This is Matt’s favorite dish when we go out for Indian food.  (Well, actually he likes the cheese, or paneer, version, but at home we sub chickpeas.)  I’ve tried to make this a couple of times, but this week it turned out really well, so I want to write it down!  I modified the recipe from New Recipes for Life so that it would include the pantry staples that I have on hand.

Chana Saag

1 whole onion, diced fine

2 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp fresh garlic, diced fine

2 Tbsp garam masala (or to taste)

2 Tbsp cumin (or to taste)

1 Tbsp groung ginger (or to taste)

1 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

1 heaping tablespoon on tomato paste

3/4 cup of cream

2 frozen boxes of spinach

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Melt butter in a large sauté pan, and add onion.  Slowly and patiently fry the onion until it is caramelized, but not burnt. Add the spices and salt.  Toast them for a minute before adding the tomato paste and cream.  (Any kind of milk should work, but the richer the milk, the creamier the dish.)  Optionally: pulse the spinach in the food processor a few times before adding it to the sauté pan.  I did not do this, but I think it would provide a nicer texture to the dish, so I will next time.  Cooked spinach can be a bit stringy otherwise.  Either way, add the spinach and the chickpeas to the sauté pan, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for at least 20 minutes.  The longer you simmer it, the better the flavor will be.  Taste the curry and add more of any (or all) of the spices that you need to.  The spinach and beans do soak up a lot of flavor, so you may find that you want more.  I did.  Serve over rice and/or with naan bread.

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