Celiac Disease / Recipes / Uncategorized

Cheater’s Chana Masala Is Gluten-Free (Because GF ‘Parents Need to Eat Too’)

Debbie Koenig knows that parents need to eat too, even if you’re stuck in the middle of a spit-up and poop explosion (hopefully not yours). Debbie Koenig taught me how to make Indian food, and I’m going to show you how too. Debbie Koenig is also an awesome dining partner when you’re in Atlanta and are trying to find a restaurant to make a bunch of food bloggers happy, one of which is a pain-in-the-ass newly diagnosed Celiac.  Debbie Koenig tips well, and leaves nice notes around the house. (Okay, I don’t know about that last one.) All of this is to say, I am super stoked to have a copy of her new cookbook, and life book, Parents Need to Eat Too. I mean, look at this awesomeness –

(A note: This is not Debbie in the photo. Debbie is much cuter.)

So I’m joining this blog party that is to help you — the new cook, the old cook, the new mom, the new dad, the exhausted old mom/dad — figure out how to grocery shop, stock your pantry, and whip up delicious, healthy dinners while still keeping your shit together. The trick to all of this is buying Parents Need to Eat Too, and reading it from cover to cover.  And anyone who orders before February 21 receives a free Digital Starter Kit including bonus recipes, a gift card, and MUCH MORE! (Their words, but I’m excited too.)

After receiving my own copy of this super duper guide, I decided to make what I assumed to be the most difficult dish in her entire arsenal: Cheater’s Chana Masala. I say this, as a native Oklahoman who did not know what Indian food was until I moved to New York City. As a part Native American Indian gal, I just thought Indian food meant “maize.” Needless to say, I impressed myself, and my husband, by whipping up this delicious, naturally gluten-free, dish in no time. Cheater’s Chana Masala is the BOMB. Gf, or not gf. But it’s totally gf, or I’d be complaining that; Debbie Koenig really wants to poison me.

Here’s how you too can buy Parents Need to Eat Too, and make your own masala.

Cheater’s Chana Masala

From Parents Need to Eat Too

Serves 4 Cooking time: 25 minutes (15 minutes active)

Traditional chana masala—a spiced chickpea stew you’ll find on the menu of almost any indian restaurant—is a complicated affair, with an ingredient list as long as your arm. we’re not going there. Remember my mantra: New parents don’t have time for authenticity! instead, i’ve simplified things to make this a quick and easy dish based almost exclusively on pantry items. it still tastes warm and comforting, but you’ll have dinner on the table in no time.


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated, or 1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne
Two 15- to 16-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3⁄4 cup water
One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon garam masala
Juice of 1⁄2 lemon (about 11⁄2 tablespoons)
Cooked brown rice, plain yogurt, and prepared chutney, optional, for serving

1.    Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. when it shimmers, add the onion, fresh ginger, if using, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent but not browned, about 5 minutes.

2.    Add the coriander, cumin, cayenne, and ground ginger (if not using fresh) and cook for 1 minute.

3.    Add the chickpeas, water, diced tomatoes, and salt to taste and raise heat to medium. Simmer uncovered (if it spatters too much, cover it partially) until the sauce has thickened, 5 to 10 minutes.

4.    Remove from heat, then stir in the chopped cilantro, garam masala, lemon juice, and salt to taste.

5.    Serve over brown rice and top with a spoonful of yogurt and chutney, if desired.

3 thoughts on “Cheater’s Chana Masala Is Gluten-Free (Because GF ‘Parents Need to Eat Too’)

  1. Yum, got the ingredients ready to go. I like to pretend I don’t have gluten issues, but then my intestines and skin disagree dang it. What do they and the rest of my family know. Great write up of a great book.

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