Thursday, September 07, 2006

Pindi Chana
Hello All! Its been some time since I blogged. Sorry about that. Am facing several living-alone issues. One of them I have already mentioned---since I am used to cooking for 6-8 people (at least) on a regular basis, its VERY difficult getting up the enthu to cook for one! And now another issue---I love using fresh veggies + I dont have a car so dont go grocery shopping regularly=A lot of the veggies I buy go bad before I get around to using them. If you use a whole cauliflower then you get stuck eating it for at least 7 days.....if you use half, then what to do with the other half? Shove it at the back of the fridge until it starts to smell and you need to throw it away............?

So food management is a big problem. I dont like wasting stuff but I dont want to shift completely into frozen things either. Any solutions? It would be great to hear from people about their ideas.

Today, I am a little enthusiastic so I am going to make Bhatura's with Punjabi Chana. Usual preparations of chick peas are usually what we call 'Chhole'. Punjabi or Pindi chana, on the other hand uses different spices, is dark in color and is quite dry. The perfect pindi chana will have the exactly right consistency--there is enough moisture to wrap the spices all around each and every pea.........and no more. Lets see if we can achieve it today.


Chick peas- 1 can or 1 cup soaked overnight and pressure cooked till they are soft but NOT falling apart.
Pindi/Punjabi Chana masala-2 tsp store bought
Onions- 1 big red one, chopped
Green chillies- 4 sliced long
Bay leaves- 2, Big cardamom 4, Cinammon stick 1, Pepper corns 15
Haldi 1/2 tsp, Red chilli pwd 1/2 tsp, Dhania pwd 1 tsp, Garam masala 1/4 tsp, Amchur 1/2 tsp

1. Heat 2 tsp oil in a big pan. Add the "khadha" masala (literally translates into "Standing" spices, means all non-powder spices). Once the oil is infused with all the flavors, remove the pieces of spices. Put in the onion and garlic and on medium heat, saute for about 10 mins stirring as and when. Put off the heat when the onions smell nice and roasted and have left pretty much all their water. Leave to cool.
2. One the above is cool, put it into a blender and pulse a few times until you have an imperfect paste (not tooooo smooth, should have a home-made touch). Heat the used pan on lowish-medium heat and put in the roasted, ground onion-garlic paste. Put in the powders and green chillies. Stir and roast, stir and roast, stir and roast....until the spices start giving a nice, done smell (about 15 mins). If it starts sticking, you can sprinkle a little water from time to time.
3. Put in the boiled chickpeas, stir thoroughly, sprinkle half cup water and cook on medium-low flame. Season to taste. Cook till it reaches the perfect consistency................DONE! Oh! And its NECESSARY to put lots of lime/lemon juice on top before serving.

Serve with...: Chop some onions and green chillies finely, dress with lemon juice, salt, red chillie pwder and vinegar (if you like).

As I mentioned earlier, Pindi chana are quite dark in color. Usually the ingredients of the store-bought powder (in particular, pomegranate) should darken the chanas. But in case they dont, substitute some cooled-down tea water in Step 3 for normal water. Tea water=water in which tea has been brewed for about 7-8 minutes.


Nupur said...

I am currently living alone for a few months (transition times) and have the same cooking-for-one issues. Some things I found that help: invite friends over so you are motivated to cook, try and organize small pot-luck suppers, invest in good tupperware and freeze away portions for the next week, cook one-pot meals like vegetable khichdi. Good luck!

Asha said...

Hi G!! Good to see you back.I was waiting for these recipes!!:)) My blog roll didn't show the last one!!DARN!!:(

Waiting for more!:))