Sindhi Chana Masala - Vegan Chickpea Curry

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Green chickpeas? Apparently, it's all the rage now. Poised to take over edamame as the new hot 'pod'! How are they green? Well, these are the fresh, young versions of our favourite beige chickpeas that we know and love, which is harvested in its infancy, and flash frozen to preserve its nutrients. Until they find a way to dry and can them, we can only find them in the frozen aisle. And because it's young, it is way more tender and can be steamed and cooked straight from the freezer bag.

I've been craving chana masala, and after some attempts online, decided to contact my aunt, online as well, and fortunately didn't need to resort to begging to get her amazing recipe. It's interesting how aunts are so very happy to part with their culinary treasures especially when their own progeny doesn't exhibit culinary tendencies. God forbid their trove of recipes will go with them when they pass on.

So this is as authentic as you get, a Sindhi style chana masala, just slightly adapted to the times, now with two types of chickpeas, the traditional beige chickpea as well as the young, green chickpea.

2 cups chickpeas, cooked
4 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
4 cloves
4 green cardamoms

1 large onion, diced finely
1 inch ginger piece, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp tomato puree
4 tomatoes, chopped
1 cup water, or as desired

1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tbsp cumin powder
2 tsp Kashmiri chili powder
1 tsp amchur*
1 tbsp garam masala
Salt, as needed
cilantro, to garnish

1. In a large sauté pan on medium flame, heat the oil until it shimmers, then add the cumin seeds, bay leaves, cloves and cardamoms.
2. When the seeds starts to snap and the oil becomes fragrant, add the onions, keep stirring until the onions turn translucent, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the ginger and garlic, and cook a further 3 minutes until it becomes mushy.
4. Make a well in the centre and add the tomato puree and the chopped tomatoes, stir, and add water as needed to make a gravy-like consistency. Stir often, and cook a further 10 minutes.
5. Add the chickpeas at this point, along with the rest of the dry spices, adding a bit more water if needed.
6. Turn the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring often.
7. Before serving, taste, and add salt to your preference, then sprinkle cilantro leaves on top.

You can enjoy it with roti, rice, or on a sunflower and flax seed ciabatta with a dollop of raita (yes, there is vegan yogurt), and topped with pickled onions, as I did ;) Oh ... and don't forget the papad!

* Amchur is a dry powder made from mangoes that is used to lend a tart or sour note to dishes. I ran out of amchur, so used sumac instead.

You Might Also Like