Friday, August 31, 2012

Chana Saag Recipe from Vegan Slow Cooker

Next month, the VegCookbook Club will be cooking together from The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester.  To entice you to join us, I asked Kathy for a recipe to share with you, so here's her recipe for Chana Saag. Yum!

If you have any questions, or need help troubleshooting slow cooker issues, Kathy said she'd be happy to answer your questions. You can contact her through her website, or on Twitter at @geekypoet

Chana Saagsoy-free, gluten-free and oil-free option

You can use any combinations of greens here, such as spinach, Swiss chard, turnip greens, and collards, or anything that’s plentiful where you live. Some greens, like collards, are less bitter after they go through a frost.

  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil (*saute in broth or water to make oil-free)
  • 1 small onion, minced 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 tablespoon (8 g) grated fresh ginger 
  • 1 pound (454 g) assorted greens, washed, torn into bite-size pieces, and spun dry (you can also buy a prewashed mix in a bag) 
  • Zest of 1/2 lime 
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala (or to taste) 
  • 1/2 cups (353 ml) water 
  • 2 tablespoons (12 g) vegan chicken-flavored bouillon or 4 tablespoons (24 g) Chickeny Bouillon (page 19) 
  • 1 can (15 ounces, or 420 g) chickpeas, drained and rinsed, or 1 1/2 cups (340 g) homemade (page 17) 
  • 1/2 to 1 cup (120 to 235 ml) plain nondairy creamer or nondairy milk 
  • Salt, to taste 
  • Rice, for serving 
The night before:
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and sauté the onion until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes longer. Store the sautéed onion, grated ginger, and prepared greens in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Store the lime zest separately in the fridge. 

In the morning:
Oil the crock of your slow cooker. Combine the sautéed onion, ginger, greens, spices, water, and bouillon in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours About 30 minutes before serving, purée the soup with an immersion blender or in batches in a countertop blender, being careful of splatters of hot soup, until smooth. Add the chickpeas, nondairy creamer, lime zest, and salt to the slow cooker. Cook on high for 30 more minutes, until the beans are heated through. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve over rice.

Yield: 6 servings Total prep time: 15 minutes Total cooking time: 6 to 8 hours 

Recipe ideas and variations
Add 1 or 2 chopped mild chiles during the last 30 minutes of cooking to give it more heat. Don’t like chickpeas? Substitute 1/2 package (15 ounces, or 420 g) soft, firm, or extra-firm tofu, pressed and then cut into cubes. It will mimic a popular dish called saag paneer.

Full disclosure: The link to The Vegan Slow Cooker is linked to my Amazon Associates Account. If you buy something after clicking on the link, I get a small percentage of the sale, which I will most likely use to buy more books.

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