Kala chana, dried chickpeas, bengal gram, call it what you will, this delicious and nutritious legume is a fantastic dish to serve up. Prepared in a classic Goan foogath style which is derived from the Portuguese term "refogar" meaning lightly fried (Sautéed) with spices. Served with warm chapatis, it cannot be beat.
2 cups bengal gram
2 small onions (finely chopped)
1/2 cup freshly grated coconut
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
8 - 10 curry leaves
2 chilies (slit)
1/4 teaspoon hing (asafoetida)
salt to taste
1. Clean and wash the chana thoroughly to get rid of any residue or impurities.
2. Soak it in 8 cups of fresh water for 6 - 8 hours or overnight if you prefer.
3. Pressure cook the chana for 3 - 4 whistles, or cook conventionally until they are tender.
4. Strain and keep aside.
5. Prep the rest of your ingredients while the chana is cooking.
6. Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a pan, and add the mustard seeds to it. Once they start sputtering, add the cumin to the oil.
7. The curry leaves and chilies go in next.
8. Add the onion in next and saute until the onion turn translucent.
9. Add the turmeric and hing to the mix. Note: I take the chilies out of the process at this time, so that it does not make the dish too spicy for my daughter. You can do the same if you want the recipe to be kid friendly, or leave the chilies in for maximum impact.
10. Add the grated coconut to the mix. Give it a quick stir.
11. Add the chana to the mix. Cover and cook on low-medium heat for 10 - 15 minutes.
12. Garnish with fresh coriander or parsley and cook for another couple minutes.
13. Serve hot with chapatis, or as an accompaniment with a rice and curry dish.
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