Vegan Slow Cooker Chana Masala. Chickpeas cooked in a fragrant, spiced tomato sauce. Make in the morning for dinner at night! Vegan and Gluten-Free.
Your favorite Indian take-out, made in the slow-cooker. Which, I’m convinced was invented by a woman. An incredible device that makes dinner happen while you are literally doing anything else? My busy-day-dream-come-true. Even though I work from home, I love the ability to assemble dinner in the morning so it’s ready the moment BL walks in the door.
I rely on my slow-cooker butter chickpeas recipe to get my through the cold months and it was only a matter of time before I created a masala version. As vegetarians, we rely on Indian (and Thai) take-out all. the. time. We have two Indian restaurants within walking distance of our house, which makes it all too easy to pick up the phone on a night I’m feeling less-than-inspired. After years of
forcing it encouragement, I’m so thankful that BL has finally embraced the cuisine. Now, we can bond over a love of chickpeas, ginger and garam masala.
So, as easy as take-out is, I needed to perfect the lazy-at-home version. Mostly for leftovers, which I could eat for days on end of this stuff. I have included a step to fry the onion, ginger and garlic in a saucepan before adding to the slow-cooker. While this might not make the dinner entirely effortless, it adds another layer of flavor that can’t be achieved in the slow-cooker alone. That magical caramelizing of onions and garlic has to happen on the stove.
Then, add the chickpeas, tomato paste and Pacific Food’s Organic Vegetable Broth. This broth is amazing; I’ve sung it’s praises so many times, I’ve almost lost count. I stock-pile this broth in my basement, for use whenever a dish needs a little something more: sauces, pasta, soup. Vegetarian broth used to be an elusive search, most were too watery or lacked flavor. Pacific Food‘s broth really is the holy grail, a must in any recipe that calls for broth. I also love that it’s organic and comes in a low-sodium version. While I definitely don’t shy away from salt, I prefer to season my food as needed.
I love everything this company stands for: sustainability, knowing where all the ingredients come from, GMO-free, additive free and using locally sourced items when possible. Seriously, the fact that their broth is head and shoulders above the rest is just icing on the cake.
I really love basmati rice and think it’s the perfect pairing for this masala. While I usually recommend brown rice for extra fiber and nutrients, I’m OK using the white version in this dish. The chickpeas provide enough protein and fiber to balance blood sugars. Plus, white rice is soooo much better than brown rice. Gah, there- I said it. Especially when mixed with a handful of cilantro, salt, pepper and olive oil.
So, cancel takeout and make this slow-cooker chana masala instead.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- 1 large onion, very finely chopped (you can use a food processor to finely chop it, if needed)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced into a paste (mince garlic cloves with a microplane, then use the back of your knife to press into a paste)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 Thai chilis (red or green), diced
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 2 tablespoons chana masala seasoning (or garam masala if you can't find chana)
- 3 ounces tomato paste (roughly half a 6 ounce can)
- 2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups Pacific Foods Vegetable Broth
- Chopped cilantro, for garnish
- Basmati Rice, for serving
- Naan, for serving
- In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil, ginger and onions over medium heat. Cook until onion is very browned and reduced, about 15 minutes. Stir in the garlic, salt, pepper, chilis, turmeric and chana masala seasoning. Cook another 2-3 minutes until chilis are soft and mixture is fragrant.
- Pour the mixture into the base of a slow cooker along with the tomato paste, chickpeas and vegetable broth. Cook over low heat for 4-6 hours until thickened.
- If you'd like a thinner sauce, thin with more vegetable broth.
- Serve with rice and naan, garnish with cilantro.