Full disclaimer: I am not going vegetarian.
But I am trying to get more veggies in my diet, and I absolutely love Indian food and the complex flavors in all the vegetable dishes. This was actually my first time making Indian (outside of curry) because I’ve been a little intimidated by how many ingredients go into each dish. As long as you get your prep work done, it’s actually pretty easy!
Saag is one of my favorite sides – a simmered spinach dish. I got this recipe from Aarti Sequeria, and the chana masala recipe can be found here. I’m not going to list all the ingredients below because there are 1000000, but I will walk you through the process!
Like I said, prep work is crucial here. Thaw and drain your spinach, making sure to squeeze out any excess liquid. Get your garlic onion, ginger, and jalapeno all chopped for the saag. Since this all goes in at the same time you can keep it all in one bowl.
The chana masala is even easier to prep. Throw your onion, tomato, jalapeno, ginger, and garlic into a food processor and let it do all the work!
Next, get your spice mixes ready. The spices go in at the same time so again, you can throw it all into one dish. Make sure you remember which is which!
Multitask! Or if you don’t feel comfortable, start the saag first since it takes longer to cook. Indian food is all about making sure those layers of flavor are there, so you’ll cook the tomato mixture for the chana masala first, while you cook the garlic/ginger/onion/jalapeno over medium heat for the saag.
Once your tomato mixture starts to reduce and separate from the oil in the pan, add your chickpeas and some water to make a gravy-ish sauce. This just summers for another 5-10 minutes and you’re done!
The saag takes a bit longer. Cook the mixture over medium/low heat until it all turns a uniform golden brown, then add your spices. Add some water to keep the spices from burning, and cook this some more over medium heat until the spices start to blend together.
Add your spinach and mix thoroughly!
Finally, turn the heat off and add your yogurt a little bit at a time to keep it from curdling.
Next, slam your face into this plate.