Monday, February 2, 2009

"My" Style Channa

Oh yeah, that's right. It is Anu's style channa time now :-). May be, this is how a lot of people make channa, but I first made it without the help of any recipe. I was basically longing for a South Indian style channa gravy when I was in school and since I was new to cooking then, couldn't explain to the more experienced ones (ahem ahem) as to exactly what I was looking for in that dish. Hence, yours truly decided to make channa her own way and just threw in the spices that she felt would give her the flavor that she was craving for. I still make South Indian style channa this way just because I don't know any other method. So, here I go...

Ingredients (about 4 - 5 servings):

Cooking oil - 4 to 5 tablespoons
Cooked chick peas - 4 cups (using a measuring cup)
(You can use canned chick peas if you don't have raw chick peas)
Onions - 1.5 medium sized finely chopped
Tomatoes - 2 medium sized finely chopped
Green chillies - 3 to 4 cut into small pieces
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Urad dhal - 2 teaspoons
Asafoetida - 1/4 teaspoon
Red chilli powder - 1.5 teaspoons (vary this to suit your taste)
Channa masala - 3 to 4 full teaspoons
Garam masala (optional) - 1/4 teaspoon
Besan (chick pea flour) - 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves - a few
Cilantro - 4 teaspoons finely chopped
Salt to taste


1. Soak raw chick peas overnight if you want to make this dish the next day.
2. Pressure cook the soaked chick peas with just enough water for it to cook, drain excess water and set aside.
3. In a deep vessel, heat some cooking oil and add mustard seeds. After the mustard seeds splutter, add urad dhal, asafoetida, green chillies and curry leaves and fry until the urad dhal turns light golden brown in color.
4. After step 3, add onions and fry till they turn golden brown in color. Then add the tomatoes and fry until they get cooked.
5. Once the tomatoes get cooked, add some salt, red chilli powder, garam masala, channa masala and the cooked chick peas. Mix the spices well and add little water (not too much though) to bring it to a gravy consistency.
6. Bring the mixture from step 5 to a boil and let it boil for 5 minutes. Then add the chick pea flour mixed with water (just enough to wet the flour) to the mixture, boil for 3 more minutes and turn off the stove.
7. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Anu's style channa is ready to be paired with rice or chappathi :-).

It may not be the best channa dish in the world, but it is a very special dish to me at least. I have made it so many times when I was in school that I even got bored of it at one point and adopted my Mom's style of making channa, but that is another post by itself ;-).

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