April 10, 2009

Lisa's Black and Yellow Chickpeas in a Sweet and Spicy Sauce with Luchis (A Deep-fried Indian Flatbread)

I have bookmarked a few of Lisa's recipes to try out and the first of them that I "tried and tasted" was her Black and Yellow Chickpeas in a Sweet and Spicy Sauce. Adapted from Raghavan Iyer's 660 Curries, Lisa says this recipe makes "an intense but balanced blend of smoky, hot and pungent flavours from fried spices, fresh and dried hot peppers, and mustard seeds popped in hot oil complements an earthy and buttery mixture of beans in this simple but beautiful and fragrant Indian-style chili."

I stayed with her version except that I left out the red chillies (my green chillies were spicy enough), used red cowpeas instead of kidney beans (because I didn't have any), and used fresh coriander for garnishing.

To me, this curry represents an interesting blend of south Indian (mustard seeds, black chickpeas and asafetida) with north Indian flavours. The use of honey (instead of the traditional jaggery, perhaps) is also an unusual innovation in this very Indian preparation.

We had this curry for lunch with luchis.
Luchis are pooris (a deep-fried Indian flatbread) made from all purpose flour and are a very pale golden colour (almost white). These pooris are typical of cuisine of the Indian states of Bengal and Orissa, and very tasty.

This is the recipe that I always use to make them, though not as frequently as we would like as I try to minimize the amount of deep-frying I do.


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 tbsp oil

salt to taste

oil for frying the luchis


I use the food processor to knead this dough but it can be done by hand. Put all the above ingredients into a bowl (or the food processor) and add enough water to make a stiff and elastic dough. Make sure the dough is kneaded well or the luchis will not turn out soft. If the dough is not stiff, you will end up with very oily luchis.
Place the dough in a bowl, cover and allow to rest for about half an hour to an hour.

Divide the dough into pieces, rolling each into a smooth 1 1/2" ball. Roll each ball into a thin circle about 4' to 5" in diameter, using oil on the rolling pin and dough to ensure it doesn't stick. Do not use flour, as this will burn up in the oil and discolour the oil and the luchis when they are deep-fried.

Heat the oil in a wok (not till smoking point). Fry the luchis immediately, using your slotted spoon to gently press down the luchis as they are frying, to coax them to puff up. Once the luchis are beginning to just change coclour and are cooked, remove them from the oil and drain on paper towels.

Do not allow the luchis to brown. Also remember that the luchis will not cook if the oil isn't hot enough, and they will burn if the oil is too hot.
Serve the luchis warm with a curry of your choice. This recipe make approximately 15 luchis.

This is my entry for this month's Zlamushka's Tried And Tasted, hosted right here and featuring Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen this month.
I would also like to remind all of you that I am looking forward to all your own "tried and tasted" entries.

On another note, Rachel and I have got back to baking at our blog, The World In Our Oven, after a rather long break. This time we have gone Greek with some Koulourakia (Greek Butter Cookies) so do join us there.


Rachel said...

Your pics are just amazing..have bookmarked quite a lot from Lisa's blog...just haven't got down to doing it.

Divya Vikram said...

Great pictures! I love the challah bread. Beautifully braided. I dint know that you had another baking blog. Will go n check it out now.

Raaga said...

yummy... I have made puris exactly twice since I got married... and only once before :(

FoodyGuru (Srimathi) said...

Some good clicks you have taken. Wow! looking at your blog I am reminding myself to get down to picking a recipe from Lisa's blog to try. The bread that you have posted looks very pro.

Madhumathi said...

Wonderful recipe..Love the sweet and spicy chickpeas..Its very inviting!
the challah bread looks adorable..I didnt know that u have another blog.Will check it now..

Cham said...

The curry is delicous and luchis is simply gorgeous! Is luchi another name for puris? I ve seen ur baking oven yest! Splendid work by both of u!

Lisa said...

I am so glad you enjoyed this dish! Your photos are just gorgeous. Thanks again for hosting this month's Tried and Tasted. I'm flattered that my blog is the focus this month.

Indhu said...

lovey pictures.. love the curry... and the bread looks so professional :)

Suparna said...

Hi aparna,
U r doing a great job, Lisa's blog is just too wonderful... Thanks for introducing us to her blog.Ur version of the recipe. Pics are superb and tempts one to try it asap. Ur collaboration with rachel is advantageous to many food bloggers. Keep the good job going! Wish u both lots of luck!

Arundathi said...

Looks fabulous, Aparna. Love the photos. And the greek bread looks great!

lisamichele said...

Oh my goodness, I'm REALLY drooling! I LOVE LOVE all kinds of indian breads, and used to fry up poori about once a week! However, that chiokpea curry was never there to pair it with. Bookmarking this ASAP! EVERYTHING looks gorgeous and delicious!

sra said...

This reminds me of the puri-alsande that Goan restaurants serve!

Asha said...

Slurp! my kind of plate there. I am planning to get one from her blog too, may be last week of April. Bread twists look gorgeous! :)

We have 3 day off, so we are out of town, just logged on to moderate the comments. I will see you again on Monday. I went to Indian store y'day, loaded enough groceries to last for 6months. It's near Trisha's college, so we visited her dorm and hung around for a while to get a feel of it! :D

Enjoy there.

Bharti said...

I haven't deep fried since a while and now You're tempting me! That looks so delicious.

bee said...

raghavan iyer is the king when it comes to experimenting with beans and lentils. it's the best cookbook in my entire collection.

i will try your chammanthi with some frozen green mango i have. whenever we buy green mango here *fresh), it's yellow inside. , so frozen works better.

Aparna said...

Thanks everyone, for your comments about our cookies and the baking blog.

This is your opportunity, Rachel. Hope to see some of them at T&T.:)

But I bet you've eaten them many more times, Raaga.:)

Thanks, Lisa.

Hope you enjoy them, Lisamichele.

:D, Sra. There was one time, as soon as we moved back to Goa, we used to eat our breakfast at this little tea shop. But one week of an unvaried breakfast of this every morning put me off the whole thing for months!

Wow, that's a lot of shopping, Asha. Have a nice weekend.

Bee, I have seen a lot of reviews about his book and you just confirmed it.
Never knew mango could br frozen.:)

Vani said...

Both the curry and the luchis look great!

shayma said...

hi aparna, i really like your recipe for puris. do you have one for chapatis? i hurt my hand in an accident some years back, so i cannot knead, and therefore will not be able to blog about this on my site. my italian friend is really keen on reading a blog post on how to make a chapati- is there one on your site?
love your blog.

Aparna said...

Thanks Shayma. Yes, I do as I make chappathis very often but haven't blogged about it.
Let me see if I can do it thi month.