The season for wild garlic is so unfairly short (from around mid-March to late April, depending on where you live) that I can’t help but shoehorn this pungent plant into as many dishes as possible this time of year. But wild garlic is optional in this recipe, being easily replaced with spinach or chard or left out altogether.
Chana masala is a brilliant budget dish,and even better value when you use a foraged ingredient. It’s also quick, vegan and easily thrown together with store cupboard ingredients, assuming you have a few basic spices to hand. Having said that, chole masala is a spice mix that may be hard to find (where I live anyway) but is worth the effort to track down.
Chana masala is delicious on its own, or served with rice or chapatis and yoghurt with chopped fresh coriander.
I’m entering this for Karen’s April Cooking with Herbs challenge over at Lavender and Lovage. Because this is an ultra-thrifty dish, I’m also adding it to this month’s Credit Crunch Munch, hosted by Michelle at Utterly Scrummy Food, along with Camilla at FabFood 4 All and Helen at Fuss Free Flavours.
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled, grated and finely chopped
1 green or red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2-3 fresh tomatoes, finely chopped
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp chole masala
tin of chickpeas
2 handfuls of wild garlic, washed and shredded
Salt to taste
Rice or chapatis to serve
Heat the oil and fry the onion for 10 minutes on a low heat until translucent.
Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a few minutes.
Add the spices and cook for a few more minutes before adding the tomatoes and a mug of water.
Simmer for 15 minutes, add the chickpeas and heat through for 5 minutes.
(If using spinach, throw it in during the last five minutes of cooking time; chard will need shredding and adding a bit earlier, or rinse it and wilt it first in a separate pan for 5 minutes before adding to the chana masala.)
Add the wild garlic and stir through until wilted and season.
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