I have been a long time self-proclaimed meat-a-tarian. I have noticed, the past 4 months or so, my preferences have shifted some and I have had a craving for more vegetable based meals. Butter Chicken is one of my favorite meals. I love Thai and Indian food and I enjoy cooking but with my busy schedule, I don't get to it as often as I would like. With a lighter afternoon, I felt inspired and came up with this recipe that seems worth sharing:
I used tofu, but honestly...in making this again, I would use potatoes instead (I don't really enjoy the texture of tofu, nor the idea that soy is most often GMO) My last time buying tofu was in grad school when I was "vegetarian". I put that in quotes because as I learned more about nutrition along my journey to health, I realized that I was a grain-a-tarian which was not at all healthy (basically ate starchy carbs to overcome my hunger). Being allergic to grain, which I didn't know back then, I ended up super sick, immune shut down and unable to regulate my own emotions, let alone hormones. That is a completely different story - I will get back to the recipe ;)
1 can of garbanzo beans (or use dried ones that have been prepped ahead of time)
1 cup frozen peas
2 large or 3 medium potatoes, cubed
1 can coconut milk
1 cup tomato puree
1 medium onion
3 – 5 garlic cloves
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp Curry powder
1 tbsp Masala seasoning
Salt/Pepper to taste
Cube your potatoes and cut the onions first. Heat the pot (big enough to hold all the ingredients) with enough olive oil to sauté the onions. (about 5 minutes until they are slightly browned and see through).
Add the garlic and stir some more.
Add in the tomato puree, coconut milk and spices and mix well stirring clockwise (just because I like going that direction – it is the direction of nature so I feel like it empowers my food). Continue cooking until thickened.
Now here, you have an option… You can do this in the crock pot or on the stove!
If on the stove, just add the chick peas, the peas and the potatoes, cover and simmer on medium, stirring occasionally. The longer this simmers, the stronger the flavor. I left it on there a little over an hour. Before serving, let sit for about 10 minutes so the sauce can thicken. I think it would have been fine with less time, it was mainly warming and setting the flavors simmering that long. Stir in chopped cilantro just before serving.
In the crock pot, put the chick peas and potatoes on the bottom, pour the sauce over the top and then put the peas on over that. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.
Serve over rice. I generally use brown rice but for this I used basmati and it was a great compliment.
We had baked apples on the side. This meal didn’t boast a lot of color – my preference is to have 5 colors on my plate for each meal – but, it was delish and I am looking forward to left overs for today’s lunch. Adding chicken in the crockpot version of this would be amazing as well.