KALA CHANA MASALA & AVOCADO EGG SALAD

18 Feb

PUNJABI KALA CHANA MASALA

kala-chana

Chana Masala (Chole Chana Masala) is a very popular Punjabi dish. It is a spicy mouth watering- tempting curry prepared mostly from white chickpeas (kabuli chana), tomatoes, onion and other spices and best enjoyed with bhatura as a snack or for dinner. Lovingly known by a lot of different names, such as Chole, Punjabi Chole, Khatte Channe! The color and the flavors are just phenomenal. A very selective range of spices are the key ingredients in this dish.

kala chana

Commonly known as ‘chana’ in India, chickpeas are a part of the vegetarian diet in India. These are basically legumes belonging to the Fabaceae family. There are generally two varieties of chickpeas, ‘desi’ and ‘kabuli’. The ‘desi’ variety comprises of darker smaller seeds having a rough outer covering whereas the ‘kabuli’ variety are comparatively larger light colored beans with a smoother coat.

Black chickpeas, also known as Bengal grams, Garbanzo beans or ‘kala chana’ belong to the ‘desi’ variety and have a much higher fiber content and lower glycemic index. Being an extremely versatile legume, it is widely used in a variety of Middle Eastern and Indian dishes like falafels, hummus and curries as well as salads, soups and stews or even as a quick snack. In addition to their delicious nut like taste and buttery texture, black chickpeas are extremely beneficial for health.

kala chana masala

Chickpeas also contain phytoestrogens which are weak plant versions of real oestrogen. There’s evidence that these may modulate the body’s own production of the hormone in a way that could lower the risk of breast cancer, protect against osteoporosis and minimise hot flushes in post-menopausal women.

Being low in fat, high in dietary fiber and rich in vitamins and minerals, black chickpeas can indeed be a healthy addition to your diet. Two to three tablespoons of these legumes are equivalent to one portion of the daily recommended five portions of fruits and vegetables.

SERVES :4
cooking time:- 40 minutes
INGREDIENTS:-
  • 1 1/2 cups black chickpeas
  • 2 medium sized onions, finely chopped
  • 3 medium sized tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tblsp ginger garlic paste
  •  ½ tsp garam masala powder
  • ½ to 1 tsp kashmiri chilly powder
  • 1 tsp amchur powder/dry mango powder
  • 2 green chillies, slit
  • 2 to 3 tbsp oil
  • salt

Spices for the punjabi chole masala:

  • 4-5 black cardamoms/elaichi
  • 1 inch cinnamon/dalchini
  • 5-6 peppercorns
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf/tez patta
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1  tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
  • 2 dry red chillies

punjabi kala chana

METHOD:-

Wash and soak the kala chana ( black chickpeas) in enough water overnight. Add enough amount of water as the chickpeas increase in size after absorbing the water. In the morning , take a pressure cooker add the soaked chickpeas with a glass of fresh water, salt and pressure cook for 5-6 whistles. The chana should be soft when you mash it with a spoon but not broken.

In a pan, dry roast all the spices mentioned under – chole masala above till brown. Don’t burn them. Once they are cooled, grind them into a fine powder.

Now in the same pan, add oil. Once the oil becomes hot, add the chopped onions. Fry till they become slightly brown. Now add the ginger-garlic paste. Once the raw smell disappears, then add the chopped tomatoes. Add a little salt so that the tomatoes gets cooked fast. Saute the tomatoes till the oil starts to leave the sides of the onion-tomato-ginger mixture.

Then add the freshly powdered spices , along with the red chili powder, garam masala powder and green chilies to the onion-ginger-tomato mixture. Saute for a minute. Now add the boiled chole with a little quantity of its stock. You can add more stock if you want more gravy.

Check the sesonings and adjust according to your taste. Simmer for 8-10 minutes on a low to medium flame till the gravy thickens a bit and become smooth. Finally, add the amchur powder.Serve hot garnished with fresh cilantro,lemon and onion rings. This kala chana masala  goes well with poori, bhatura, roti, naan or rice.

kala chana masala (1)

NOTES:-

  • If you cant find amchur or dry mango powder replace with 2 tsp tamring paste but dont omit it.
  • For more gravy , you can mash 1/2 cup boiled chickpeas into a paste and add it, this gives more curry.
  • When you are cooking for more try adding one or two mashed potatoes to the gravy, along with thickening the curry it adds taste.
  • If you are in a hurry, soak the chickpeas in hot water for 4 hrs instead of all night.

AVOCADO – EGG SALAD

avocado salad

A simple but healthy salad . High-protein hard boiled eggs filled with creamy avocados. The addition of cilantro,red onion,tomato and lime juice makes it a bit  similar to an indian chat . If you’re looking for a healthy snack of appetizer , these green deviled eggs are the perfect solution. But make them just before serving, as the avocado may turn dark.  Avocados contain significant amounts of oleic acid, a healthy monounsaturated fat that helps boost good cholesterol and lower bad. Avocados are also rich in fiber and a plant chemical called beta-sitosterol, both of which help keep cholesterol in check. Avocados significantly increase absorption of immunity-boosting antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables. Add a couple of slices of diced avocado to your next salad or make this egg salad . 

gucamole egg salad

SERVES :4
COOKING TIME :-5 MINUTES

INGREDIENTS:-

  • 6 hard-cooked large eggs, peeled
  • 1 medium avocado, seeded and pulp scooped out
  • 2-3 tsp lime juice
  • 1 tbls red onion,minced
  • 1 tbls fresh cilantro – finely chopped
  • 1 tbls finely diced tomato
  • ¼ tsp ground fresh pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • cilantro leaves and/or green onions, chopped, for garnish

avocado egg salad

METHOD:-

Cut eggs in half longways. Remove yolks and put them in a bowl. In a bowl, mash the avocado and egg yolks. Mix in lime juice, red onion, cilantro, salt and pepper and adjust to taste. Gently fold in tomato. With the help of a small spoon, Scoop heaping spoonfuls of this avocado mixture  into the 12 halved eggs. Garnish with cilantro or red onion for color and arrange on a platter. Serve immediately. 

gucamole salad-1

Notes ;-
• Avocados should be ripe but not mushy when selecting. Color is not always a good indicator of ripeness, so choose avocados that yield to gentle yet firm pressure.

• Avoid avocados with large indentations on the skin; this could indicate bruising.

• Refrigerate ripe avocados to slow further ripening.

avocado-egg salad

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