Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday: Kala Chana

Black chickpea-potato curry, served with watercress and garlic cucumber pickles.

Black chickpeas (aka kala chana) are relatives of the usual tan-colored variety, but they are a bit smaller and have more texture, along with a subtly more interesting flavor. In this dish they are cooked with potatoes in a sauce that starts with a base of pureed ginger-garlic-onion paste. They are seasoned with asafoetida, some spices, and several tablespoons of either tamarind paste or lemon juice. Here, we've served them with pickles. This is actually the way legume dishes are usually served in many parts of India, although the pickle would likely be something other than cucumber - perhaps lemon, watermelon rind, cauliflower, carrot, etc.

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