Kala Channa is a versatile ingredient.It can be used to make salads, chaat, variety of gravies and a delight to eat simply boiled in salt.
In SouthIndia , Kala Channa is used to make Sundal on one of the Nine days. Apart from the nutritional value, Kala Chana has a self induced taste which can accommodate into any flavor we want. Since kids prefer to take likes of Roti to School, I decided to make Kala Channa to accompany.
Tomato Paste ( Storage recipe) :
On Sundays, I keep my key items, like Ginger garlic paste, tomato paste, Coriander chutney , Tamarind Chutney ready for the week. Chop 1 kg tomatoes . In a Wok, heat a 1tbsp of oil , and add these tomatoes with a tsp of salt . Allow it to cook in slow fire till the water evaporates . Once it cools, grind it to paste. Store in a air tight container and keep it in refrigerator. You can use it for any gravy that you make.It stays for more than a week.TEMPLATE
Yield: 3 cups Prep time: 10 minutes Total time: 25 minutes
Kala Channa – 2 cups
Tomato Puree – 4 tbsp
Onion – 2 medium
Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp
Chaat Masala – 1/4 tsp
Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp ( to taste)
Pepper powder – 1/4 tsp
Green Chillies – 2
Coriander Leaves – 2 tbsp
Ginger – 1 tbsp grated
Garlic – 6 pods Chopped
Water – 1 1/2 cups
- Soak the Kala Chana overnight.
- Boil the Kala Channa with 3 cups water and 1/2 tsp Salt.
- In a Wok, take 2 tbsp oil. Add the the Cumin Seeds.
- When the cumin seeds splutter, add the chopped garlic and Ginger.
- Cook for 1 minute in low flame.
- Add the chopped onion.
- Cook for a minute and add the Tomato puree , green chillies and the dry masalas ( Cumin , Coriander, Chaat masala, Red Chilli and Pepper powder) and salt to taste ( please remember we have already added some salt for the Channa)
- Add water and cook in low flame for about 15 minutes.
- Remove from fire and garnish with coriander leaves ( optional : Chopped onions)
- Serve hot with Phulka/ Roti
- The soaked water is advised not be used for boiling. So change the water in the morning and pressure cook upto 5 whistles in low flame.
- If you do not have stock of chaat masala, alternatively you can use lemon (1/2 ) / Tamarind paste ( 1 tsp) or even Dry Mango powder (1/8 tsp)
- Avoid garnishing with coriander when the food is just removed from fire, as the leaves of coriander tender to lose their green color and become mushy.
- If you run short of time, like I do most of the times during the wee hours of morning, you can soak the Channa for 6 hours and boil it the previous night. This remains good in refrigerator for almost a week.