I love tea and I love chickpeas, so what if we put the two together to create the most epic vegan chana masala you've ever tasted? I know what you are thinking: Cory, that's a pretty bold statement. I'm confident you are going to fall head over heels over this tea-infused vegan chana masala. Why? Because it's creamy, spicy, herby and delicate. The tastes and flavours marry perfectly when you take the first bite.
But Cory, what made you pour tea over the poor chickpeas? I'm glad you asked because this story has intrigue, mystery and action.
Tea infused vegan chana masala
Ok, fine, I tried to make it very exciting. But in reality, the story stems from some nonchalance in the kitchen. Basically my laziness turned into genius. It can happen. Rarely, but it can happen.
One gorgeous Sunday afternoon was making some vegan masala. When I'm in the kitchen, cooking, I normally have a cup of green tea by my side. In fact, I'm a tea addict, so I almost always have a cup of tea by my side.
Just finished making a large pot of milky oolong which is my favourite tea in the world. It's not easy to come by, so I always order it online.
I chop the onion, I add my spices to the pan, then the chickpeas and I add my chopped tomatoes. I normally add a cup and a bit of boiling water to my chana masala so the chickpeas can simmer in the liquids for a longer time.
The result is fantastic. Only this time I forgot to boil the water. So like a crazy person I decided to pour my whole cup of milky oolong over.
Well, that will make it or break it, I say to myself. Ok, the whole kitchen started to smell like this incredible fusion of Indian spices mixed with delicate oolong tea. WOW.
Well 20 minutes later I taste my new creation and what do you know: it's perfect. No, really, PERFECT. I don't think I ever tasted a vegan chana masala more incredible than this. Turns out, the delicate milky oolong gave the chana masala this subtle flavour. The smell is also incredible.
Needless to say that this time, we devoured my tea-infused chana masala. G kept asking me: what did you put in this, it tastes so good. When I told him I poured a cup of tea over my food he didn't believe it.
The beauty of vegan chana masala is that it allows you to play with flavours quite a bit. Do you like it spicier, add a little more chili. Do you love strong aromas? Don't hold back on paprika and turmeric. Want a delicate flavour? Pour milky oolong over it. And finally, you can serve it with fresh coriander or parsley. Sadly, coriander (cilantro) is not very loved in my household. While I LOVED it, G is not a fan, so I usually replace it with fresh parsley leaves.
The question is: can you make tea-infused vegan chana masala with any other tea? I tried it with normal Japanese green tea (sencha) and it was still delicious. However, the flavour was deeper rather than delicate. Milky oolong tea does have that incredible subtle smell, so it's going to be a winner for this dish. Nevertheless, I encourage you to try it with other types of tea and tell me how it went in the comments section below.
Did you ever do something crazy with your ingredients which turned out to be the best idea ever?
This recipe has been developed entirely by Yuzu Bakes. Any resemblance with other recipes is purely coincidental.