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Baked Vegetables with Chickpeas and Garam Masala

Meaty chickpeas, loads of vegetables, fragrant garam masala … this dish is delicious served with rice. Read on for the Baked Vegetables with Chickpeas and Garam Masala recipe.

“Put something on,” has become the call to play music in our house.

A record player, far more compact than the one of my childhood, sits in my dining room just waiting to be turned on. Nearby, a crate of my growing vinyl collection. Tom Petty, Nirvana and Nine Inch Nails mingle with The Greatest Showman, Godspell and West Side Story, awaits.

This is the music of my childhood. The songs of my tween and teen years. The soundtrack of my adulthood. Will someday my kids hear a melody and be rocketed back to our serene 1887 duplex’s living room? Perhaps.

Music carries us through the years and becomes entwined with memories. Greensleeves and Moon River remind me of car rides with my grandmother. Memories reminds me of my mother singing in the living room at the top of her lungs. Free Fallin’ is dancing on the beach with friends on the 4th of July as a teen.

Like music, food can carry those memories too. Fresh corn on the cob is childhood summers and stops at farm stands. Lasagna is family dinners. And Indian food, in all its flavorful glory is childhood and dinner parties and shared meals.

I have so many happy memories constructed around the flavors of Indian dishes. Maybe that’s why, as the season shifts and the days change, I yearn for it. The warm flavors are an embrace. A happy remembrance.

This dish is an ode to Indian flavors, though it’s decidedly untraditional.

A quarto of produce — leeks, carrots, tomatoes and broccoli — is combined with meaty chickpeas and tossed with garam masala before baking. The mixture doesn’t caramelize in this recipe, since you are cooking it in a glass baking dish. Instead, the flavors gently meld together in tender, well-seasoned perfection. It’s lovely, with or without rice.

Are you familiar with the seasoning used in this recipe? Garam masala is a spice mix that contains several seasonings including coriander, cardamom, cumin and cinnamon, among others. It’s Indian in origin and adds a warm, bold flavor with a hint of spice to the dish. I’ve found it in a number of places — specialty food stores, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, spice companies and even our local grocery stores. Any brand will do. Or you can make your own garam masala.

What I love about this dish is how comforting the combination of flavors, textures and ingredients is — to me at least.

How to make Baked Vegetables with Chickpeas and Garam Masala

Prepare all the veggies. The leeks, for instance, should be quartered and sliced before washing them. The broccoli florets should be small. And the tomatoes and chickpeas should be drained.

Combine the veggies in a 9×13-inch glass baking dish.

Season it well, stirring everything together.

And then bake. And stir. And bake. And stir.

This is lovely served with rice. But sometimes I eat it alone with just a side of mango chutney (I love Trader Joe’s version). Either way, it’s hearty, flavorful and satisfying. Perfect for these days of late-autumn.

Baked Vegetables with Chickpeas and Garam Masala

Baked Vegetables with Chickpeas and Garam Masala

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

The flavors of Indian cooking remind me of childhood and dinner parties and shared meals. This dish is an ode to the flavors, though it's decidedly untraditional.

Ingredients

  • 2 heaping cups small broccoli florets
  • 2 1/2 cups quartered and sliced leeks, (about 1 large or 2 medium -- white and light green parts only)
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 15.5- oz can chickpeas, , drained and rinsed
  • 1 15.5- oz can diced tomatoes, , drained
  • 2 cloves garlic, , minced
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp  kosher salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 cups cooked rice, (white or brown)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a 9x13-inch glass baking dish, stir together the broccoli, leeks, carrots, red onion, chickpeas, tomatoes and garlic. Sprinkle with garam masala, salt and pepper. Stir. Drizzle with olive oil and stir again.
  3. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are crisp-tender.
  4. Remove from the oven and taste. Adjust seasonings as desired.
  5. Serve over rice.

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