Friday, March 4, 2016

Butter Chickpeas (Vegan)

Butter chicken was my favourite Indian dish. There's one place near me that serves theirs swimming in a glorious pool of tomato cream sauce. It's SO unhealthy, but SO delicious.

So I figured, if you can make butter chicken, then why not butter chickpeas? The fenugreek is optional, but it adds a special flavour. We can find it easily in Toronto. You can use a hot or mild chili powder, and cayenne depending on your tastes. If you don't have Earth Balance, you could use avocado oil (or real butter if you wish).

I just realized I don't actually know what's in my tandoori spice blend. I should probably find out before I continue using it. I may have to switch brands or make my own.

Served over millet with a side of veg.
The next day for lunch. I would store the grain and the chickpeas separately next time, until I'm ready to eat. The grain absorbs all the sauce. 
Day 3. I ate it for dinner the first night, and 2 days in a row for lunch.
 For lunch #2, I put it on a baked potato. Even better than the millet!
This is the spice paste. 
Here's the cashew paste.

Butter Chickpeas (Vegan)
2-3 servings

3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon tandoori masala spice (or garam masala)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves
2 teaspoons chili powder (hot or mild)
Cayenne pepper (optional and to taste)
Other Ingredients
1 teaspoon Earth Balance organic
1 small onion, diced
1 tablespoon of the paste (make it heaping)
1 tablespoon tomato paste (also heaping)
1 small tomato, chopped
½ cup vegetable broth
1 ½ cups cooked (or canned) chickpeas
1 tablespoon cashew paste (or cashew butter)
Salt to taste

Make the paste by combining all the ingredients in a blender (I used a Magic Bullet for easy clean-up). Set aside. There will be extra which you can store in a little jar in the fridge.

To make the cashew paste, I blended raw cashews (I didn't soak them but you can) with a small splash of water until it firmed a paste. I used my Vitamix for this. It will take a few minutes for it to become smooth. Have patience my friend. Store any extra in the fridge.

Place the onion and Earth Balance in a pot over medium heat, and sauté until golden. Stir in the paste and cook for one minute. Add the tomato paste and diced tomato followed by the broth. You can use water, but it will dilute the flavour. Add more broth if it becomes too thick for your liking.

Simmer for a minute, then add the chickpeas. Simmer again to heat through. Before serving, stir in the cashew paste and taste it for salt.

Serve over the cooked grain of your choice (I used millet, you can use rice), or with naan. I also love it over a baked potato. 

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