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Chana Masala

Chana Masala

More than a few years ago, my sister and I went to an Indian restaurant with my dad and enjoyed some delicious chana masala – only to find out a few hours later that the chickpeas had been presoaked in lemon juice which neither of us can handle in large amounts.  Since then I’ve been more than a little scared of this delicious chickpea dish, until Joe’s cousin made a lemon-free batch last summer.  That incredible dinner gave me the boost I needed to try making chana masala at home, and based on my husband’s reaction I have a feeling it will be happening pretty regularly.  Not only does it come together in record time, it features ingredients that I almost always have in my pantry – making it perfect for those oh so crazy weekday nights!

Chana Masala

Serves 3-4


1 tbsp vegetable oil

1/4 tsp cumin seeds

1/4 tsp amchur powder (dried mango powder)

1 tbsp garam masala

1/4 tsp cayenne powder

3 cloves garlic, diced

1/2 tsp fresh ginger, diced

1/2 onion, diced

14.5 oz can Italian style diced tomatoes

2 cups presoaked chickpeas (garbanzo beans), well rinsed and drained


  1. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and cook until they start to brown, about 3 minutes, then add the amchur powder along with the garam masala and cayenne powder. Cook for 1 minute, stirring the entire time.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, and onion, toss well in the spice and oil mixture and then cook for 7 minutes. Garlic will start to brown, but stir frequently enough to keep the spices from burning.
  3. Add the chickpeas along with the tomatoes, then bring to a quick boil, cover, and turn heat down to low. Simmer dish for 15 minutes, then serve and Enjoy!

I served this with some curry spinach, not quite palak but a bit more than the standard creamed spinach as well, and some brown rice.  My spinach recipe still needs a bit of work but I hope to share it shortly, assuming I figure out the perfect ratio of spinach to everything else!

Songs Know

Curried Chickpeas and Kale

Curried Chickpeas and Kale

Greetings and welcome to the June installation of Random Recipes! This month we were challenged to randomly select a happy and healthy recipe – something rather easy for me since I only have a few cookbooks dedicated to the sweeter side of life.  Once randomly selecting a cookbook, 1000 Vegetarian Recipes, I then selected a section, Entrees, which lead me to the Grains and Beans section and a delicious recipe for Curry Chickpeas and Kale.  I did make a few edits to the recipe, fresh ginger for ground and some cayenne powder to add a bit more heat to the dish as well as using red onions.

Songs Know

serves 4-5


2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp curry powder

1 tsp cayenne powder

1/4 tsp tumeric powder

1/4 inch piece fresh ginger, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup red onion, diced

3 cups kale, well washed and roughly torn

1/2 cup vegetable stock

2 cups pre-soaked (or canned) chickpeas

1 beefsteak tomatoes, diced


  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the dry spices and cook for 1 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning, then add the garlic, ginger, and red onion. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the garlic starts to turn golden.
  2. Slowly add the kale, making sure to not crown the pan, and allow to wilt before adding the vegetable stock and chickpeas. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the tomatoes, stir, and Serve!

I served mine topped with some So Delicious Greek Yogurt, but regular yogurt or sour cream would also work – as would some naked beans and kale which is how I had lunch the next day.  I also added some couscous to make it a full meal but bulgar or quinoa would also work, or even some brown rice.   However you decide to top it this is a great and quick dinner that is packed full of vitamins, nothing like a good tasting good for you meal!  Thanks again Dom for hosting another awesome month of Random Recipes.

Has Claws

Thai Migas


“I have to do a fusion dish this week for /r/52weeks of cooking.  What should I do?”

“How about Mexican Thai?!?!”

“WTF is Mexican Thai??”

“I dunno, that’s for you to figure out”

So with that conversation I set out to figure out what Mexican Thai would be.  Due to a crazy schedule I decided to go with a breakfast dish, figuring I would have plenty of time on Saturday morning to make the dish and get it posted.  Well I was right regarding at least one of those things, but sometimes that happens.  After much googling and searching in recipe books I decided that the best Mexican/Texan dish to cross with Thai cuisine was a breakfast dish known as migas.  Similar to chilaquies, migas features fresh corn chips along with eggs, tomatoes, and seasonings.  Since I was going the Thai route I also looked at various egg curries, to get an idea of what flavor profiles would work best for what I was looking to do.  In order to go the extra mile I also made my own chips using some corn tortillas that were getting close to the end of their life.

