I always stock my kitchen with dried legumes and different kinds of lentils. They come for great use when you are running out of veggies or you are not in a mood to eat the regular veg curries. Dried ones such as chickpeas, chana, rajma, whole lentiles like urad, moong, masur…..comes out as wonderful dishes that can tickle any tastebud. In north, rainy season doesn’t have much to offer in terms of veggies and it was this season that saw all the mums and housewives using their stock of grams and lentils. Be it the famed chole, kala chane, rajma chawal, maa ki daal, daal tadka………every dish is a gem in its own perview. They are tasty, very healthy, rich source of protein and fibre and wholesome food in itself. Though the rainy season is over, I like to eat and cook it once in a while. Here’s my mum’s typical bihari style chane ki ghughni.
|aloo-chane ki ghughni|
|kaale chane (whole bengal gram)|
1 cup kale chane soaked overnightFor the masala/spice paste
2 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp black pepper powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
8 cloves of garlic
1 inch ginger
1 bay leaf
1 cup boiled and lightly crushed potatoes
2 cups of finely chopped onion
2 cups of fresh tomato paste
½ tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp amchur powder
½ tsp Turmeric powder
1 tbs ghee
1 tbs oil
Heat ½ tbs oil in a kadai and fry the drained chana on medium flame till they are soft. In order to check they are done try to crush a chana grain with your fingers. It should be soft and grainy. Keep aside.
Grind together all the ingredients of the masala/spice medium thick paste using little water even if you have the spice powders. Grinding together helps them to blend into a nice paste very important for a good gravy.
For gravy: Heat remaining oil and ghee in kadai. Add chopped onions and sauté them on medium flame till they turn golden in colour. Add the masala/spice paste, turmeric and salt. Mix well and fry on medium heat till the paste starts leaving the sides of the kadai. Stir continuously. Once the oil is separated, add the tomato paste and mix. Lower the flame, cover and leave it for 5 minutes. You will notice that the paste and the tomatoes are cooked and the oil comes out. Add the potatoes and cooked chana and amchur powder and mix. Add 2 ½ cups of water and bring it to a boil. Let it simmer for 5 minutes. Add the garam masala. Mix. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves. Serve with rice or chapatti.
I always make extra to eat the next day as chaat seasoned with raw onions and curds. Its so yummmmmmm.
Tips: You can always make a drier version of this dish. Just avoid the water for the gravy and cook it over medium flame till you get the mix is dry as per your likes. Garnish with lots of chopped onion, green coriander leaves and love of course.