Happy Monday guys! The next few days are going to be jam-packed with getting as much work done as possible before I leave for Athens on Wednesday night. Although feta & tzatziki are both hugely on the brain, let’s talk Mexican food for a sec. Despite the 15,085 kilometers distance between India & Mexico, the two countries share many similarities when it comes to food:
- For reasons beyond me, cilantro is a favoured herb
- Many dishes call for beans & legumes
- Popular carb choices include rice & flatbreads (i.e. roti/chapatti v tortillas)
- Both rely heavily on tomatoes, cumin (a.k.a jeera) & chilies
- Main dishes are often served with condiments (e.g. chutney & pickles in India, salsa & guacamole in Mexico)
In some case a few tweaks are all it takes to transform an Indian dish into something that leans more towards the Mexican side of the spectrum. One of which is Channa Masala. A staple dish in India, Channa Masala is essentially chickpeas cooked in a spicy and tangy tomato-based sauce, often served with grilled roti/chapatti (=flatbread), steamed rice and/or yogurt to help take the heat off. Although Indian food is nowhere near the top of my list of preferred cuisines (shocking I know), this particular dish absolutely takes my fancy.
Given my love for all things Mexican, I decided to remix this Indian classic into a dish that could easily pass of as Mexican i.e. Chickpea Chilli. As mentioned in recent posts, lately most of my meals at home tend to be plant-based and this has been a winner. Guys, this has been one of my go-to dinner staples for dinner over the past two months and I don’t see this changing anytime soon. Talk about a total fiesta in my mouth!
Full of flavor, texture and heartiness, it epitomizes comfort food. Although comfort food tends to be notorious for being nutritionally-void, that is far from the case for this Chickpea Chilli. Between the veggies & chickpeas, this dish packs in plenty of fibre, protein, vitamin C, iron, antioxidants, and manganese…to name a few. You bring the guac, I’ll bring the tortilla chips and let’s celebrate Meatless Mexican Monday together…because you know, Meatless Monday wasn’t enough alliteration on its own 😉 :
Chickpea Chilli – Serves 2
- Coconut oil
- Large onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2-inch piece of ginger
- 3 medium tomatoes, chopped roughly
- 2 heaped teaspoons fajita seasoning*
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
- ¼ cup water
- 1 large red bell pepper, cut into chunks
- 2 cups boiled chickpeas
1) Coat a large pot with oil and place over medium heat. Once heated, add onion, garlic & ginger. Once fragrant, add in the tomatoes, fajita seasoning & cumin powder. Continue sautéing for another 3-4 minutes until tomatoes begin to soften. Turn off heat.
2) Once tomato mixture has cooled, transfer to a mixer and grind it to a fine paste.
3) Place the same pot over medium heat. Add mushrooms and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Mix in the tomato paste and water. Bring to a boil and then simmer.
4) Stir in the bell pepper & chickpeas and continue cooking on low heat for a final 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat and serve with your choice of sides**.
*If fajita seasoning is unsalted, add salt to taste.
**Great sides include salad, brown rice, quinoa, sweet potato, guacamole, Greek yogurt, grated cheese, tortilla wraps and/or tortilla chips.
What’s your favorite Mexican dish? Fajitas 😛
What’s your favorite cuisine? A tie between Japanese & Thai