Black Chana Masala...or "Kaale Chane'"
Chana puri, a hot favourite with Punjabis, is a spicy dish made with chickpeas or kabuli chana, and served with puris.
My recipe uses the black kind also called Bengal gram- which is smaller in size and takes a little longer to cook.
This is one of the easiest recipes ever to prepare, especially for a beginner who likes to experiment. It involves no chopping of onions or tomatoes or ginger-garlic. Once you boil the chanas you need just five minutes for tempering it. It needs no chopping, no dicing-just a few dry masalas (spices).
This is a dry preparation with no gravy so you should ideally combine it with some yogurt raita and halwa (a sweet) and puris, of course You will love this dish for the simplicity in preparation and cooking.
(for 2-3 people)
1 cup black chickpea
2-3 black cardamom, crushed
1 tbsp cumin powder (lightly roasted and powdered)
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tbsp aamchur or dry mango powder (optional)
1-2 tsp red chilli powder ( or according to taste)
3-4 tbsp vegetable oil (not olive oil)
2-3 tbsp green coriander, chopped
salt to taste
Soak chana for 4-5 hours. Discard the water and pressure cook in fresh water with cardamom, cinnamon and salt to taste for about 20 min. Once done discard the cardamom and cinnamon. Keep about 1/4th cup of the liquid and drain and discard the rest of it.
Sprinkle the garam masala, aamchur, coriander powder, cumin powder on the chanas and mix well. Keep aside.
In a separate small pan prepare the tempering or the ‘tadka’. Heat the vegetable oil well. This might seem like too much of oil but this recipe needs oil to give it the glossy look.
When very hot add 1 tsp red chilli powder. It will immediately turn black. (It is supposed to do that). REMEMBER NOT TO INHALE HERE TO AVOID ONE SEVERE COUGHING FIT.Quickly pour chillies over the chana and mix well. Put back on fire and cook for a minute or so.
Sprinkle green chopped coriander, onion rings and sliced green chilli on top.
Serve hot with puri and halwa. The halwa should be eaten with the meal…the three tastes compliment each other very well.
(Find the recipe for a typical Punjabi halwa here...)
Hope you make trhis and enjoy it as much as I do.
Note: To make cumin powder: lightly roast a few teaspoons of cumin seed in a pan. Let cool and grind into a powder and store in an air tight jar. This is one spice that can easily be crushed with a rolling pin.