I love making Indian food, and usually try to make enough for leftovers. Having said that, I had made a large pot of chana masala, and my husband and I had already eaten it for dinner and then, lunch the next day, and later - these nachos.
This recipe is fairly versatile, and even small additions or changes can make an impact on your tastebuds. Here are a few recommendations to add some variety to this dish:
- For a natural sweetener (in place of the sugar): Substitute caramelized onions for the sugar used in this recipe. To do so, chop it up or dice a small yellow (or even sweet variety) onion and caramelize in about 2 teaspoons mild flavored oil – coconut oil works great for this – over low heat. Stir it into the tomatoes when you add the chickpeas.
- For a bolder taste and heat: Increase the cumin by 1/2 teaspoon or even a full teaspoon and add some chopped cilantro at the end of cooking. Add some heat by stirring in a little Sriracha sauce or add a seeded and diced jalapeño pepper to the pan when you add the tomatoes.
- For a more authentic taste: Substitute sugar for caramelized onions (see note #1 - above) and add these and two smashed cloves of roasted garlic when adding the tomatoes to the pan.
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a baking pan with cooking spray or a *touch* of oil. Evenly spread 1 and 1/2 handfuls of chips on the bottom of the pan. Top with 1/2 cup of chana masala, then, one handful of cheese. Next, repeat layers with remaining ingredients (except for cashew cheese spread): chips, chana masala, cheese. Bake in oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Make Cashew Cheese Sauce: In a blender, combine 1/2 cup raw cashews, 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds, 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast, 1/2 cup water, and salt and pepper – to taste. Blend until smooth. Makes about 1/2 cup. Next, take out 2 tablespoons, and thin with a bit of “milk” – do this by stirring in a teaspoon at a time until it reaches a pourable (Yogurt-like) consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Next, drop it by “dollops” onto cooled nachos.
Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil, tomatoes, and garlic. Stir well. Cover with a lid and cook for around 10-15 minutes, or until tomatoes begin to fall apart. Add sweetener, masala, cumin, and chickpeas. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes. When the lid is lifted, there should it should smell fragrant, like a melded spice. You know it’s done when: (A) You smell the dish and can’t pick out the singular flavors or (B) You taste it and you can’t pick out the singular flavors.
Set aside one cup to use in Chana Masala Nachos (recipe above). Serve the remainder with cooked rice or quinoa.