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For the second combo of the week, we travel to Rawalpindi, Punjab in Pakistan. It is said that pindi chana originated in Rawalpindi, hence the name. Pind in Punjab means village. I do not know if this chana preparation is still popular in Rawalpindi but it is in North India. Since it originated in Rawalpindi, this is my combo from Pakistan.
Unlike the other chana curries; chana masala, choley and choley masla, pindi chana is a dry curry. Like with many recipes, there are many versions of pindi chana. Regardless of the versions, this is a dry curry or at least the gravy is very thick and more towards the dry side. Many versions have onion and tomato, and also call for cooking chickpeas / chana with tea for dark brown color. I followed Mona’s recipe that uses no onion, no tomato and no tea leaves to cook the chana. Her ancestors are from Rawalpindi & moved to Delhi after partition. This is her mom’s recipe and this was good enough to follow this recipe as this is as authentic recipe I could find online.
I followed the recipe without tweaking the recipe much and I liked the recipe. Husband on the other hand, as I expected thought the curry was dry to eat with poori. He prefers gravy curries for pooris and as I knew his preference, I had made some extra mutton curry the previous night. The leftovers came in handy to serve his breakfast with pindi chana & poori. However, next time I make this chana, I will make some thick gravy and not this dry as that is how it is preferred in my house. Though the recipe does not have any onion tomato, the tastes was pretty good. I also liked enjoyed eating pindi chana as it is with some sliced onion and some yogurt. Pardon the pictures as the food was cold and does not look very fresh. I took the pictures with leftovers after eating my breakfast.
Source: MM’s Kitchen Bites
Total Time: 30 – 35 minutes + soaking time
Soaking: 6-8 hours or overnight
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 – 25 minutes
Serves: 3 – 4
- 1 cup dry Chickpeas or Kabuli Chana
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 2-3 Cloves
- 1 Black Cardamom or Badi Elaichi
- 1” Cinnamon Stick
- 4-5 Black Peppercorns
- ¾ tsp. Salt
- 2 – 2 ½ cups Water
Spice Powder –
- 2 tsp. Anardana ~ Dried Pomegranate Seeds
- 1 ½ tsp. Coriander Seeds
- 1 tsp. Cumin Seeds
- 5 Cloves
- 1 Black Cardamom
- ½” Cinnamon Stick
- 10 – 12 Black Peppercorns (I used 12)
- ¾ tsp. Salt
- 5-6 tbsp. Oil (I used 5 tbsp.)
- 5-6 Green Chilies, slit into half
- 2 tbsp. finely shredded Ginger
- Preparing Chana – Wash and soak chana overnight. Chana will double in quantity and yield about 2 – 2 ¼ cups after soaking.
- Change water and cook chana in fresh water with all the ingredients listed under chana. Chana should be tender but hold their shape. In my pressure cooker it takes 4-5 whistles. I cooked for almost 6 whistles and felt I should have removed it a little sooner. Whole spices can be tied in a cheese cloth and added to the chana before cooking.
- Let the pressure in the cooker cool naturally. Drain and reserve the water, discard the spices and put the chana in a separate bowl.
- Spice Powder – While the chana is cooking, dry roast all the ingredients listed under spice powder. Cool the spices and grind to fine powder.
- Pindi Chana – Mix the spice powder with the cooked chana.
- Heat 3 tbsp. of oil in a pan. When oil reaches almost smoking point, pour it over the chana that is coated with spice powder. Mix well.
- In the same pan, heat remaining oil, fry shredded or julienne ginger till golden brown and crisp. Remove from the pan and keep aside.
- In the same pan, fry chilies until they change color. Remove and keep aside.
- Add spice coated chana to the pan and stir for 4-5 minutes on high heat, stirring constantly. Make sure not to burn the spices.
- Add boiled chana water, about 1 cup and cook for 5 – 10 minutes. My chana was already very tender and I did not cover the pan. If you feel the chana is not tender enough, cover and cook until tender. Remove cover and cook until required consistency is reached. I cooked uncovered for about 5 – 10 minutes on low flame.
- This curry is suppose to be almost dry but if one prefers gravy, make a thick gravy. The gravy should not be runny like the usual chana masala or choley.
- Garnish with fried ginger and green chilies. Serve it with bhatura or pooris with some sliced onions.
- Chana in pindi chana should be firm and avoid the temptation to over cook it. And do not mash the chana as it is done with other chana curry preparations.
- This curry is suppose to be dry and if you do make a thick curry, tamarind pulp can be added. For the dry version like I prepared, do not add any tamarind. I feel it is not required either as the anardana gave a nice tang to the chana.
- I did not use tea or teabags for color. Frying the chickpeas with the spice powder gave the chana a nice brown color and cooking in the cast iron pan also gave the brown color.
- 1 ½ cups Wheat Flour or Chapati Flour
- Pinch of Salt
- ½ – ¾ cups Water or as required
- Take flour and salt in a bowl and stir.
- Add water and make a pliable dough. Cover and keep aside for at least 10 – 15 minutes or until ready to make the pooris. I usually make the dough before or immediately after I put my chickpeas to cook.
- When ready to make the poori, divide the dough into 16 – 20 portions.
- Roll each portion into a round disc or poori using some oil. One can also flour dust the dough when making the poori but I prefer oil.
- Heat oil in a pan for deep frying the poori.
- Once the oil is hot, drop poori into oil. Lightly press the poori into oil using tongs or a slotted spoon. Once the poori puffs up and the bottom is light golden brown, turn it around. Using the tongs or spoon, lightly press the poori into oil. When the bottom is light golden brown, remove from oil.
- Drain on paper towel.
- Repeat the same with rest of the poori dough.
- Serve hot with pindi chana.
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