When Padmaja announced RCI-Rajasthan, it was time for me to dig out Tarla Dalal’s Rajasthani cookbook from the innards of my bookshelves and look for an unusual recipe to highlight. The gravy base is a traditional Rajasthani one of curds and chickpea flour (Bengal gram flour/besan), but what struck me was the addition of red chana, which the author describes as whole red gram.
Now I’m not sure if this is the same as kala chana or black chana, having never seen anything labeled red chana before (but red gram is Bengal gram, I know), I used the black chana, which is actually a reddish brown, for this dish.
This dish is also called Chane Jaisalmer Ke (a city I did not visit, incidentally) and traditionally served with missi roti but goes well with rice or bajra rotis, the author recommends. A cupful or two sans either rice or roti makes for a filling meal, as I discovered.
Black chana/chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
Cumin seed – ½ tsp
Mustard seed – ¼ tsp
Bay leaves – 2
Red chillies, whole – 4
Asafoetida – 1/8 tsp
Dry ginger powder/sonth – ¾ tsp
Green chilli – 2, slit
(The author recommends 1 tsp of ginger-green chilli paste but I didn’t have fresh ginger on hand.)
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric – ¼ tsp
Curds/yoghurt, beaten – 1 cup
Bengal gram flour/besan – 2 tsp
Chopped coriander – 4 tbsp
Oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
In a pressure cooker, heat the oil, temper with the cumin and mustard, bay leaves, red chillies and asafetida.
When the seeds pop, add the black chana, ginger powder, green chillies, red chilli powder, turmeric, salt and 2 cups of water. Pressure cook for about 2-3 whistles till the channa is cooked. Wait for the pressure to escape.
(The chana will take considerably longer if you’re not using a pressure cooker – you can follow the same sequence even with a pan or a wok.)
Whisk the curds and the flour together. Add it to the cooked chana and bring to a boil stirring continuously. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Serve hot, garnished with coriander.
My observation – the gravy was rather watery, despite the flour, and despite my boiling it down for a while. I’m not sure what the consistency is meant to be. Tasty, anyhow!
RCI Rajasthan Curds/Yoghurt Kala Chana Black Chana Vegetarian Gravy Memories Nostalgia