Oil-Free Kabuli Chana (Garbanzo Bean/ Chick Pea in a Spicy Gravy)
Chana/ Chole is a North Indian prepartion which is predominantly chickpeas and usually comes in a spicy onion-tomato gravy. This is one dish I cook quite frequently at home and is perfect whether served with Indian flatbreads like chapathis, pooris or naans.
There is something about its buttery taste and soft texture that enhances the flavours whichever way it is cooked. If you eat it out in Indian restaurants, it invariably comes cooked with a lot of oil/ ghee or cream. While this does add to the taste of the dish, and can even be over whelming at times, this isn't the best way to eat it on a regular basis.
My everyday version of Chana/ Chole has very little fat or absolutely no added fat as in this recipe. I used to have a habit of collecting recipes from magazines or books in the days before we became computer literate and I started writing this blog.
This recipe is from that collection and I have no idea which magazine it came from. With time, I have tweaked the original to suit our taste, and this is what the recipe looks like now. This recipe is proof that food that is cooked without fat can taste as good, and the chickpeas in this one goes a long way to make it so.
This preparation is also gluten-free and vegan.
- Soak the chana/ chole overnight and cook till soft but firm. Take a handful of the chana and mash well. Keep aside.
- Heat a non-stick pan or kadai. Add the ustard seeds. When they splutter/ pop, add the cumin, coriander and turmeric powders and lightly roast for less than a minute. Take care they do not burn.
- Quickly add the grated onion, chopped tomato, ginger julienne, garlic paste and chilli powder along with a quarter cup of water. Mix well an allow to cook for about 5 minutes till the water evaporates, while stirring occasionally. By now the raw smell of the onion should have disappeared. If not add about 2 tbsps of water and cook till the water has almost evaporated, again stirring frequently.
- Now and add the cooked chana, salt and a cup of water and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes till some of the water evaporates. Add the mashed chana and the garam masala and simmer for a few minutes till the Kabuli Chana has a thick gravy.
- Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with pooris, chappathis or rice.