I started making this Kala Channa Masala and Vegetable Pulao as part of our healthy lunch ideas many years ago. There are possibly many different ways of making vegetable pulao and with different vegetables, but if I have to zero down the vegetables I would always pick green beans, carrots and green peas as these are easily available and I always stock them up in my pantry.
Soak kala channa overnight and then pressure cook them the other day. If you are in hurry, use the canned kala channa otherwise, anyway it works fine. During Navaratra kala channa, puri and suji ka halva is offered to Devi Maiya.But again that is made without onions/garlic as only “satvik” food is offered.However, I have made them with onions and garlic this time, well that makes it hmm.."rajsik”.And talking about navaratra, our next door neighbor Lady gave us Prasad on ashtmi as they did the “Kanjaka/ Kanya Puja”. Whenever they happened to meet us while passing through the common pathway, they have always admired how the entire pathway smells so nice of various foods. Now, on other hand it would have meant different had it been coming from locals here which would mean “you- better -keep -your –windows- open- while –cooking- in- kitchen”, but this time it meant can we taste some samples as this is what we liked to assume. I, deep down felt, should reciprocate and gave them back some home-baked chocolate chip muffins and mishti Doi .Lady of the house was overwhelmed, and from that point of time a new friendship blossomed in a foreign land. This sweet interaction reminded me of our growing up years in a small town where people really cared about each other and the pace of life was slow. And where these small food items exchange were common and was never taken as something offending.
Now to the recipe-
Masala kala channa
1 can of kala channa
2 medium size onions
½ inch ginger root
1 large tomato
½ tsp of turmeric powder
2 tsp of hot red pepper powder
2 tsp of dhania/coriander powder
1 tsp of cumin powder
Salt as per taste
2 tbs of cooking oil
Chop onion, garlic and ginger finely
Now discard the water in the can, and then wash kala channa very well in water. Or you may soak the dry channa and then pressure cook it for two whistles.
Now heat up a saucepan, add chopped onion, garlic and ginger. Fry them well for 4-5 mints.
Now add the dry seasonings- turmeric, red pepper, and coriander and cumin powder. Adjust salt.
Now add in kala channa and fry all for 4-5 mints more. Add in chopped tomatoes.
Add in about a cup of water, cover it and let it simmer at med-low flame till the entire gravy turns out mushy.
Sprinkle freshly chopped coriander leaves.
Vegetable Pulao in saucepan
1 cup of basmati rice
2-3 cups of chopped mixed vegetables- green beans, carrots and green peas
1 medium size tomato
2 tbs of yogurt
2 tsp of sugar
1/2 cup of raisins/cashews
1 tsp of salt
2-3 tbs of cooking oil/sada tel
Heat up saucepan, add cooking oil.
Add chopped vegetables; stir/fry them at med-high till they just turn crunchy or partially cooked.
Now add in tomato and the rice. Fry it all, till rice turns shinning and the water dries up.Do not fry the rice vigorously as it may break the grains, once in a while stroke of spatula works fine.
Now adjust with salt and sugar.
Add in yogurt. Mix all of them very well.Add in cashews and raisins and stir them well with the rice and vegetable mixture.
Add about a cup and quarter cup of water to it. Cover the saucepan and let it cook at medium flame. When all the water dries up, take it off from the flame, even if the rice seems to be undercooked. Keep it covered further. At the time of serving just mix in well, if you wish, add saffron scented milk at the end, and cover it again.
Enjoy warm masala kala channa and vegetable pulao.
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