Tofu Chana Masala
Ginger is a nutraceutical. Famous for its anti-nausea benefits, ginger has a solid reputation for being a spice with more perks than just flavor. As someone that experiences crippling motion sickness, I can attest to the power of this stuff (Just be sure to consume it BEFORE you feel the motion sickness coming on). But that isn’t all ginger is good for. In fact, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In studies, ginger shines for its gastrointestinal health benefits, demonstrating anticancer and anti-inflammatory effects.
Pain reduction and anti-inflammatory properties:
Ginger contains compounds called vanilloids that may shut off the inflammatory cascade.
Several human trials have demonstrated a reduction in pain from arthritis associated with ginger consumption.
Animal studies show promising evidence of ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties.
There is a close link between chronic inflammation and cancer development, so, when I emphasize anti-inflammatory foods, I am also emphasizing foods that may have anti-cancer properties as well.
Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties are important because many of these same bioactive agents have been identified for their potential to prevent and fight against some cancers.
An article in PharmaNutrition states that, “Ginger is believed to have a promising role as a chemopreventive agent by virtue of its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiproliferative activities.”
Tofu Chana Masala with Ginger:
Tofu Chana Masala
(serves about 4)
Cook time: approx. 20 minutes
4 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves fresh garlic
2 inch piece of ginger root
1 jalapeño pepper
zest of 1 lemon
1.5 teaspoon Curry powder
1 can cooked garbanzo beans (~15 ounces)
1 can crushed tomatoes (~15 ounces)
1/2 of a 15 ounce block of extra firm tofu (press to reduce water content if desired. I didn’t bother)
1 cup water
Black pepper (to taste, but also to increase turmeric absorption!)
3 scallions (optional)
Black rice: I chose to pair this with black rice because I love the flavor, the color and the high antioxidant content. This also works well with brown jasmine rice, wild rice or quinoa.
I used an instant pot to make this, but you could probably use a regular pot and do just fine, though you may want to cook it longer.
Start your rice or other grains so it’s ready when the chana masala is.
Dice your jalapeño, grate the garlic and ginger, zest the lemon.
Drain and rinse garbanzo beans.
Cube the tofu.
Set instant pot to sauté mode, normal and add the olive oil.
Add jalapeño, garlic, ginger, lemon zest, curry powder and sauté for about 5 minutes.
Add the crushed tomatoes and stir. Bring to a boil.
Add garbanzo beans, cubed tofu, black pepper and water. Gently stir to combine, but be sure to keep the tofu in tact.
Cancel sauté mode, place lid on instant pot. Seal the valve and set to pressure cook on manual mode. Set the timer for 6 minutes. After 6 minutes is up, release the valve and allow steam to release.
Remove lid, stir and serve with whole grain of your choice.