I realized the other day that I've batch cooked this meal about 2x a month this year and I see zero reason to slow down.
My love for Chana Masala is new-ish, originating about 5-6 years ago during my years as a vegetarian/pescatarian. If you are unfamiliar, chana masala is an Indian dish in which the main ingredient is chickpeas and is usually combined with tomatoes, onions, ginger, and a load of spices.
As I've been making this dish for awhile now, I have made some upgrades to add to its health benefits, including some gut healing probiotic all-stars.
Here are some of the ways this quick and easy chana masala recipe will help with healing your gut and improve your digestion....
With 25-30 grams of fiber in just one cup of chickpeas, a serving of this can get you to your daily fiber (aka, prebiotics) intake goal of 30 grams. Swap out the brown rice with cauliflower rice and your fiber intake will be even higher.
If the above fiber intake wasn't enough, alliums are loaded with prebiotics as well, and this recipe has two servings- garlic and onion. You will be getting all kinds of prebiotics with this meal, the key to healthy digestion and a smoothly running gut.
Ok, this is where I changed things up a bit. This chana masala is served best with some full-fat greek yogurt to balance the acidity. But to add even more flavor and some healthy bacteria, we mix in apple cider vinegar and some raw sauerkraut, boosting the probiotic bacteria content even more. Three probiotic sources in one meal!
As if all of this goodness wasn't reason enough, the spices included in this recipe are anti-inflammatory, making it great for your overall health.
Getting this recipe in once a month will do great things for your gut and digestion, and you might find it to be as deliciously addictive as I do!
Probiotic Rich Creamy Chana Masala Recipe
Makes about 4 large servings, takes about 30 minutes
1 1/2 cups brown rice*
2 3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon avocado or coconut oil
1 onion, diced
1 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed and diced, optional
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoons coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 28oz can fire roasted tomatoes, diced, with their juices
2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 lemon, quartered
2 cups full-fat greek yogurt
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1-2 tablespoons raw sauerkraut
Salt and pepper to taste
Cilantro, chopped, for topping
Cook brown rice according to package.
While the rice cooks, warm a medium/large pot over medium/low heat. Add the oil. When the oil is warm, add the onion and jalapeno. Cook until softened, about 4-6 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and continue to cook until brown, about 60 seconds.
To the pot, add all of the spices and stir, letting the spices mix with the veggies for about 1 minute.
Next, add the tomatoes with the juices. Turn the heat up high and bring to a gentle boil. Turn the heat back down so that the tomatoes simmer and add the chickpeas. Add salt and pepper to taste. You will want a generous amount of salt. Cover the pot with a lid and let simmer about 10 minutes so that the flavors mix.
While that is simmering, combine the yogurt, apple cider vinegar, and sauerkraut in a medium bowl. Top with a little bit of salt and stir together.
When the masala is done, portion the rice and the yogurt mixture into bowls. Add the chana masala, squeezing a slice of lemon juice into the masala, and add any additional salt and pepper as needed. Top with cilantro and enjoy!
*If you want a grain-free option, swap the brown rice for cauliflower rice. Cook cauliflower rice according to package.
Naturally gluten free and vegetarian.
Make vegan by using vegan yogurt.
Meal Prep Tip- This is the perfect recipe for meal prepping as it will get even better as it sits in the spices. Double the size and portion appropriately. Warm up the masala and rice when you want to eat it, drizzle with the lemon juice and top with the yogurt/cilantro mixture.