132. chickpea curry (chana nu shaak)

July 28, 2012mayurisjikoni
Blog post

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 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. I try to include these beans as often as I can in my daily diet. Add to salads, boil in salt water and drizzle with lemon and olive oil or make a curry or shaak. Boiled chana stays in the fridge for several days. These beans are rich in dietary fiber, folates, manganese, tryptophan and protein besides many other minerals and antioxidants. Good for people with bowel problems.
    I’ve made this curry Gujarati style. To thicken the gravy chickpea flour(besan) is added. Kokum (garcinia indica) or tamarind adds sourness to the curry and jaggery adds the required sweetness.
    This curry is usually made with tuvar dal during a ‘jaman’. Jaman is a big lavish dinner or lunch. However, I make this curry on its own and serve it with rice, rotli or paratha. 




2 Servings

1 cup boiled red or brown chickpeas
½ cup water
2 tbsp chickpea flour (besan, chana flour)
1 tsp ginger paste
½ to 1 tsp green chilli paste
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
¼ tsp red chilli powder 
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp coriander cumin powder ( dhana jiru)
1 tsp grated jaggery or brown sugar
1 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
¼ tsp carom seeds (ajmo, ajwain)
1 inch piece of cinnamon
4 to 6 cloves
6 peppercorns
pinch of asafoetida ( hing)
1-2 kokum(garcinia indica)
½ cup tomato puree
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

  1. 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.
  2. Save the water for soup.
  3. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.
  4. When it is hot, add cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns and kokum.
  5. Add mustard and carom seeds. reduce the heat to low.
  6. When they begin to splutter, add the chickpea flour.
  7. Stir all the time and let it cook till it becomes light pink in colour.
  8. Add ginger, chilli paste, asafoetida, coriander cumin powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and stir fry for a few seconds.
  9. Add tomato puree, jaggery, salt and the chickpeas.Add water.
  10. Stir well, cover the pan and let it simmer over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
  11. The gravy should have become thick.
  12. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with hot chappatis or parathas or rice.
Tips :
  • Add 1 tsp of tamarind paste instead of kokum.
  • Add 1 boiled medium potato cut into cubes to the shaak.
  • Adjust the flavourings according to your taste.
  • To make dhana jiru please refer to the recipe Nunu’s biryani.
  • If the gravy becomes too thick, add a bit of water.
You may want to check out the following:
Indian Beans Salad





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