My husband is a star in the kitchen. One of my favorite things he makes is Chicken Tikka Masala. I came across this slow-cooker vegan chickpea masala variety and thought I’d try my hand at it as we try to reduce dairy in our diet. I made some variations so that it wasn’t trying to copy Luke’s Chicken Tikka Masala but rather to be similar enough to satisfy the craving and different enough to be thought of as its own thing. If that makes sense :S I hope you love it as much as I do!
Something we’re always trying to get Luke to perfect is how to do his recipe in the slow cooker. We get asked quite often. But with all the steps it’s pretty difficult to have similar flavor with a slow cooker. This chickpea masala CAN be done in the slow cooker! Huzzah! With a little prep at the beginning and a little before serving you are good to go.
My children didn’t even notice the lack of meat. The chickpeas cook down and are so tender and buttery. Just divine! Side-by-side with fragrant Jasmine rice. The perfect combo.
Adapted from the Chickpea Tikka Masala recipe via the kitchn.
- 1 pound dried chickpeas (requires overnight soaking), or 4 (15-ounce) cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped peeled fresh ginger, or a good squeeze from the pre-minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 cups water
- 1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk, well shaken
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 5 ounces baby spinach (5 packed cups)
- Cooked Jasmine rice and lime wedges, for serving
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon brown mustard seeds
- If using dried chickpeas, place in a large bowl and pick through and discard any stones or shriveled chickpeas. Cover with 3 quarts cold water. Stir in 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and let sit at least 10 hours or overnight at room temperature.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add the mustard seeds, cumin, turmeric, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the water and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a 4-quart or larger slow cooker.
- Add the coconut milk and 2 teaspoons salt. Add the canned chickpeas, or drain the soaked chickpeas and add to the slow cooker. Stir to combine.
- Cover and cook on the LOW setting until the chickpeas are tender, 6 to 8 hours for canned or 8 to 10 hours for dried.
- Add the tomatoes and stir to combine. Cover and cook until the flavors meld, at least 30 minutes but up to 1 hour. Just before serving, make the tarka.
- Heat the oil in a small frying pan over medium-high heat until just starting to smoke. Add the cumin seeds, red pepper flakes, and mustard seeds and fry, swirling the pan, until sizzling and very fragrant, about 20 seconds. Immediately scrape the tarka into the chickpeas.
- Add the spinach and gently stir to combine and wilt. Taste and season with salt as needed. Serve warm over rice, with lime wedges on the side.