Vegan Chickpea Curry with a hint of pomegranate and a quick three ingredient salad
Updated: Mar 15, 2019
The chickpea is another star member of the legume family. Use it in a a home-cooked vegan curry with a tomato paste or a simple three ingredients salad.
The chickpea is another star member of the legume family. The protein rich pea is also known as garbanzo beans, Bengal gram, and Egyptian pea. Like other legumes, chickpea too is used widely across salads, curries, soups, and of course good old humus. Its high nutrition value and versatility make it a favourite ingredient for vegetarian and vegan cooking. The chickpea is therefore a must have in the kitchen whether in a dried or a canned form.
The two recipes that are on my go to list are the Punjabi chole or chana masala, which is a home-cooked vegan curry with a tomato paste, and a simple three ingredients salad. Though the salad is not filling as a meal for lunch, it makes for a healthy and delicious late afternoon snack on the days that I want to go for a swim before dinner.
If you would please indulge me in a little trip down memory lane, Punjabi chole or chana masala is one of the most popular weekend curry dishes from India. In fact, I remember the fortnightly Sunday trips to our favourite chole bhature-wala, for some street food indulgence completed with a massive glass of lassi. Needless to say, the afternoons were spent snoozing on a mattress in front of an air cooler.
Chana Masala – Smart Cooking Tip
Keep some of the boiled chickpeas aside and add tomato, onion and cucumber and tamarind paste for a hearty salad. A sprinkle of finely chopped green chillies gives that extra kick.
The home-style version of the chole or chana masala is a lot lighter but it is still as tasty owing to the special dry spice mix that adds oodles of flavour to every bite.
200 gm Chickpeas
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 Black Cardamom
2 Tea Bags
2 tsp Salt
¾ tsp Baking Soda
Dry Spice Mix
3 ½ tsp Coriander Powder
¾ tsp Ginger Powder
¾ tsp Red Chili Powder
½ tsp Garam Masala
2 tsp Pomegranate Powder
¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
½ tsp Cumin Powder
2 Tbsp Desi Ghee* – Keep for Step 3 in the recipe
*Substitute with any vegetable oil (I use Rice Bran) for a vegan alternative
Gravy Spice Mix
4 – 6 Tbsp Oil
1/8 tsp Asafoetida
1 Medium Chopped Onion
¼ Cup Beaten Curd
1 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
1 Tbsp Tomato Puree
1/2 Cup Water
½ tsp Dried Fenugreek
1 Inch Ginger Slices
2 Green Chilies
1. Begin the night before by soaking the chickpeas for eight - ten hours
2. Drain the water and boil the chana with tea bags, salt, cinnamon sticks, clove, black cardamom and baking soda (water level should be one cm above the chickpeas)
3. Once boiled, remove from heat and add the dry spice mix to the chickpeas and mix gently.
4. Heat the desi ghee and add to the mixture. Expect a light sizzling sound.
5. In a separate process heat oil (4-6 tbsp) in a kadhai (wok) and add the hing (asafoetida) and onions – allow to cook till onions are soft. Add the yogurt and allow to cook on a slow to medium flame for 2 to 3 min.
6. Add the ginger and garlic paste along with the puree – allow to cook till the oil separates (this can take 4 to 5 min). Add ½ cup water and allow to boil.
7. Add the chana mixture to the kadhai (wok) along with ginger, green chillies and fenugreek leaves – allow to cook for 15 to 20 min on a very slow flame (stir to avoid burning/sticking). Serve hot with bhature, rice, roti or naan!