Dry black chickpeas / aloo-chana sukha


Another quickie - Because I am losing track of the snaps in archives and it is appropriate for Click too!

Click is a monthly thematic photography contest started by Jai and Bee of Jugalbandi, and the theme for May 2008 is beans and lentils.

I like konda kadalai, kale chane or black chickpeas in three ways -
When I was a kid, we had stayed at a 'dharamshala' [Meaning - A hostel kind of accomodation provided to travellers at an economical rate for short stays during pilgrimages] in Varnasi. The standard menu a dharamshala follows is roti/puri, rice, runny ma ki dal, and a dry subzi, pickles and curd. I am not sure whether this is correct, but as far as I recall I ate a meal of pooris and aloo chana three times a day for two days, and I remember enjoying it very much too.

Another amusing incident that took place was that we had visited a Hanuman Temple in Faizabad/Varnasi, and I had a fistful of roasted chanas in the pocket of my skirt to offer the monkeys. I had hardly strewn a few, when the monkey attacked my skirt and tore the pocket!

I will quit rambling and give the recipe...

Kale chane (Black chick peas) - 2 cups
Soak overnight. Drain, and cook in fresh water with salt till tender.
Potato - 1 medium (Chop into small thin pieces)
Fresh Coriander powder / dhania powder - 2 tsp.
Jeera powder / Cumin seeds pwd - 1/2 tsp.
Amchoor / Dried Mango pwd. - a pinch or to taste.
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp.
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp.
Jeera - 1tsp.
Ajwain seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Oil - 1 tbsp.

Heat oil. Let the jeera splutter. Add ajwain.
Add Potatoes and fry with little salt till cooked.
Add boiled and drained chana and the rest of spices except coriander powder and mix well. Fry till the mixture is dry. Remove from fire.
Add the coriander powder. Mix well and serve with pooris or rice and dal.

I am a little partial to dhania powder, as I like the aroma, and add quite a lot! You may garnish with coriander, but that is a later development to food!

This is traditionally served on saptami and ashtami as an offering along with Sheera or Rawa Kesari. On the seventh and eighth day of Navratri North Indians invite young girls and offer pooja. The pooja itself is known as kanchak, and the little ones called are known as kanchaki devis, as they are believed to be the pure virgin forms of Goddess Durga.

P.S: Simran, thanks for mentioning it. When this dish is prepared for 'kanchak' potatoes are not added to the chana.

Sorry - I know that turned out lengthy and not a quickie!

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