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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Kala Chana Curry

Have you ever tasted something for the first time and wondered why you waited 29 long years to discover such a wonderful thing?  That is the revelation I had while just taste testing this recipe.  I borrowed it from ShowMeTheCurry.. and as usual, it is perfect and rather simple.  I can't keep this one to myself.. I'm going to have to smuggle it out to give samples and hook everyone onto vegetarian cuisine. 
Serves 6 as a side
1 1/2 cups black chickpeas (kala chana) washed and soaked at least 8 hours
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp oil
1/8 tsp asofetida (hing)
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
1 green chili, minced
1 large clove garlic, grated
2 chopped tomatoes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp chili powder
 1.  Place the chickpeas in the crock pot with about 4 cups of water and  baking soda.  Cook on low for at least 8-9 hours.  These are very stubborn little fellows and take much longer to cook than regular chickpeas.  You will, however, appreciate the difference in finesse.  If you do not have a slow cooker, cook them in a pressure cooker for at least an hour.  Make sure to check the tenderness after opening.  You don't want them crunchy.  If you have neither a slow cooker nor a pressure cooker, simmer for probably around 3 hours.  That's about the time it would take you to go out, buy a pressure cooker, and cook these.  haha.
2.  Make the curry by heating the oil on medium heat.  when hot, add the hing, then the turmeric, then the ginger, green chili, and garlic.  Cook until the raw smell goes away.
3.  Add the tomatoes and let them cook until you have mush.
4.  Add the garam masala, chili powder, and salt.
5.  Transfer this lovely curry to your kala chana.  If you want it less soupy, make sure to take some of the water out before putting the curry in.  Taste and adjust the seasoning.

I like it with a little kick.  My new chili powder I bought from the Chinese supermarket is 10x stronger than the one from French supermarkets.. to my pleasant suprise.
This was perfect, spot on, and appropriate considering the weather we are having.  I served it as a side with my Jaipuri Veg and Paneer Curry, and today had it for lunch over rice as a soup (and was so excited to eat that I forgot to photograph my plate).
It works out well garnished with cilantro, but I didn't have any.
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