Monday, August 23, 2010
Kale Chanechi Amti - Black Chickpea Curry
Black Chickpeas are a regional speciality in Indian cooking - their preparation varies from one state to another. In Kerala, there is kadala curry with its distinctive coconut flavour, in Tamil Nadu, it is prepared as sundal - a lightly tempered savoury preparation of chickpeas tossed with grated coconut.
In Delhi, kala channa is a favourite accompaniment with kulchas which are sold as streetside fare. This is a popular cottage industry with the dish typically sold from the back of a bicycle - lightly baked flat breads are warmed up and served with a spicy semi-dry preparation of black chickpeas. My MIL was very taken with the idea when she visited us last year!
I have used these black chickpeas to make one of my favourite Maharashtrian dishes, amti - a spicy curry made with lentils or sprouted legumes. This reminded me a lot of Usal which is a spicy curry made with sprouts and is also used in making the popular snack misal - where the usal is mixed with other ingredients like boiled potatoes, peanuts, chopped onions, coriander, tamarind chutney, farsaan (fried snacks made out of chickpea flour) and even yoghurt to make a delicious filling snack.
I have used this recipe before for cooking black eyed beans to make chawlichi amti. For this version, I didn't sprout the chickpeas and used copra (dessicated coconut) and garlic to make a spice paste and added red chilli powder, cumin powder and coriander powder along with some tamarind pulp to the cooked chickpeas and cooked everything down to a delicious gravy. The only thing to remember for this dish is to soak the chickpeas overnight. It then has to be cooked till soft - in a pressure cooker that takes about 15 minutes and another 20 minutes of simmering with the spice paste.
This recipe is a heavily adapted version of Sanjeev Kapoor's recipe for amti made from sprouted black peas (kale watane) - but the amazing smell of coconut and garlic, mixed with the pleasure of biting into the plump chickpeas, brought back some pleasant memories.
This lovely, savoury curry goes to Susan's My Legume Love Affair #26 which is being hosted by Simona of Briciole.
(E of Evolving Tastes has kindly pointed out to me that kale watane (which is what I had called this earlier) is different from kale chane - so I have modified it accordingly)
Black chickpeas (sprouted or plain) - 1 cup
Copra (Dessicated coconut) - 1/4 cup
Garlic - 5 cloves
Onions - 2 - 1 sliced, 1 finely chopped
Chilli pd - 2 tsp
Coriander pd - 1 tsp
Cumin pd - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Hing - pinch
Tamarind - marble sized dissolved in 1/2 cup of water
oil - 2tsp
salt to taste
coriander leaves - 2 tbsp
1. Slice one onion and finely chop the other onion.
2. Heat 1 tsp oil and saute the sliced onions for 3-4 minutes, add the dessicated coconut and garlic cloves and roast for another 2-3 minutes. Cool and grind to a paste.
3. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a pan, add asafoetida and finely chopped onions; fry for 3-4 minutes.
4. Add the turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder and cumin powder and fry well for 3 minutes.
5. Add the boiled chickpeas, salt and 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Simmer, covered, on low for another 10 minutes.
6. Add the coconut-garlic-onion paste, tamarind paste and simmer for another 10 minutes.
7. Add coriander leaves for garnish and remove from flame.
Sig of Live to Eat has a giveaway on her blog - so if you want to win some goodies, take a peek!