Sunday, March 1, 2015

Chana pulao/Channa Pulav/Chickpea Pilaf

Chickpeas are rich in proteins and nutrients and any meal with chickpeas is sure healthy. I remember one of my friends telling me that her doctor suggested eating 1 cup of raw chickpeas soaked overnight, every day morning to gain weight gradually and in a healthy way!
Chickpeas can make tasty meals in various ways I like hummus a lot and channa masala that accompanies batura.. Yeah I know batura cannot be had all times so my next option is to include it with rice which doubles as a perfect lunch box idea too. So here it is!
Channa/Chickpeas Dried-1/2 cup
Basmati rice-1 cup
Onion-2, sliced
Tomatoes-2, finely chopped
Channa masala/Chole masala powder-1 & ½ tsp
Salt-as needed
Coriander leaves- to garnish
To Grind:
Ginger- thumb sized piece
Garlic-5 flakes
Green chilies-4-5
Grind to a smooth paste sprinkling a little water.
To Temper:
Oil-1 tbsp
Ghee-1 tbsp
Bay leaf-1 Cloves-3
Cinnamon-1 inch piece
Cardamom -1
Stone flower/Kal paasi- ½ tbsp
Crush the cloves, cinnamon and cardamom to a coarse powder to release aroma.

How It Happened:
1. Wash and soak the chickpeas overnight. Drain the water completely, add it a pressure cooker with salt and water to immerse it. Pressure cook for 2 whistles in medium flames or until its ¾th cooked. Drain the cooked water and reserve it. Wash and soak the basmati rice for 30 minutes.

2. Heat oil and ghee in a pressure cooker, add the ingredients given under the ‘to temper’ list. When they pop, add ginger-garlic-chili paste and cook in simmer until all the raw smell goes off.
3. Add the sliced onions and cook until glossy. Add chopped tomatoes and cook till they turn soft and mushy. Cook for few more minutes so they leach out the oil.
4. Now add salt and chole masala powder and mix well.
5. Add in the chickpeas and drained basmati rice. Now measure in and add the chickpea cooked water and add more water if you need more. I usually add 1 & ½ cups of water to 1 cup of basmati rice while pressure cooking or add water according to your rice package instructions.

6. Cook for 1 whistle in medium flame simmer for 5 minutes. Switch off the flame and let the pressure get released.
7. Open the lid, transfer to another container, fluff the rice with a fork, garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with raita/korma.
* Soaking the basmati rice results in long grains when cooked.
* The only source of heat is green chilies and the pulao is supposed to be mildly spiced so add accordingly.
* Cook channa only ¾ th for the first time so it doesn’t get mashed while getting cooked with the rice.

* Transfer the rice to another container after releasing the pressure. This stops the rice from getting over cooked, mashed and form sticky masses.

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