Friday, May 30, 2014

Chana Pulao

Chana pulao
A wonderful dish for Sunday lunch. This one pot meal is sure to be a hit around the table as it combines the earthiness of chickpeas with the rich vibrancy of achari (pickle) flavors. Addition of fennel and nigella seeds adds the pickle like taste while the bay leaves, cloves and cinnamon add the pulao flavors. Serve with a refreshing mixed salad raita and a crunchy papad.

Ingredients: (serves 4-6 generously)
2 cups rice
2 tbsp oil
2-3 bay leaves
1/2 tsp fennel seeds(saunf)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp kalonji (nigella seeds)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp methi seeds(fenugreek)
3-4 cloves
1/2 inch cinnamon stick
1 large red onion sliced thinly
1 tsp garlic paste
1 inch ginger julienne
1 cup dry chickpeas, boiled
1 cup yogurt
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Chili powder to taste
Chopped green chilies to taste
Handful each fresh mint and coriander leaves finely chopped

  1. Wash and soak rice in 4 cups cold water.
  2. In a large pan heat oil and add bay leaves, fennel, mustard, kalonji, cumin, methi, cloves and cinnamon. Roast for about 10 seconds and add the sliced onions. 
  3. Stir fry till pink and add the garlic paste. Cook till onions become golden brown and then add the ginger and cooked chick peas. Cook to incorporate the spices into the chickpeas for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the whisked yogurt along with all the spice powders and cook till oil separates from the sides. 
  5. Drain the soaked rice and reserve the water. Add the rice as a layer on top of the curried chickpeas, sprinkle a little bit of salt and mint and coriander leaves on top. Add the reserved water gently without disturbing the layers . Do not stir.
  6. Cook on high till the water starts to boil. Do not stir. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook on low heat till the rice is fully cooked and all the water evaporates.
  7. Gently mix to evenly distribute the chickpeas.
  8. Remove from heat and let the pan stand covered for 10 minutes before serving.
  9. Serve with mixed veggie raita. 

(Recipe adapted from Chef S. Thumma)

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