I came out of this holiday season feeling pretty light. Usually, come January, my body feels sluggish and tired and ready for a kick-start- a result of spending the entirety of December with a glass of wine in my hand and a mouth full of cheese. This year, I spent more of my holidays sleeping than drinking, and eating more Greek salad than I did bacon jam.
It was weird. I don’t know if I’ll do that again, but I certainly do feel good.
I’ve also been cutting way down on my meat intake. This was not done intentionally (although it probably is a good call), but only because I just haven’t been ‘feeling’ meat recently. It’s like I’ve temporarily lost a taste for the delicious steaks I used to crave so badly.
This is bad news for Colin, my resident carnivore, who gave me the side-eye of the century when I suggested we were having a delicious vegetarian feast for New Years Day. You know the look. This look.
Sorry, Coz. I promise we’ll do a prime rib roast again one of these days.
2016 came in with a blast of frost, so I wanted something warming, something that would stick to my ribs and heat me up from the inside. A curry. Yeah.
But also… I didn’t feel like a big bowl of rice (ugh, why are you such a fickle pickle, Finn???).
So, to recap: I didn’t want meat, I didn’t want rice. I kind of wanted a curry, but I also wanted to do something cool and new and different. Colin’s ‘screams internally’ face makes a lot more sense now, doesn’t it?
The solution was almost too simple. I would throw caution to the wind and raise the ire of purists everywhere. Indian cuisine, meet Mexican cuisine… meet the mad scientist in the kitchen with the lunatic cravings. Indian. Curry. Tacos.
Chana masala is a drier curry, as opposed to a saucy curry like a Butter Chicken (or No-Butter Butter Chicken 🙂 ), which makes it very well-suited to being wrapped up like this.
Ideally, I would have loved to have used chapati for this in place of corn tortillas but alas, I used what I had around this time. I have used chapati with great success in the past, so if you can get your hands on some I recommend using that instead and making fewer but slightly larger wraps.
Because I’m a sucker for condiments, of course I had to doll the filling up a little, too. It is a taco, after all. Yogurt- which can easily be subbed for full-on raita (except I was lazy and, frankly, it’s close enough for this dish), chutney, cilantro. All of a sudden, I had an exceptionally easy, healthy and delicious meal. So hearty yet so light! It was a New Years miracle.
Colin didn’t even whinge about the lack of meat, which at first I took as a selfless act of patience and tolerance, but later found out that it was really just because these things are SO DAMN DELICIOUS. (I’ll still give him points for being a good sport though, since I’m feeling particularly happy after stuffing my face with currytacos)
Any kind of chutney works a charm with this, so don’t feel like you have to run to the store to get tamarind paste if you don’t have any. I have used everything from crabapple chutney to mango, so pick your favourite and run with that. The chutney is there to add a little sweet and a little acid on the palette and really makes these little wraps pop.
|Vegetarian Chana Masala "Tacos"|| |
- Chana Masala:
- 2 Tbsp Grapeseed oil
- 4 medium red potatoes, cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- 1 Tbsp Garam masala
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tsp chili flakes
- 796 ml (28 oz) can of diced tomatoes
- 796 ml (28 oz) can of chickpeas, drained
- 1 bunch spinach, rinsed and coarsely chopped
- ½ bunch cilantro, rinsed and coarsely chopped
- ½ lemon, juice
- Tamarind Chutney (can also use any store bought or homemade chutney):
- 4 Tbsp tamarind concentrate
- 4 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 cups water
- ½ tsp chili flakes (optional)
- To serve:
- Small corn tortillas, warmed
- Fresh cilantro, leaves picked
- Plain yogurt
- Chutney of your choice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the potatoes in 1 Tbsp of grapeseed oil, sprinkle lightly with salt and spread on to the baking sheet. Roast in oven for 20 minutes, until lightly golden.
- In a large pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of grapeseed oil. Add the onion and saute until translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, bell pepper and spices and mix well. Add the diced tomatoes and the chickpeas and stir. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the liquid has reduced. Add the roasted potatoes and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the spinach, cilantro and lemon juice.
- If you are making the tamarind sauce, whisk all ingredients together in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer. Simmer until thickened- roughly 30 minutes.
- To serve, heat tortillas and spoon chickpea filling into each. Top with chutney, yogurt and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.