Saturday, March 7, 2009

Chana Punjabi with Roast Chicken

Occasionally, I entertain the idea of joining the world of vegetarianism.

I entertained it wholeheartedly years ago only to fall off head first into a lamb chop and pretty much haven’t entertained it at all since then.

I do try to incorporate several meatless meals a week into our food routine, but Groom is not much on them. He tolerates the Hay Stacks and the various pasta sauces. The question always asked after I announce our dinner plans usually is “Could we have some chorizo with that?”, “ Didn’t I see a bit of prosciutto in the fridge?”, “ We have some roast chicken left over …that would be a delectable option.” He has his moments.

I understand his thinking. And I usually pretend that I didn’t hear him (he’s a very patient man with me).

But, last night I did listen.
Because I had to.

I had come across a column by Elaine Louie (she of the divine ONE POT Columns) in the N Y Times called The Temporary Vegetarian which featured a recipe called Chana Punjabi. A chick pea sauce cooked til thick and creamy and served over rice with fresh cilantro, tomatoes and ginger. It looked divine, sounded perfect and was vegetarian and would be easy to do in a pinch.

Absolutely perfect.

Except I only had one can of chick peas and as I was pondering the lack thereof, there was Groom.

“We have roast chicken. It would be great in this.”

He was right.

Chana Punjabi with Chicken
Adapted from Elaine Louie’s adaptation of Heather Carlucci - Rodriguez’s recipe

Extra virgin olive oil
½ large onion, chopped
Small jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped fine
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Turmeric
2 tsp Garam masala
1 spoonful garlic confit, smushed
6 San Marzano tomatoes, chopped
½ small lemon
1 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained
2 cups chopped roasted chicken
1 cup chicken broth
Small handful fresh cilantro, chopped
Cooked rice

Heat a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat and add a couple of good swirls of extra virgin olive oil. Add the chopped onion, jalapeno pepper and fresh ginger. Cook til onion is soft and golden, add the smushed garlic confit and tomatoes. Add about a ¼ cup chicken broth, stir to blend and then put in food processor and hit it with a couple of pulses. Add back to the pan on the stove and add all the spices, season with a bit of coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Squeeze half a small lemon into pot.

Add chick peas, and chicken broth to cover bring boil. Add roast chicken and lower heat . Let simmer along while the rice cooks, adding more chicken broth if you need it.

Add chopped fresh cilantro right before serving.

Serves 3 generously.

This was fabulous on rice, but the ultimate side dish is smushed potatoes. I‘m sure there is a support group for people like me who like smushed potatoes with everything. If not, I’ll be happy to start one.

Click here for a printable recipe!

One Year Ago on Feeding Groom


Marie said...

Sounds delicious, Mary. I've steered tonight's chicken towards Asia (SE) as a result!

Ever tried roast potatoes? As dinner? Not exactly healthy, but yummy...with green salad.

Tami said...

I think it's great that you've started considering vegetarian options again. You don't have to be a full-time veggie to reap some serious health benefits! Cutting out meat even once a week lowers your risk for many preventable illnesses like heart disease and diabetes.
I just started working for a non-profit campaign called Meatless Monday which tries to educate Americans about the environmental and health benefits of removing meat from their diets once a week. We have lots of tasty recipes in the archive on our website. Who knows, maybe your husband will like some of them too ;) You can find them at

cook eat FRET said...

you are the garlic confit queen

hands down