My wife is currently choosing to follow a restricted diet for a week which is sometimes called the “Daniel fast.”  During the week she’ll be eating no meat, no dairy, no bread, no sugar and no processed foods.  Obviously, meal planning this week is a little more complicated.  One way to look for good vegan recipes with lots of flavor is to look at Indian foods.  A good place to look for Indian food is Padma Lakshmi, who happens to host Bravo’s Top Chef (my favorite show).  I’ve blogged a couple of  Padma’s recipes in the past (a tasty Keema and a decidedly non-Indian Meyer lemon spaghetti) and this Chole brings big flavor while still keeping within my wife’s meal restrictions.

Many of you may remember my favorite recipe is my grandmother’s Puerto Rican Rice and Beans.  To me, chole is sort of an Indian rice and beans dish with a very different flavor profile, but the same level of comfort.

If you’d like a copy of the recipe without the pictures, you can email me at  If you’d like updates of future posts, you can subscribe or follow me on Twitter @Dan65802.

INGREDIENTS:  (you’ll notice from the pictures that I halved the recipe)

2 onions, quartered

1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced

6 large firm, ripe tomatoes, quartered

2 Tbs. chopped gingerroot

2 Tbs. vegetable oil

1 Tbs. Garam Masala (so nice to be back in part of the country where this spice combo is readily available)

½ tsp. red chili powder, or to taste  (the full amount gives a healthy kick)

Salt, to taste

2 (15oz.) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 to 3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice, or to taste

1 to 2 Tbs. minced fresh cilantro, or to taste

hot white rice or warmed tortillas  (I had some leftover ginger-flavored rice which worked very well)


Place the onions, green pepper, tomatoes and ginger into a blender or food processor

Chole 02

and puree.

Chole 03

In a saucepan set over moderate heat, warm the oil until hot. Add the puree and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.

Chole 04a

Add the Garam Masala and chili powder and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Chole 05a

Add the salt and chick peas and cook, stirring, until heated through.

Chole 07

Stir in the lemon juice and cilantro.

Chole 08

Serve the curry over rice or with warmed tortillas.

Chole 00

If I’m going to have to eat a meal without meat, dairy or bread, this is the kind of meal I want to eat and share with my family.  The halved recipe made enough for me and my wife with some lunch leftovers.  A full recipe would easily feed 4-6.

If you have any questions or comments, you can send me an email at the address above or drop me a line in the comments section.

May God give you a blessed week filled with family, friends and good food!