Peasant Beans with Cucumber Salad

I travel a lot and one of my favorite places to go is London, which has an unbelievable amount of great Indian food. This is my take on a popular Indian dish called chana masala that utilizes familiar and perhaps unexpected spices from your cabinet.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
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Ingredients

Cucumber Salad:

2 cups shredded English cucumber

3/4 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Peasant Beans:

2 cups diced yellow or white onion

2 cups diced plum tomatoes

3 tablespoons seeded chopped jalapeno chile

2 tablespoons refrigerated ginger paste (from tube)

2 tablespoons refrigerated garlic paste (from tube)

1 tablespoon refrigerated chili paste (from tube)

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 bay leaves

2 (16-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained

2 (8.5-ounce) pouches microwaveable brown rice, cooked

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions

  1. Prepare the salad: If you're shredding the cucumber yourself in a food processor (rather than buying it pre-shredded), squeeze out the liquid. Toss together the cucumber, yogurt, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the beans: Process the onion, tomatoes, jalapeno, ginger paste, garlic paste, and chili paste in a food processor until it looks like a salsa, about 10 seconds.
  3. Stir together the coriander, pumpkin pie spice, salt, chili powder, onion powder, paprika, and cumin in a small bowl.
  4. Heat the oil in a stockpot or Dutch oven over high. Add the bay leaves, and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and brown, about 10 to 15 seconds. Add the onion-tomato mixture, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thickened and looks almost like a gravy with both oily and tomato parts, about 5 minutes. Stir in the spice mixture, and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the chickpeas, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Spoon over bowls of brown rice, and garnish with chopped fresh cilantro. Serve with the cucumber salad.
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