Bowl of Channa


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Cook time: 

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Serves: 4

Sweet and Sour Indian Chickpeas
  • ¾ cup chana, uncooked
  • Water as needed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon sesame seeds
  • Pinch of asafoetida powder
  • 1 dry red chili (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chickpea flour
  • ½ to 1 jalapeno or serrano chili, minced or finely chopped (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dhana jeeru (spice blend of coriander and cumin powder)
  • 1 small piece (half the size of golf ball) of jaggery (Indian raw sugar) or 1 teaspoon sugar or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or ½ teaspoon tamarind pulp
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, for garnish
  1. Wash chana and soak into 1 to 1 ½ cup water for at least 6 to 8 hours or overnight in a medium soup pot or a Dutch oven or a pressure cooker.
  2. Season with salt and cook chana covered with enough water, about one hour or cook it in a pressure cooker according to manufacturer’s direction.
  3. In a separate medium soup pot or a Dutch oven, heat oil on medium high heat. Add mustard seeds and let it sizzle. Lower the heat and add sesame seeds and let it sizzle. Add chickpea flour and sauté for a second or two. Add asafoetida powder, red chili, turmeric and chili powder. Add channa with cooking water and green chili. Mix well. Chickpea flour will thicken the cooking water and turn into gravy like consistency. Add jaggery or sugar, dhana jeeru and lemon juice or tamarind pulp. Let chana cook for 8 to 10 minutes until all the flavors come together. If gravy is too thick add some water. Garnish with cilantro before serving. Serve warm with any flat Indian bread or rice.
You can also add 1 clove of minced garlic and 1 teaspoon of minced ginger in this recipe. In that case omit jaggery or sugar.