Chana Bateta

This month I am featuring the Bohra cuisine of Sri Lanka courtesy of Zahabia Adamaly. She shares here a recipe from a recipe book with permission from the authors. This is what Zahabia wrote to me about the dish.

“This is a popular dish used as a side to a main meal in Bohra meals. We also often have it as a snack or a light dinner because it is both filling and nutritious. The chickpeas and potatoes can be tempered as stated in the recipe and kept in the fridge for a few days. It can then be lightly warmed and mixed with the tamarind sauce and garnished just before serving. It is also tasty with a little yoghurt added into the above mix.

This recipe is from “From our Kitchen” a privately published recipe book by Femida Jafferjee and Sakina Galely.” Chana Bateta

Chana Bateta

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients:

  • 250gms (8ozs) chick peas (Chana)
  • 4 medium sized potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed (jeeru)
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • Pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander and cumin seed powder
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon chillie powder
  • 2 tablespoons gram flour
  • Curry leaves
  • Pinch of soda bicarbonate

Tamarind chutney:

  • 100gms tamarind
  • 200gms (8ozs) jaggery grated
  • 1 teaspoon chillie powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup of water
  • Coriander leaves

Mix all together and boil. When tamarind is soft, jaggery has dissolved and is thick, remove and strain. Method: Soak the chickpeas overnight in water with a pinch of soda bicarbonate. In the morning throw the water. Add fresh water with little salt and boil chana in pressure cooker till soft. Do not throw the water remaining. Boil potatoes separately and cut into cubes. Heat oil in a pan and fry the onion, when it becomes transparent, add the garlic paste, curry leaves and whole cumin seed. When garlic gets light brown, add green chillies, turmeric, coriander/ cumin powder and red chillie powder. Cook for 2-3 mins, then add the gram flour and saute, for a further 5 minutes. Add boiled chickpeas with the water and allow to cook for a while. Add tamarind chutney as required. (the amount given may be more). Add the potatoes and serve garnished with coriander. Recipe source: Femida Jafferjee and Sakina Galely

Chickpea Curry

During my recent visit to my eldest sister’s house, I remembered to take photos of a couple of tasty curries she had made for lunch with my phone camera. I am bringing one of her curries, chickpea curry, to the Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck #10.

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Over the last few months, I have enjoyed sharing some Sri Lankan and Indian music together with the recipes. I have decided to continue with a musical journey around the globe with the food recipes. Therefore, as today’s music selection, I am sharing a couple of clips from the two I consider the best Sufi singers of this half-century : Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (1948 – 1997), also referred to as the Shahenshah (meaning King of Kings) of Qawwali and Abida Parveen, who is also known as the Queen of Sufi music.

During my teen years in the U.A.E, I once accompanied my parents to a concert. When the guest singer, who was introduced as Pakistan’s finest musicians starting singing, I immediately recognized the song as the favourite of my Pakistani friends at my new school and which they kept playing repeatedly during lunch breaks.  The song was Dam Mast Qalandar Mast Mast and it was Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s concert. I admit back then I was not fond of qawwali music and it took a while to grow on me. I think I learnt to appreciate it after hearing them sung at Sufi shrines. The atmosphere creates an enhanced listening experience. It is only fitting that I share here the first qawwali song that I was introduced to.

A few years ago, during a brief trip to Delhi, I took a Sufi heritage tour with India Offtrack. Nirad Grover, part of the company’s core team, travel writer and my guide during the tour, recommended that I listen to Abida Parveen. I did that soon after and I have been impressed with her powerful voice since. This clip has been uploaded on youTube by Epic flo films and includes a summary translation of the lyrics at intervals.

Do share your memory of your first introduction to qawwali, if you enjoy listening to Sufi music. And, do let me know if you try out this chickpea curry!

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Kadalai Curry

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: average
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Ingredients:

  • Chickpeas – 2 cups, boiled
  • Cashew nuts – 4 or 5
  • Cinnamon – 1” piece
  • Garlic – 3 or 4 cloves
  • Onion – 1
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Salt – 2 tsp or adjust to taste
  • Turmeric – ¼ tsp
  • Curry powder – 3 tsp or adjust to taste
  • Tamarind juice – ½ cup
  • Potato – 1, boiled and mashed
  • Tomato – 1, chopped
  • Coconut milk – 1 cup
  • Oil

Method:

  1. Lightly fry the cashew nuts with crumbled cinnamon and transfer to grinder.
  2. Add the garlic cloves to the grinder and blend the mix to a coarse paste.
  3. Chop the onion and lightly fry the onion together with curry leaves.
  4. Add the coarse cashew nut paste, salt and turmeric to the pan and mix well.
  5. Add the boiled chickpeas and curry powder to the pan. Mix well.
  6. Then, add the tamarind juice and let the curry cook for a couple of minutes.
  7. Next, add the boiled and mashed potato to the pan and mix.
  8. Add the chopped tomato together with ½ cup of water and cook for a min or two.
  9.  Then, add the coconut milk and cook till the curry consistency is right.
  10. Serve warm with rice or roti.

Chickpea Fritters

Xīnnián Kuàilè!

Angie (The Novice Gardener) has started her blog event ‘Fiesta Friday‘ auspiciously on the Chinese New Year. So, Wishing you all a happy Lunar New Year and a wonderful party at Angie’s fiesta!

A Taste of Sri Lankan Cuisine’s contribution to the event is this snack recipe of my mother’s – chickpea fritters, which is a very popular snack both in Sri Lanka and India.

Chickpea fritters

Time taken: 30 mins + 3 hours (soaking time)

Serves 8

DSC01041Ingredients:

  • Split chickpea/ kadalai paruppu – ½ cup
  • Chickpea flour – ½ cup
  • Wheat flour – ¼ cup (optional)
  • Onion – 1, chopped
  • Turmeric – ¼ tsp
  • Crushed chillies – 1 to 2 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Carom/ Omam seeds – ½ tsp
  • Salt
  • Low fat oil, for deep-frying

Method:

  1. Soak the chickpea for about 3 hours.
  2. Then, coarsely grind it, i.e. do not grind it to a puree or flour but rather half-grind it so that there are smaller bits of chickpea. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and make the fritter dough.
  4. Heat the oil in a pan until it sizzles.
  5. Pinch off a little dough at a time and drop it in the pan. Fry till the fritters are golden brown.
  6. Serve with tea.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.