Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Chana (chickpeas) bhuna

I think I may have found the most PERFECT masala recipe I've ever tried, and all thanks to Sangeeta of Banaras ka Khana blog. Her blog is one of my favourites, because she has North Indian recipes which are not so well known (at least to me) as the usual things you get endlessly everywhere. I like reading about typical everyday recipes which are still not common outside of individual homes, and Sangeeta's blog is the perfect place to find these.

I tried this masala with cooked chickpeas because I had some, and loved the result so much that I've made it (with different dals) four times in the last 10 days... although not (yet) with the original split chickpeas (or chana dal) that Sangeetha used. I've tried it both as a thick sauce and as a runnier one, and it makes not a whit of difference - other than the clingy sauce is better with whole chickpeas.

I reduced the peppercorns to 1/2 tsp because I can't take the heat from them (but chilli-heat is more than bearable, go figure), but otherwise the recipe is no different - well, apart from having used chickpeas, that is. Do try it - it's pretty quick to make, too, especially if you use canned chickpeas.

Recipe for:
Chana bhuna
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Ingredients:3-4 cups cooked chickpeas (or two cans' worth)
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 tbsp ghee or oil (I used oil)
1 tsp cumin seeds
Salt to taste

For grinding:
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1/2" piece cinnamon stick
1 small black cardamom (seeds only)
1 htsp coriander seeds
1 htsp cumin seeds
2 cloves
4-5 dried red chillies (or to taste)
3 garlic cloves
1" ginger root
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp amchoor (dried raw mango) powder - optional
3-4 tbsp water

Method:1. Grind all the ingredients for the masala into a smooth, fairly thick paste. Use only as much water as required to make it smooth.
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2. Heat the oil/ghee in a pan, then add the cumin seeds.
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3. Once the seeds sizzle, add the chopped onion and stir.
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Let it cook on low heat for 15 minutes or so, till it becomes soft and pinkish.
4. Now add the ground masala paste to the cooked onion
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and stir it in.
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5. Fry it (bhuno) on low heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, till the paste is well amalgamated, thick and intensely aromatic. Any excess water should have evaporated.
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6. Now add the chickpeas along with salt to taste
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and stir till it is all well mixed.
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7. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes more (longer if it is watery), then take it off the heat.
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Serve hot with chapaties or puris.
Note: The curry tastes best when the masala coats the chickpeas thickly, so make sure the masala is not runny.


RECIPE: CHANA BHUNA
Ingredients:
3-4 cups cooked chickpeas (or two cans' worth)
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 tbsp ghee or oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
Salt to taste
For grinding:
1/2" piece cinnamon stick
1 small black cardamom (seeds only)
1 htsp coriander seeds
1 htsp cumin seeds
2 cloves
4-5 dried red chillies (or to taste)
3 garlic cloves
1" ginger root
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp amchoor (dried raw mango) powder - optional
3-4 tbsp water
Method:
1. Grind all the ingredients for the masala into a smooth, fairly thick paste. Use only as much water as required to make it smooth.
2. Heat the oil in a pan, then add the cumin seeds.
3. Once the seeds sizzle, add the chopped onion and stir. Let it cook on low heat for 15 minutes or so, till it becomes soft and pinkish.
4. Now add the ground masala paste to the cooked onion and stir it in.
5. Fry it (bhuno) on low heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, till the paste is well amalgamated, thick and intensely aromatic. Any excess water should have evaporated.
6. Now add the chickpeas along with salt to taste and stir till it is all well mixed.
7. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes more, then take it off the heat. Serve hot with chapaties or puris.
Note: The curry tastes best when the masala coats the chickpeas thickly, so make sure the masala is not runny.

3 comments:

TBC said...

I found Sangeeta's recipe through you this morning, and it looked like something I had to make right away. I used kaala chana today but will be trying it with all the other dals in my kitchen cupboard soon.
Thank you! :)

Apu said...

Very nice!! Chole are always such a treat!!

Anu said...

This sounds simply marvelous...!! Not wasting another day; trying it for dinner tonight! :-)

Ha-how funny, I too 'mind' the peppercorn heat, but can simply go nuts with the chili powders..