January 13, 2009
Kala Chana With Puri...
Wishing all my readers and my fellow bloggers a very Happy 2009. Got carried away with last minute flurries of studying, packing, shopping and managing sick kids.
I wanted to go to each of my favorite blogs and leave a new year greeting there, but instead went for a short break,with the exams being over. Results awaited of course, but I do hope to be blogging more often now.
Hope all of you had a big bang start to the new year!! And wish you all prosperity and good health.
The vacation was a well deserved break from the routine and of course from the cold weather here. We went to Disney World..not really a dream place to unwind but definitely a place where a grown up can be a kid again. It's hectic, it's crazy crowded and yet fun. What's better than screaming on roller coasters or when you have spiders coming down at you or mice running under your feet in the dark?(Make believe of course!!) I chickened out of the scariest rides but there was still plenty of good shows and rides.
And of course what's a vacation log without a discussion on the food?
Before I left, I had reached the end of my cooking spell, being sick of my own cooking, and the same old stuff... Deciding what to cook was a pain!! Well, nothing like a week of burgers( veg/nonveg, whatever..) and fries and chicken nuggets to get the tastes buds craving for spicy Indian food! Though the food there was the tastiest fast food we could get, with a variety of toppings for the sandwiches,it still didn't hit the "I am satisfied" button in our stomachs. We usually like variety and are open to all different cuisines in food, but without spice, can't eat much. It all tastes the same and insipid after some time and we start craving Indian food.
One evening an old friend who stays there visited us and the discussion turned to dinner. He was familiar with the area and got us some "Kottayam" and "Alleppey" fish curry from a South Indian restaurant a bit away from where we stayed and we made rice to go with it. Just fish curry and rice and curds....somebody should have taken a photo of our faces after that meal!! It was so good and yet it was not really an authentic Kerala curry but who cares... It had the right balance of spice and sourness (eruvum puliyum) in it!!Why bother with elaborate cuisines.. if you really want to whet an appetite that has fallen by the wayside, just feed the person the opposite of what they like for a week and see.
Now we want puttu-kadala, fish fry and more fish, the spiciest chicken curry, or just chammandi and rice...avial....the list goes on.. my friend who was with me was salivating over dosa and sambhar and chutney..:)
So I will get back to posting more recipe studded stories..but for now lets start the new year with puri-chole recipe...Most of you must be used to puri-alu or chole -bature but this is a good combination more familiar in North India. It's my fav combination,.. love the pure Punjabi dry kala chana and suji ka halwa with this.yum!! Over time though, this got modified a bit to make some more gravy for the sake of family. So now it's semi-dry which goes well with puri or chappathi.
You will Need:
Kala chana/black chickpeas-1 cup
Ginger-1 tbsp crushed or paste
Garlic- 1 tbsp crushed or paste
Onion-1 1/2 medium size- finely chopped
Green chilies-3 sliced
Roasted Cumin Powder-1 1/2 tsp
Ground coriander-2 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
Red chili powder -1 tsp or as per taste
Dry mango powder (amchoor )-1/2 tsp (substitute with 1 tsp lemon juice)
Salt To Taste
2-3 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp garam masala
Cilantro leaves- 2 tbsp chopped
Cilantro leaves-1/2 cup finely chopped
Shredded ginger-1 tsp
Green Chilies-1 chopped finely
1. Soak Chole in water overnight or for about 6 hr. Cook the chole with salt and enough water in the cooker for about 20 minutes or till fully done. Drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid.
2. Heat oil in a cast iron or heavy bottom pan and add onions and sauté till golden on medium heat. Then add the garlic and ginger and green chilies. Keep stirring till the raw smell of the garlic reduces.
3. Add tomatoes, mango powder or lemon juice, cumin powder( to make cumin powder, roast the cumin seeds on a tawa for 5-6 minutes on low heat or in a microwave for one minute and then powder it), coriander, turmeric and chili powder and sauté over low heat until the oil separates. This takes patience to do it with little oil. Keep stirring. If you are in a hurry, add extra oil to speed it up. If the tomatoes are bland, then u could add 2 small ones but too much tomatoes changes the taste of the curry. Add the chole, the reserved cooking liquid, salt and let it come to a boil .Then cover and simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes.
Add a pinch of garam masala and serve the chana sprinkled with the remaining coriander leaves and shredded ginger.
For Puri recipe, click here.
This is my entry for Srivalli's "My Legume Love Affair"