Has Claws

serves 2-3


Vegetable oil for frying

4 corn tortillas, cut into quarter

1 tbsp butter

4 eggs

2 shallots, diced

3 scallions, diced

1/2 tsp fresh ginger

1 thai chili, seeded and sliced

2 tomatoes, diced

cilantro (optional)

siracha (optional)


  1. Heat the oil up in a large skillet or fryer until hot but not smoking. Gently lower in the tortilla quarters and cook until brown on all side. Set aside on a paper towel.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet, then add the eggs cooking for 2 minutes before adding the shallots and scallions, reserving the green tips for later. Cook until they start to turn golden.
  3. Once the shallots and scallions are golden, but the eggs still slightly runny. Scrap the pan, insuring that all the egg cooks and none of the chips burns. Add the thai chili along with the tomatoes and the green tips of the onion. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until eggs are at desired temperature. Serve topped with fresh cilantro and siracha sauce.

This breakfast was a HUGE hit and extremely filling.  The only down side was in the chip making process where I didn’t read the lines on the inside of my fryer correctly and wasn’t able to use the basket.  Luckily gently dropping them in and fishing them out with a metal spatula worked just fine!  To top it off I served Joe a Banana Lassi, which went perfectly with the heat of the dish. I left off the nuts and added 1/4 tsp of amchur powder to the dish as a nod to the more popular mango lassi.  Perfection!

Just a Little

Pumpkin Spice Bread

For the most part I keep to my recipe book when it comes to making bread, changing up recipes only after careful thought and research to make sure I’m not going to burn down the house or poison my spouse.  There have been some great results, Apple Cider Bread and Cream Cheese Bread for example.  However there have also been some failures, and while none of them were of the charred variety they weren’t edible regardless of what my husband told me.   When I saw how much roasted pumpkin I had after making my pumpkin pasta I froze the extra so that I could do something with it once I figured out what that something was.  After a bit of thought I decided to attempt a pumpkin spice bread.  I used my recipe for zucchini bread and molded it with an older recipe for applesauce bread.  The idea was the that the zucchini portion would give me the right idea for spices while the applesauce bread would take in to account the moisture content of the roasted pumpkin mush.  For the settings on the bread machine I went with the standard options – bake regular, medium size, and normal crust.

Pumpkin Spice Bread

Serves: Makes one loaf


3 cups flour

1/2 tbsp curry powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tbsp white sugar

1 cup roasted pumpkin mush

1/2 cup milk

2 tbsp butter

1 1/2 tsp yeast


  1. Add ingredients to bread machine per instructions - for my Panasonic it's dry then wet then yeast in the yeast box.

This bread was perfection!  Toasted and with the addition of some butter and cinnamon sugar it was the perfect breakfast.  It also made some great French Toast!

We Go Together

Slow Cooker Coconut Curry


Secret Recipe Club time is here again!  Last month I was lucky enough to have three(!!!) SRC recipes, only time will tell if that happens again.  This month I was assigned The Cookin’ Chemist which is run by Tessa, a former chem major who sees cooking as an edible experiment.  I completely understand this sentiment, which is why I will one day own the “Baking is Science for Hungry People” shirt/apron.  Tessa’s blog has a great recipe search function that made it really easy to find all sorts of delicious treats.  Since the weather has been HOT HOT HOT lately, I wanted to find something that used the oven as little as possible.  Stumbling upon her slow cooker coconut curry I knew I had found the perfect match since she mentioned serving it up during a similar heat wave.  I did some slight modifications to the recipe it order to make it vegetarian friendly and also increase the heat level.  I also found that I needed to use all the sauce since I was using 2lbs of veggies in place of the 1lb of meat.


Slow Cooker Coconut Curry


1/2 large onion

1 small green bell pepper, seeded and quartered

2 thai chilis, minced

4 garlic cloves

1 small can tomato paste

1 can (14.5 oz) light coconut milk

1-1/2 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. curry powder

1 Tbsp. Garam Marsala

2 lbs cubed squash (I did 1 lb zucchini and 1 lb Japanese eggplant)


  1. Place all the peppers and onions into a food processor. Process until finely chopped. Add in garlic cloves, tomato paste, coconut milk, salt, curry powder, and Garam Marsala and process until smooth.
  2. Add the sauce to the slow cooker along with the cubed squash and cook in a crockpot on low for 4 hours.
  3. Serve over rice with naan!

Delicious, simple, and easy!  What more does one really need in a recipe?!?!   We had enough for dinner, including seconds, as well as lunches the next day. Another wonderful adventure thanks to the Secret Recipe Club, I can’t wait to see who I’m partnered with next month!

In other news, my garden is going fabulously!  In fact, the eggplant and the peper for this dish came from my garden.  I’ve since harvest one more eggplant along with a large number of cherry tomatoes and a few normal sized tomatoes.  I lost a few squash to critters the other week, and have since adjusted my netting to avoid any more issues.