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Chickpea curry, also known as Chana Masala, is a popular dish in Indian cuisine. It is made by simmering chickpeas in a spicy tomato-based sauce and is known for its rich, aromatic flavors. Chickpea curry can be enjoyed on its own, but it is often served over rice or with a side of naan bread.
It’s a versatile dish that can be adapted to suit different tastes, making it a favorite among vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.
Lunch is an essential meal as it provides the energy and nutrients needed to stay focused and productive throughout the afternoon. A balanced lunch should include a mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats, along with vitamins and minerals.
Chickpea curry with brown rice offers a combination of these nutrients, making it an ideal choice for a satisfying lunch that won’t leave you feeling sluggish or overly full.
Chickpeas, the star ingredient of this dish, are packed with protein, fiber, and a range of vitamins and minerals including folate, iron, and magnesium. They are known for their role in improving digestion and helping in the management of weight and blood sugar levels.
Brown rice, on the other hand, is a whole grain that retains its bran and germ, which means it’s richer in nutrients compared to white rice. It provides essential nutrients such as B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and selenium. Together, chickpeas and brown rice make a nutritionally complete and hearty meal that is both delicious and beneficial for health.
List of kitchen equipment and tools required for making chickpea curry and cooking brown rice:
- Large pot or deep pan with lid
- Saucepan for cooking rice
- Cutting board
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Wooden spoon or spatula
- Rice cooker (optional)
- Grater or garlic press
- Citrus juicer or fork (for lemon juice)
Tips On Combining And Serving The Curry With Rice
- Serve the chickpea curry over a bed of brown rice.
- You can also serve it with a side of naan bread or a green salad for a more filling meal.
- Garnish the dish with additional fresh coriander/cilantro, a wedge of lemon, or a sprinkle of chili flakes for extra heat.
- You can also add a dollop of yogurt or a drizzle of tahini sauce for extra creaminess.
- Chickpeas (canned or dried)
- Brown rice
- Tomatoes (canned or fresh)
- Vegetable broth or water
- Spices: Garam masala, turmeric, cumin, coriander, chili powder
- Fresh coriander/cilantro for garnish
- Olive oil or coconut oil
Quantity for each ingredient
- Chickpeas: 2 cups (if using dried chickpeas, they should be soaked overnight)
- Brown rice: 1 cup
- Onion: 1 medium, finely chopped
- Garlic: 2 cloves, minced
- Ginger: 1-inch piece, grated
- Tomatoes: 1 can (14 oz) or 4 fresh tomatoes, chopped
- Vegetable broth or water: 2 cups
- Garam masala: 1 teaspoon
- Turmeric: 1/2 teaspoon
- Cumin: 1 teaspoon
- Coriander: 1 teaspoon
- Chili powder: 1/4 teaspoon (adjust to taste)
- Salt: to taste
- Fresh coriander/cilantro: a handful, chopped
- Olive oil or coconut oil: 2 tablespoons
- Lemon: 1, for juice
Optional ingredients for added flavor or nutrition
- Coconut milk: 1/2 cup for a creamier texture
- Spinach: 1 cup, for added nutrition
- Green peas: 1/2 cup, for added nutrition
Step-by-step guide on how to prepare the chickpea curry
- If using dried chickpeas, soak them overnight. If using canned chickpeas, drain and rinse them.
- In a large pot or deep pan, heat the olive oil or coconut oil over medium heat.
- Add the finely chopped onions to the pot and sauté until they are golden brown.
- Add the minced garlic and grated ginger to the pot and sauté for another minute until fragrant.
- Add the spices (garam masala, turmeric, cumin, coriander, chili powder) to the pot and stir well to combine.
- Add the chopped tomatoes to the pot and cook for about 5 minutes, until they start to break down.
- Add the chickpeas and vegetable broth or water to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 20-30 minutes, until the chickpeas are tender and the curry has thickened.
- If using optional ingredients like coconut milk, spinach, or green peas, add them during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
- Season with salt to taste. Add the juice of one lemon and stir well.
- Garnish with fresh coriander/cilantro.
Instructions for cooking the brown rice
- Rinse the brown rice under cold water until the water runs clear.
- In a saucepan, add the brown rice and double the amount of water (2 cups of water for 1 cup of rice).
- Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan with a lid, and let it simmer for about 40-45 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through and all the water is absorbed.
- Once the rice is cooked, remove it from the heat and let it sit, covered, for about 5 minutes. Then, fluff it with a fork.
Recommendations on the type of chickpeas to use
- You can use either canned chickpeas or dried chickpeas in this recipe. Canned chickpeas are convenient and require less cooking time, while dried chickpeas tend to have a firmer texture and need to be soaked overnight before cooking.
- If using canned chickpeas, opt for a brand that doesn’t use added salt or preservatives.
Suggestions for additional spices or herbs
- For a more complex flavor, consider adding a cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, or bay leaves along with the other spices.
- You can also add fresh herbs such as mint or basil for a different twist.
- If you like it spicy, add more chili powder or try adding fresh green chilies or red pepper flakes.
Tips for achieving the perfect texture in the curry
- To achieve a thicker curry, you can mash some of the chickpeas towards the end of the cooking time.
- Alternatively, you can add a tablespoon of tomato paste with the tomatoes to thicken the sauce.
- If the curry becomes too thick, simply add a little more broth or water until you reach your desired consistency.
- Approximate values per serving: 600 calories, 22g protein, 9g fat, 105g carbohydrates, 15g fiber, 10g sugar.
- Chickpeas are a great source of protein, dietary fiber, and various vitamins and minerals such as iron, phosphate, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K.
- Brown rice is rich in fiber and nutrients including magnesium, B vitamins, and antioxidants.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I use regular white rice instead of brown rice?
- Yes, you can substitute white rice for brown rice, but keep in mind that cooking times may vary and brown rice has more fiber and nutrients.
- Can I make this curry ahead of time?
- Yes, this curry tastes even better the next day as the flavors have more time to meld together. Just reheat it on the stove over low heat before serving.
- What can I serve with chickpea curry besides rice?
- Chickpea curry can also be served with naan bread, roti, or over quinoa or couscous.
- Is chickpea curry gluten-free?
- Yes, chickpea curry is gluten-free. However, if you are serving it with bread, make sure to use a gluten-free option if needed.
This chickpea curry with brown rice recipe is a delightful fusion of rich flavors and nourishing ingredients. With chickpeas as the star, complemented by an array of spices and served over wholesome brown rice, this meal is not just satisfying but also packed with nutrients. It’s perfect for those seeking a hearty and healthy lunch option.
Savor the layers of flavor in this chickpea curry and relish the wholesome goodness of brown rice. Whether you’re a curry enthusiast or trying it for the first time, this dish is sure to leave you fulfilled and looking forward to the next meal. Don’t forget, good food is best enjoyed shared, so spread the love with friends and family!
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