Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pindi Chana

When my Punjabi friend got married, we all friends were too happy to be part of her Bollywood style wedding. All the naachna-gaana, baarat, and midnight wedding at a plush Mumbai hotel near the ocean was right from the Bollywood movie. Oh and food? I remember it was delicious, but what I remember the most was that I was introduced to something called "Pindi Chana". I thought it was too good.

Then later one day, while flipping through the pages of my Hawkins recipe booklet, I found "Pindi Chana". It was a eureka moment for me. I tweaked and changed the recipe to get the one we had at that Mumbai hotel. And hence come up with this recipe.

Chana Pindi
Punjabi Chickpeas Masala
1 cup brown chickpeas
salt to taste
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp amchoor powder

For Bouquet Garni
1 green cardamom
2 cloves
1/2" cinnamon
wrap above ingredients in a muslin cloth and make a pouch or use a tea-ball.

Roast & grind
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
4 kashmiri chilies
1/2 tsp anardaana/dried pomegranate seeds
2 cloves

1 tsp ghee/clarified butter
2 tsp oil
1 tbsp ginger julianne
1 green chili, minced or slit

key lime, freshly squeezed
A pinch of garam masala
A pinch of chaat masala

1. Garnish with fine nylon sev on top
2. Garnish with a dollop of plain yogurt and mint on top
3. Serve on top of aloo tikki or hash browns for a different version of chole tikki.

1. Soak brown chickpeas overnight in plenty of water. Next morning you will get approx. 3 cups of plump chickpeas.
2. Pressure cook the chickpeas with 2 cups water, along with bouquet garni.
3. Discard the bouquet garni. Drain the cooking liquid and set aside.
4. Put the boiled chickpeas in a heavy bottomed kadai or pot. Add all the powdered spices along with amchur powder and cinnamon powder.
5. Let all the powdered spices coat the chickpeas evenly.
6. Add the cooking liquid & salt. Let it cook on a low flame till all the water evaporated and the chickpeas look dry.
7. In another saucepan, heat oil and ghee. Add ginger and chilies. Saute for 1 minute and drizzle over the chickpeas.
8. Stir well. Switch off the gas.
9. While serving, sprinkle lemon juice, garam masala and chaat masala.

Note -
1. I have used regular brown chickpeas for this recipe. But for the desired taste, look for bigger brown chickpeas - not kabuli chanas.
2. You can retain some cooking liquid to get a gravy consistency rather than dry one.



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