Jonnalu shenagalu or sauteed sorghum black chana is a snack from Telangana, India. It is one of the gudalu varieties from the region. Loaded with protein, fiber and nutrients, it is a filling, gluten free evening snack, a light meal and even a breakfast.
Jonnalu shenagala gudalu is one of the popular gudalu varieties prepared in my maternal family. Jonnalu are sorghum or jowar and shenagalu are black chana or black chickpeas. This grain and legume combination is a must try!
Gudalu are sauteed snack made with fresh legumes, dry beans or grains. Sorghum is usually paired with black chana and is one of my favorites. These two are soaked, cooked separately, and then sauteed with basic Indian seasoning ingredients.
This post was originally published in Feb 2017. Republished with new content and images.
About the Grain
Sorghum or jowar is an ancient whole grain. It comes in many colors and is used in many forms. Grain we consume is white or in tan color and power house of nutrients. Rich in protein, fiber, iron, magnesium and potassium, it has many health benefits.
Jowar is gluten free and a wonderful grain to consume for people suffering from celiac disease. Use the grain in original form or use the flour to make flatbreads like jonna rotte~ jowar ki roti or use in bakes to prepare breads and more.
Jowar is made up of large amount of complex carbohydrates which takes longer to digest and gives the feeling of fullness, unlike simple carbs. It is a great grain to incorporate in your diet when trying to lose weight.
Iron Rich Ingredient
Jonnalu are a good source of iron. ¼ cup of uncooked sorghum has 10% of daily required iron. As part of A-Z iron rich ingredients series, it is ‘J’ for jowar or jonnalu. Here are a few recipes from the series.
How to cook sorghum?
The best way to cook sorghum is to soak for 8-10 hours or overnight and then cook on stovetop or in an electric pressure cooker. It takes about 1 hour to cook soaked jowar on stovetop. The fastest way is to cook in a pressure cooker.
In an Indian pressure cooker, take 1:2 ratio of jowar to water and cook for 4-6 whistles. In an electric cooker like an Instant Pot (IP), take 1:3 ratio jowar to water. Pressure cook on high pressure for 30 minutes and quickly release pressure.
Instructions on the back of the package does not call for soaking the grain. But I find the grain softer and tastes better when soaked. This is just my preference. It took almost 2 hours to cook un-soaked sorghum on stovetop, to my liking.
How to use?
Add cooked sorghum to salads, soups and also prepare it any way you would prepare a whole grains and millets. Flour is a great alternative to wheat flour, specially for those intolerant to gluten. One of my favorites with this grain is gudalu, sauteed sorghum.
- Sorghum (Jonnalu ~ Jowar) – Use white or tan colored ones. I use Bob’s red mill.
- Black Chana (Chickpeas) – Use dry or precooked black chana. If using precooked chana, use double the quantity of dry chana. These are available in any Indian store. Black-eyed peas are a good substitute.
- Oil – Use as needed to saute the grain and also when serving.
- Onions – Use it in tempering and also when serving.
- Tempering – Tempering ingredients are basic ingredients; cumin, mustard seeds, curry leaves, Dry chilies, garlic and turmeric.
- Garnish – Cilantro (kotmir) leaves and chopped onions.
Soak both sorghum and black chickpeas separately for 8-10 hours or overnight (not in the step by step images). Discard water and cook these separately until soft but firm.
Soaked chickpeas cook in about 15 minutes on stovetop, in a saucepan (image# 1). Once cooked, discard water & keep chickpeas aside (image #2).
Cook sorghum in an electric pressure cooker (IP) for 30 minutes on high pressure (image #3) or 4-6 whistles in an Indian pressure cooker.
Grind green chilies and salt together, add to cooked sorghum and also add cooked chickpeas (image#4). Cook until all of the water evaporates from jowar (image #5).
Heat oil in a pan, add cumin, mustard seeds, curry leaves and red chilies (image #6). Once the seeds splutter, add onions and saute until soft (image #7). Add garlic and turmeric and saute until garlic is lightly roasted (image #8).
Add cooked sorghum (image #9) and saute for few minutes. Garnish with cilantro (image #10). Detailed ingredient list and preparation in recipe card.
Serve gudalu with some chopped onion and, crushed garlic and chili powder with oil. You can also squeeze some lemon juice.
Tips & Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. Sorghum absorbs water when soaked and has a nice soft texture when cooked. Some people cook it without soaking. I recommend soaking.
Cook sorghum on stovetop in a saucepan or in an electric cooker. On stovetop, it takes anywhere from 1 -2 hours depending how soft you want your sorghum. In an electric pressure cooker such as Instant Pot, cook on high pressure for 30 minutes and quick release the pressure.
Detailed, Printable Recipe
Jonnalu Shenagalu Gudalu ~ Sauteed Sorghum & Black Chana
- Stovetop Pressure Cooker or Electric Pressure Cooker
- Frying Pan & Spoon
- Mini Food Processor or Mixie
- Cutting board & knife
- ½ cup Whole Sorghum
- ¼ cup Black Chana ~ Black Chickpeas
- 4 small Green Chilies adjust to taste
- ¾ tsp Salt adjust to taste
- 2 tbsp Oil and more when serving
- ¼ tsp Cumin Seeds
- ¼ tsp Mustard Seeds
- 4 Curry Leaves
- 2 Red Dry Chilies
- ½ small Onion chopped
- 4 Garlic Cloves crushed
- ¼ tsp Chili Powder if necessary and adjust to taste
- ¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
- Fresh Kothmir ~ Cilantro Leaves chopped
- Wash and soak sorghum and black chana separately for 8-10 hours or overnight.
- Discard water, wash and cook sorghum and black chana separately. On stove top cook black chana for about 15 minutes or until it is soft, yet hold it's shape.
- Grind together green chilies and salt.
Sorghum on Stovetop
- Pressure cook soaked sorghum with 1 cup of water for 4-6 whistles or however long it is required to cook the grain and let pressure release naturally. In a saucepan it takes about one hour, but I have not tested cooking soaked sorghum on stovetop.
- Add chana, green chili paste to cooked sorghum, mix, cover and cook for another 5 minutes until almost all the water evaporates.
Sorghum in Instant Pot or Electric Pressure Cooker
- Cook soaked grain for 30 minutes with 1 ½ cups of water, in manual / pressure cook mode.
- Quick release immediately or after 5 minutes if using IP. These will be some excess water but using less water gives a burnt error. So use 1:3 grain to water ratio.
- Switch to saute mode, add green chili paste, black chana to inner pot and cook until all the liquid from jonnalu evaporates.
- In a frying pan or a saute pan, heat oil. When oil is hot, add cumin, mustard and let the seeds splutter.
- Add curry leaves, red chilies and let red chilies turn brown.
- Add onions and saute until soft.
- Add garlic and saute until garlic is lightly roasted.
- Add turmeric, mix and add cooked sorghum.
- Stir and cook until sorghum is roasted.
- Taste and adjust chili powder and salt to taste or you can add it later as garnish as well.
- When sorghum is sauteed, turn off the heat and garnish with cilantro.
- Serve it as is or with some chopped onions, crushed garlic, chili powder and oil. Lime juice is optional.
- Sorghum – Always soak sorghum for better texture and taste. Pressure cooker really speeds up the cooking time.
- Black Chana – Substitute for black chana is black-eyed peas. I have not tried this combination but know a few people how do it.
- Nutrition – Values below are approximate nutritional values.
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This post was originally published in Fed 2017 as part of ingredient exchange. Pavani gave sorghum and this is what I posted then. Republishing the post with new content and images.