Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Kala Chana ~ Raswala Chana ~ Brown Chickpeas curry ~ With Stepwise pictures

Kala chana or brown chickpeas isn't something I use very often. Even when I do, I usually use it in something like this sundal. Despite the fact that I regularly make curries with a variety of beans, kala chana somehow didn't make it into that list. I have always been wanting to try some kind of curry with these beans, and somehow I always that I would most probably try the Keralite kadala curry first because it is to so well known and well... I've always wanted to try it. :)

But the other day, I was just glimpsing through a Gujarati cookbook by Tarla Dalal and marveling at the fact that there were so many interesting Gujarati recipes I want to try , when I came across her raswala chana. Now what piqued my interest the most about this recipe was the fact that the gravy was so ultra simple. It just had a tiny bit of chickpea flour and some spices and that's it. No garlic, no onion, no ginger yet the curry seemed so interesting. So I gave it a try almost immediately and adapted the recipe slightly to work for us. The curry was so very quick and simple, a perfect side dish for phulkas / flat breads and great for a quick and healthy lunch or dinner.

Click here for a printable view of this recipe

Ingredients and Method to make Kala Chana ~ Raswala chana
1 cup brown chickpeas (kala chana) soaked in sufficient water for at least 8 hours

1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi/manjal podi)
1/2 tsp chili powder (lal mirch/thani molagai podi)
1/2 tsp ground cumin (jeera powder)
1/2 tsp ground coriander (dhania powder)
1/4 tsp dry mango powder (amchur powder )
1 Tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds (sarson/ rai/ kadagu)
2 Tbsp chick pea flour (gram flour/ besan/ kadalai maavu)
1 Tbsp grated jaggery (gud/vellam) (or 2 tsp sugar)
salt to taste (namak/uppu)
3 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro (coriander leaves/hara dhania/kothamalli)

Soak chickpeas in sufficient water for at least 8 hours or overnight. Drain water, fill with fresh water enough to submerge the beans and pressure cook until soft. I usually keep the beans in the pressure cooker for about 4 to 5 whistles and lower the heat and cook on low heat for 15 minutes or so. Or the beans can be cooked on the stove top with sufficient water until soft.  After the pressure subsides, remove and drain the beans,reserve the cooking water and keep aside. 

Heat oil in a medium sized heavy bottomed pan. Add mustard seeds to it, when the seeds splutter add  besan/ chick pea flour and on low to medium low heat roast until the flour and browns slightly.

Add cooked kala chana/ chickpeas, turmeric powder, chili powder, coriander and cumin powder, dry mango powder, salt to taste, jaggery and some water as needed to achieve required consistency and simmer and for 8 to 10 mins until the flavors mingle. You can use the reserved water from the first step for this too.

Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with phulkas/chapathis / flat breads.

Serves approx 2 to 3 

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