Masala Black Chickpeas Recipe

Introduce Indian cuisine to your kitchen with this comfort food inspired recipe.

| Summer 2019

masala-black-chickpeas
Photo by Nassima Rothacker

Black chickpeas (kala chana) have a slightly different flavor — a little nuttier, perhaps — than the regular, beige-colored chickpeas. They have a more robust texture than regular chickpeas, so they don’t crumble or become completely soft during cooking. They’re cooked with just a few basic spices in this simple dish that’s full of flavor. In India, chickpeas are often eaten with deep-fried puris, but I suggest serving this meal with chapati, rice, or chutney and salad. Yield: 4 servings.

Ingredients

  • 10-1/2 ounces dried black chickpeas
  • 3-1/2 pints water, for soaking
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Pinch of asafoetida
  • 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and finely shredded
  • 2 small green chilies, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/3 pint water

To garnish:

  • Handful of chopped chives
  • 1 lime, cut into 4 wedges

Directions

  1. Put the black chickpeas into a large saucepan with water and let them soak for 6 to 7 hours, or overnight.
  2. When ready to cook, add the salt and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to medium — low, partially cover the pan with a lid, and cook for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the chickpeas are tender and almost all the water has evaporated. Set aside.
  3. Heat the ghee in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and asafoetida and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until they begin to sizzle. Reduce the heat to low, stir in the ginger and green chiles and cook for 1 minute. Add the coriander and garam masala and cook for just 10 seconds, then pour in the water and bring the mixture to a boil.
  4. Pour the cooked chickpeas into the saucepan and mix well. Cover the pan with a lid and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, to allow the chickpeas to take on the flavor of
    the masala.
  5. Divide the chickpeas evenly among 4 serving bowls, then top each bowlful with chives and a lime wedge, so each person can squeeze it over their chickpeas. Serve immediately.

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Chetna Makan was born in Jabalpur, an ancient city in central India. She has a degree in fashion and worked in Mumbai as a fashion designer before moving to the United Kingdom in 2003. She reached the semifinal of “The Great British Baking Show” in 2014, and her first book, The Cardamom Trail, is a celebration of baking with Indian flavors. She also has a YouTube channel, Food with Chetna, where she shares her creative flair for food.


This recipe is excerpted from Chetna's latest book, Chetna's Healthy Indian (Octopus Publishing, 2019).








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