Showmethecurry.com’s Kala Chana Curry
I just made this Kala Chana or Black Chick Pea Curry and loved it – but that was with some changes. So here’s how I changed their recipe to make the dish we loved:
- Instead of using a pressure cooker to cook the black (whole) desi chana, I used the crock pot method described on the Mendosa page (see yellow highlighted box, “Preparing and Seasoning Chana Dal” found at bottom of the webpage.) Note: Since in this Desi Chickpea recipe, we are cooking the whole bean, not the split bean (chana dal), I prefer to soak the desi chickpea overnight in cold water, drain the water, and then cook the soaked desi chickpea per the directions given for cooking in the slow cooker on the Mendosa website.
- I used twice as much: asafoetida, ginger, and garlic.
- I used 4 times as much turmeric (1 teaspoon instead of 1/4 teaspoon) and I added 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. (For why turmeric and black pepper should always be used together, see Monamifood: Why turmeric and black pepper .)
- I used 1/4 more garam masala (1 1/4 teaspoons instead of 1 teaspoon)
- I used half as much salt.
- I used canned organic diced tomatoes instead of pureed tomatoes, and when I added the tomatoes to the dish, I smashed the tomatoes with a potato masher. It worked fine.
- I did not cook the tomato mixture down “until the oil separates from the mixture,” because I thought I might burn the mixture and my pan, so I just cooked it down until there was very little liquid left.
- Note: The showmethecurry.com recipe calls for chili powder, but they must be referring to red chile powder (ground red chiles), not chili powder (a mixture of ground spices used to make American style chili).
At the table, we passed chopped fresh tomatoes, chopped fresh onions, and chopped fresh cilantro so everyone could mix these into their curry as they liked. This mixture of cooked and fresh ingredients made the dish superb.
- Note: Early in the harvest season, onions are relatively sweet and when they have been stored a long time, they become sharp. If you want to take the edge off of sharp onions, just soak the chopped onions in cold filtered water for 15 minutes and then drain well.
I like serving this desi chickpea curry with (or over) steamed kale and along with slices of baked sweet potatoes. If you want rice, then a little brown basmati rice would be my choice. I also like to serve this with Monamifood’s Cilantro Sauce (chutney).
Vegetable Platter Blog’s Chana Dal Tadka
This is a really delicious dish! I will definitely make it again!
I made this recipe with the following changes and specific ingredients:
- The green chiles I used were green finger hot chiles (a chile that’s common to Indian cooking).
- I used the seeds of 2 green cardamom pods (not the whole pods).
- The cinnamon stick I used was Ceylon cinnamon (which is soft and can be ground up as specified in the recipe).
- Instead of cashew nuts I used walnuts (because they are a good source of the pre-cursor to omega-3 fatty acids).
- Instead of ghee I used canola oil.
I used less red chile powder (only 1/2 teaspoon) instead of 2 teaspoons red chilli powder (by which I think the recipe writer must have meant red chile powder).
- I added freshly ground black pepper because I always use it in combination with turmeric.
- I “ground” the mixture in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. And next time I make this recipe, I will be sure to process the mixture until the pieces of cinnamon have become tiny. (I left a few big pieces this time and just removed them before serving.)
Enjoy and be healthy!