Last month I had all the ingredients on hand to make this dish, including the last of last summer’s tomatoes in the freezer, and I was in the mood for a vegetarian dinner. I also had a bunch of chard, which I sauteed with garlic, raisins, and toasted walnuts as an easy side dish.
I prepped the ingredients first, since the cooking times were quite short.
The longest cooking step was actually cooking the onions, to get them nicely carmelized, and then added the garlic, spices, and tomatoes.
While the onions were cooking I soaked and drained some golden raisins and toasted some walnuts for the chard dish. I sauteed the garlic in some oil, added the chard, let it wilt, and then the nuts and raisins and some salt, and my side dish was ready.
I added the tamarind to the onions and tomatoes (I used a tamarind paste so didn’t need to soak and wring out a block of tamarind), and after a few minutes the chickpeas and the rest of the spices.
I served this over jasmine rice – it was a hearty, flavorful dish, and each diner could choose their level of heat with the green chili garnish. Full recipe follows.
The original recipe was from “Classic Indian Cooking” by Julie Sahni; I modified it in ways I noted below.
Khatte Channe, a recipe from the Punjab.
- 2 20-ounce cans cooked chickpeas, or 4 cups chickpeas with 1 cup liquid (I used two 15-oz cans, which was a little under 4 cups)
- 1 1-1/2 inch ball tamarind pulp (I used 1T tamarind paste in 1/2 cup water)
- 1/2 cup light vegetable oil
- 1-1/2 cups onions, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup fresh or canned chopped tomatoes (I used 2 cups defrosted frozen tomatoes with liquid)
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, grated
- 1-1/4 teaspoon garam masala
- 1-1/4 teaspoon roasted cumin seeds
- 1-2 green chilies, minced, optional garnish
1. Drain chick peas, reserving liquid. Put tamarind pulp in a small bowl, add 1-1/2 cups boiling water, and let soak 15 minutes. Mash the pulp with the back of a spoon, or use your fingers. Strain the liquid into another small bowl, squeezing the pulp as much as possible and set aside. Discard the fibrous residue. (I used a paste so did not need to do this step.)
2. Heat oil in large heavy-bottomed pan over medium high heat. Add onions, fry until caramel-brown (about 20 minutes), stirring constantly so that they do not burn. Add garlic, and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add turmeric and red pepper, stir rapidly for a moment, and add tomato puree along with ginger shreds. Reduce heat to medium, and cook until the fat begins to separate from the gravy (about 5 minutes).
3. Add tamarind juice and the reserved chickpea liquid. Cover and simmer the mixture over low heat for 15 minutes. Add drained chickpeas, garam masala, and roasted cumin, and continue cooking for an additional 10 minutes. Check for salt, transfer to heated serving dish.