Here is a recipe I’ve had on my recipes-to-make spreadsheet (yes, such a thing exists) for quite some time now, and I am thrilled with how it finally turned out. This Indian-style kale bowl is the queen of all kale bowls – a Bollywood film on a plate, if you will.
The recipe is inspired by a favorite work lunch destination, Bombay Sandwich Co. Located in the Flatiron district, this discreet storefront offers awesome plant-based Indian-inspired sandwiches, salads, platters and drinks (like their kick-ass masala chai). My go-to item is the Kale & Hearty salad with chana masala. Unlike the ubiquitous dry, limp, flavorless salad so often consumed by Manhattanites for lunch, this salad is a dance party for the senses.
It starts with a base of marinated kale perfumed with raw garlic and ginger, topped with sweet shredded beets and carrots, and creamy avocado which gets warmed by the hot chana masala (traditional chickpea curry); crunchy toasted sunflower seeds are the exclamation point for this saucy dish. Scented with warming spices like cardamom, cinnamon and cumin, and punctuated with a variety of textures and temperatures, the “salad” is delicious and filling, and entirely vegan.
For my version, I left out the carrots for aesthetic reasons, as well as the avocados, since they [very sadly] give me awful stomachaches. I realize the list of ingredients for the chana masala looks daunting, but it’s mostly just dried spices; this curry is actually super easy to make.
One bowl to rule them all.
This chana masala recipe is adapted from smitten kitchen.Print
For the chana masala:
- 1 tablespoon organic canola oil
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 1 hot green chili pepper, minced
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 15-ounce can whole tomatoes with their juices, finely diced
- 2/3 cup water
- 4 cups cooked chickpeas OR 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
For the bowl:
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon sunflower OR extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 large bunch curly kale, stemmed, and torn into bite-size pieces
- 1 large beet, peeled, and shredded/spiralized
- 1/4 cup hulled sunflower seeds, toasted
To make chana masala:
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger and pepper and sauté until browned, about 5 minutes.
- Turn heat down to medium-low and add the spices. Cook for 1 minute. Then add tomatoes with their juices, scraping up any bits that have stuck to the bottom of the skillet. Add water and chickpeas. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, then stir in salt and lemon juice.
To make bowls and assemble:
- In a small bowl, whisk together ginger, garlic, lemon juice, oil and salt.
- In a large bowl, massage kale with ginger dressing for 1 minute, until kale has softened and wilted a little.
- To serve, divide kale among 4 bowls, top with shredded beets, chana masala and sunflower seeds.
- Do ahead: The chana masala, dressing and vegetables may be prepared separately and kept in the fridge for up to 4 days.