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Are you in an effortless marriage or relationship?  What I mean by that is, does your marriage require effort in order for it to grow and progress?  Quite frankly, I find it very hard to believe a marriage can progress happily without the required effort needed.  

I believe the little gestures go a looooooooooooooooong way in a marriage!  For decades people have revealed the secret to marriage is love, trust, honesty, and communication, but I beg to differ.  In my opinion, marriage entails a lot more work than just these 4 entities, it is hard work and each day counts, every gesture counts, your attitude counts.  This isn’t to say you can’t fight or argue and have a healthy marriage, of course you can and should, but more often than not couples start taking one another for granted.

For those of you who believe a marriage should be effortless are disillusioned in my opinion.  I can certainly say our parents’ generation had fewer expectations out of marriage and that may be because a woman’s role was defined back in the day, nowadays both individuals have higher expectations of their partner and women have evolved a great deal since the 1960s.  The question to ponder is… What is the secret to a marriage or a long term relationship for the modern day couple? 

So here is my way of making an effort in my marriage, with food, good food might I add.  Today I made Chana Saag for the first time so I just had to wing it.  I loved how this recipe turned out, as did my guy.  This dish is typically made with cream, however I went ahead and used a combination of milk and yogurt.  You can use Reduced Fat Sour Cream, however since I used 2 cups of milk & yogurt, I thought the fat would have been quite high even with reduced fat sour cream.  Enjoy this with a bowl of rice!

TELL ME: What is the secret to a marriage or a long term relationship for the modern day couple? 

NUTRITION: Spinach is loaded with tons of nutrients. It is rich in Vitamins A, C, and K, and is an excellent source of Iron and Folic Acid. Spinach is also a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids.  Chickpeas are a great source of Protein, Fiber, Iron, and Folic Acid.  Yogurt and milk are good sources of Protein and Calcium.  Chickpea flour is a good source of Protein and Fiber. 


  • Olive Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Bay Leaves – 2 
  • Cinnamon Stick – 2 one inch pieces
  • Cloves – 4
  • Dry Red Chilies – 2 (split in half)
  • Asafoetida (Hing) – 1/8 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Fenugreek Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Garlic – 3 cloves (chopped)
  • Ginger – 1 inch piece (chopped)
  • Green Chilies – 2 (chopped)
  • Onion – 2 medium (chopped)
  • Plum Tomatoes – 2 quartered & pureed
  • Spinach (frozen) – 10 oz. pack (microwave & squeeze access water)
  • Red Chili Powder – 1 tsp
  • Coriander Powder – 2 1/2 tsp
  • Milk 2% Reduced Fat – 1/2 cup
  • Yogurt Low Fat – 1 1/2 cups (Fage 2% would work well)
  • Goya Chickpeas – 1 15. oz can (rinsed & drained)
  • Chickpea Flour (Besan) – 1/4 cup (dry roasted)
  • Garam Masala – 1 – 1 1/2 tsp (see how much you can handle)
  • salt to taste

1. Chop the garlic, ginger, and green chilies.  I just used my Magic Bullet.



2. Chop the onions.

3. Set aside the initial spices.

4. Heat a pot on medium heat, add oil, once hot add the spices from step #3.

5. Once they sizzle, add the asafoetida (hing) and once this sizzles…

6. Add the turmeric powder, cumin seeds, and fenugreek seeds. 

7. Combine and saute for a few seconds.

8. Add the chopped ginger, garlic, and green chilies.  Saute for 10-15 seconds.  

9. Add the onions and salt.  Saute until golden, this will take about 5 minutes.

10. In the meantime, follow the directions and microwave the frozen spinach.  Once done, remove access water.



11. Back to the onions, this is what you should have – golden.

12. Add the thawed spinach to the onions.  Combine.  Let this cook for 3 to 5 minutes.

13. In the meantime, quarter & puree the tomatoes. 


 14. Add the pureed tomatoes to the onion-spinach mixture.  Combine.

15. Add turmeric powder and red chili powder.  Combine.  

16. Cover and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes.  

17. In the meantime, whisk the milk and yogurt together.  

18. Now you need to temper the milk-yogurt mixture by bringing up the temperature to avoid curdling.  Add 2 ladles of spinach to the milk-yogurt mixture.  Mix.  


19. Add the tempered milk-yogurt mixture back to the pot.  

20. Combine – the spinach-yogurt mixture is a bit curdled since I used low fat yogurt.  If you use reduced fat sour cream or cream, this probably won’t occur.  Relax, I’ll fix it in step #24.

21. Add the drained chickpeas.

22. Leave the lid ajar and let this cook for about 7-10 minutes.  

23. In the meantime, dry roast the 1/4 cup of chickpea flour on medium heat.  Keep stirring to avoid burning.  This will take about 3 to 5 minutes. You should be able to smell the aroma!

24. Add the dry roasted chickpea flour to the spinach.  

25. Combine.  Notice how the water is absorbed.  Allow this to cook for 5 minutes without a lid.  

26. Adjust salt and add 1 to 1 1/2 tsp of Garam Masala.  Combine.  Turn off the stove.  

27. Goes awesome with rice.  

TELL ME: What is the secret to a marriage or a long term relationship for the modern day couple?  Do you think marriages can be effortless even if you are married to your best friend and why?  Or do you think all marriages require some amount of effort to keep the spark alive?  What is your definition of effort?

Hi, I'm Nisha!

I'm a foodie who is passionate about healthy-ish living and mindful eating. You'll find a bit of everything here. I use mostly organic real ingredients and incorporate seasonal produce in my cooking. I believe food is medicine. Join me on this soul-searching journey as I share my love for good food, and I hope I inspire you to eat better somewhere along the way.

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  1. Mmmmmmmmm, I saw your post on Foodgawker, was looking for something to make to use up all my cans of chickpeas. This looked like the yummiest recipe there and wow! It's great! I love that it's quite light but at the same time very filling. Thanks!!

  2. This recipe was a surprise with how good it was. I thought it sounded great, but it blew me away. Thanks!!!

  3. Wow, this looks amazing! I admit I've tried Chana Saag with cream, but not yogurt. I'd love to try a lower fat version. Great job! Oh and I totally agree with you on what keeps a marriage alive.. each day counts!!!