Chickpea Curry/ Chana nu Shaak)
Get Your Protein
Chana, bengal gram, Egyptian beans, garbanzo beans, chickpeas,whatever you know them as are very healthy. Nunu always says ‘eat chana and become strong like a horse’. Red, brown or black chickpeas are suppose to be a dieter’s delight. Half a cup of these chickpeas contains nearly 6g of protein and 5g of fiber. Half a cup of boiled chickpeas is only around 140 calories.
Benefits of Including Black Chana or Chickpeas in your diet
- Besides being a good source of protein, black chickpeas (though they appear more red or brown) are rich in dietary fiber which is good for the digestive system.
- Low in glycemic index, its beneficial for diabetics.
- It has a unique combinations of antioxidants which has cardiovascular benefits.
- The soluble fiber has the ability to bind with bile acids, preventing it from being absorbed by the body, thus reducing cholesterol.
- Its a good source of iron.
How to include them in your diet
I try to include these beans as often as I can in my daily diet. Add them to salads like the Indian Beans Salad. Try the super delicious Ghugni and serve it with some Duska. Make a flavorsome Kerala Kadala Curry, a tomato and coconut based curry. Vegetarian Kebabs made with black chickpeas are not only healthy but really delectable. I love the serve the kebabs rolled into a paratha. This makes my Veg Kebab Parathas not only filling but nutritious too. I also like to boil them in salted water and keep them in the fridge for times when I need a quick but healthy snack. A drizzle of lemon juice, a dash of pepper or red chilli powder and boiled chickpeas is such a satisfying snack. Boiled chana or chickpeas stays in the fridge for several days without spoiling. You can also freeze them in an airtight container. To serve as a lip smacking street food, make Mombasa Mix.
Chickpea Curry or Chana Nu Shaak
Whenever chickpeas or chana are used for a Gujarati dish, its usually the black ones as opposed to the big white Kabuli Chana or chickpeas. Chickpea curry or chana nu shaak is usually made in a thick chickpea flour (besan) and tomato gravy without any onion or garlic. This chickpea curry is usually served with Tuvar Dal, rotli, or puri, a green vegetable side dish and rice. I can finish a whole bowlful of this curry without any flatbread or rice, that’s how much I love it. Chana nu shaak should have a balance of sweetness and sourness. For the sweetness I use jaggery and for the sourness I use either kokum (garcinia indica) or tamarind pulp. Its common to find this chana nu shaak during a Jaman. Jaman is a big lavish dinner or lunch.
- Its gluten free if you avoid asafetida
- Its a vegan dish
- Its satvik friendly
Adding boiled potato to it is totally optional. I sometime make it without the potatoes.
CHICKPEA CURRY /CHANA NU SHAAK
1 cup boiled red or brown chickpeas
1-2 medium boiled potatoes, cut into cubes
½ cup water
2 tbsp chickpea flour (besan, chana flour)
1 tsp ginger paste
½ – 1 tsp green chilli paste
½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
¼ – ½ tsp red chilli powder
1 + ¼ tsp salt
1 tsp coriander cumin powder (dhana jiru)
1 tsp jaggery powder or brown sugar
½ tsp mustard seeds (rai)
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
¼ tsp carom seeds (ajwain, ajmo)
1 inch cinnamon
pinch of asafetida
1-2 kokum (garcinia indica)
2 tbsp oil
½ cup fresh tomato puree
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
- If you are not using tinned chickpeas then you need to soak them in warm water for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.
- Drain out the water, wash and boil in a pressure cooker using fresh water and 1 tsp salt. Let it cook for 3 whistles. The water level should be just above the chana.
- Drain the water out into another vessel.
- Save the water for soup.
- Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.
- When it is hot, add cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns and kokum.
- Add mustard, cumin and carom seeds. reduce the heat to low.
- When the seeds begin to splutter, add the chickpea flour.
- Stir all the time and let it cook till it becomes light pink in colour.
- Add ginger, chilli paste, asafoetida, coriander cumin powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and stir fry for a few seconds.
- Add tomato puree, jaggery, remaining salt and the chickpeas. Add ½ cup water.
- Stir well, cover the pan and let it simmer over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
- The gravy should have become thick.
- Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with hot chappatis or parathas or rice.
- Add 1 tsp of tamarind paste instead of kokum.
- You can prepare this curry without the potato.
- Adjust the flavourings according to your taste.
- To make dhana jiru take 1 part roasted coriander seeds and ¼ part roasted cumin seeds. Process to a fine powder.
- If the gravy becomes too thick, add a bit of water.
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