More research on chickpeas gave me some nice-to-know nutrition facts about it. “One hundred grams of mature boiled chickpeas contains 164 calories, 2.6 grams of fat (of which only 0.27 grams is saturated), 7.6 grams of dietary fiber and 8.9 grams of protein. Chickpeas also provide dietary calcium (49-53 mg/100 g), with some sources citing the garbanzo’s calcium content as about the same as yogurt and close to milk. ” – Wikipedia
Here is the recipe for authentic (as far as I could made it :D) Kala Chana. I recently bought a small packet of Caraway seeds, since I thought it would be nice to cook up something nice with them. Kala Chana is the first recipe in that series.
KALA CHANA RECIPE
Black chickpeas (kala chana) – 1/2 cup
Onions – 2, chopped
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
Green chillies – 2, slit
Hing (kayam) – one pinch
Turmeric – 1 pinch
Cardamom – 2, coarsely ground.
Caraway seeds (shahjeera) – 2 tsp
Coriander powder (mallipodi) – 2 tsp
Oil – 1 tbsp
Salt – to taste
How to Make Kala Chana:
1. Soak the chickpeas in twice its amount of water overnight. I leave it for atleast 12 hours since they are tougher to cook than most other lentils.
2. Next day, pressure cook the chickpeas with 4 cups water. I let the whistle sound 4 times atleast. Let it cool.
3. Heat oil in a pan and add the shahjeera and cardamom. Fry for 15 seconds and then add the coriander powder.
4. Now add the ginger garlic paste and when it turns slightly brown, add the onions and green chillies. (Note that in most of South Indian cooking, we add the onions first but this recipe is slightly different in that).
5. Let the onions turn brown by keeping fire on sim and adding water occasionally to let it mix well with the spices and to prevent burning. Continue doing this for about 15 minutes until you have a mush of caramelized onions that smell out of this world!
6. Now its time to add the chickpeas. Drain them and add it to the above onion mixture to cook for another 3-4 minutes. If you find the gravy going too dry, add the water used to boil the chickpeas, very little at a time. Also adjust salt at this stage. Remember that the gravy is supposed to be a bit thick.
7. Once the chickpeas have mixed well with the gravy and the oil starts leaving the sides of the pan, remove from fire and serve hot with phulkas.
This is not one of those easy recipes I usually post, but is well worth the effort. If you like the gravy tangy, add one cup blanched and pureed tomatoes. Suitable for a cooking-oriented weekend 🙂