I am on a quest to lose weight. Not mine, the husband's. It is not that I don't have anything to lose. I have enough, more than enough. Only trying to lose someone else's weight is more easier than your own. That way you are not the one giving up the lone rasgulla in the refrigerator
In this pursuit I try to pack him a lunch almost every work day. He thinks the amount I pack is not really sufficient.My friends think so, his mother too but I don't concur.
It is not that I pack a measly quantity, it is just that it has a lower carb portion, which does not satiate our carb-craving souls.
Like a true Bharatiya Nari, I pack the same lunch for myself too. And truth be told some days that lunch leaves me hungry too.
So we take along a fruit, a yogurt, some nuts(the tree kinds not real ones) to snack on
But not being the fruity kinds or the super-healthy kinds that leaves us desiring something more.
As a solution, I try to take along a legume-y something as a snack on some days, like a sprouted green moong salad or a sookha kala chana (dry black chickpea curry). Something spicy to keep us far far away from the vending machine and with enough dietary fiber to satisfy our good carbohydrate craving.
Kala Chana (Black chickpea) is a smaller, darker variety of Chickpeas grown mostly in the Indian subcontinent, Ethiopia, Mexico and Iran
Sookha Kala Chana brings back fond memories. Of the times spent in the state from where the greatest Indian Empire(Mauryas) originated. Memories of Thekua on the day of Chath Puja, loads and loads of sweet dry thekua sent by neighboring homes. And Poori and Sookha Kala chana in many of my friend's home as part of a prashad on any other Puja day. I am not sure of the origin of this sookha kala chana, I guess it has a UP heritage as I had it mostly at my friends' who hailed from there
This particular preparation of Sookha Kala Chana(dry black chickpea curry) sans onion is simple, earthy, the ajwain(carrom seeds) lending a very distinct flavor, satisfying a mid-morning or mid-afternoon craving to the hilt
This goes to Susan's MLLA 10, hosted by Coco Cooks. This dish can be served as a lovely starter when the dinner theme is Indian or Middle Eastern
Sookha Kala Chana ~ Dry Black ChickPea curry
How I Did It
Wash 1 and some cup(I used a little more than cup) of black chickpeas(kala chana) well and soak in a large pot of water overnight. They swell to almost 2-3 times their size. Keep that in mind when choosing a container to soak
Next day drain the black chickpeas(which would have doubled up by now) and cook them in a pressure cooker with a little salt. When you put them in the pressure cooker cook with more than double the water. I didn't note the time to cook, will update once I do that. But the chickpeas should be cooked to a soft consistency. If you don't have a pressure cooker, it will take a while to get cooked but you can do that in a regular pot.
Heat Oil in a deep frying pan or Kadhai
Flavor the oil with 1/2 tsp of Asafoetida/Hing and 2 tsp of Carrom Seeds/Ajwain
Add 1 fat clove of finely minced garlic and 5 finely chopped green chilli(adjust according to your heat level)
Once you get the flavor of garlic add 2 tsp of ginger paste or 2 tsp of finely julienned ginger. Fry for a minute
Add the cooked Kala Chana(sans the water) and mix well with the masala. Fry for a minute or two.
Add 2 tsp of Corriander pwd/Dhania powder, required amount of salt and mix well
Add about 1-2 cups of the water (add the water in which the chana had been cooked) and in slow heat let the chickpeas simmer till the water almost dries up
Sprinkle about 1/2 tsp of Amchoor powder and the delicious Dry Kala Chana is ready to snack on
You can squueze a little lime juice on your kala chana if you like it tangy. If you are in a place where bad breath is welcome, add some chopped red onions too for a heightened taste
Note: Sometimes I add half of a potato peeled and cubed small to the kala chana. If I am adding potatoes I do this after I have fried the masala. I add the potatoes, fry them a little and then add the kala chana
Jaisalmer Kala Chana cooked in yogurt from Sharmila
Trivia: Ajwain reduces flatulence caused by beans when it is cooked with beans. Now you know why you cook kala chana with it. It is also traditionally known as a digestive aid and an antiemetic.