Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Chana Masala Burrito With Cucumber-Mint Raita

Whether it's made with leftover Indian food from our favorite spot or the last serving of a homemade curry or masala, I find myself eating some version of a curried burrito quite often. It sounds like it would be a strange cultural mash-up, but it actually works really well -- this version made with masala-spiced chickpeas is really good in particular. Think of the whole-wheat tortilla as really flexible naan bread, and think of this dish as a portable Indian buffet.

Some of our favorite Indian foods are fried or laced with full-fat yogurt, lots of ghee, or coconut milk, but chana masala is relatively healthy. It's a simple tomato sauce with chickpeas that only contains a little butter. Slate called chana masala "nutritionally unimpeachable." I think I'd have to agree. This version happens to be portable, too!

Chana Masala Burrito With Cucumber-Mint Raita

1 1/2 rough chopped  white onion
7 cloves garlic
2-inch piece ginger (peeled)
1 1/2 cups tomato (either chopped fresh or whole canned)
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon hot curry powder

1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek (optional)
1/2 teaspoon cane sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 anaheim pepper (diced, about 1/2 cup)

1 can chickpeas (drained)
Kosher salt (to taste)
Whole wheat tortillas
2 cups prepared jasmine rice
Cucumber-Mint Raita (recipe follows)

Into the work bowl of your food processor, place the onion, garlic, ginger, tomato, masala, curry, coriander, vinegar, fenugreek, and sugar. Blend until well incorporated. Place a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat and add the butter. Once the butter is melted, add the paste from the food processor. Cook uncovered and stir occasionally until the mixture has reduced and is thick; this should take about 15 minutes.

Add the pepper, chickpeas, and salt to taste. Reduce heat to low and cover for about 10 minutes. Add broth or water to achieve a spaghetti-sauce like consistency. Serve rolled into tortillas with jasmine rice and Cucumber-Mint Raita. (Makes 6 burritos.)

Cucumber-Mint Raita

1 cup 2% Greek yogurt
1 cup grated cucumber (about 1/2 an English cucumber)
about 1/4 cup chopped mint
Kosher salt to taste

In a medium bowl, mix the yogurt, cucumber, mint, and salt until well incorporated. Set aside in the fridge until ready to use. (Makes about 1 1/2 cups.)