Friday, July 25, 2008

Masala Channa (chickpeas) and my disappointed prata

Gosh, I have been wanting for Indian food. I love to eat Indian food. It could be hot and spicy but I can take the mild ones... I even cooked Indian food (which I haven't post the recipes yet.. I know, I delay but please be patience. hehe) for the twins party last week.

In Singapore, we have a lot of Indian/Indian-Muslim restaurants/food stalls (we call it mama stalls) that are open for 24/7. There are two types of Indian restaurants/food stalls: Indian restaurants/food stalls that doesn't have meat in their menu - vegetarians, and Indian-Muslim restaurants/food stalls that have mutton and beef, like mutton briyani, beef steak and so on.. Sometimes at home, rather than cooking, I would go to the "mama stall" and take-away mee goreng or prata. I grew up eating Malay food but I also eat a lot of Indian food too. I list some of my favorites; masala dosai, briyani, baturas, prata, rojak, mee & bee hoon goreng, fish curry, gulab jamun (dessert) and many more (probably in the future, I'll post some of favorite foods in my blog).... Malay food and Indian food have one similarities, they use a lot of spices in their food but I guess in other types of cuisines too. (Listing down my favorites Indian foods, making me hungry.. hahaha.. )

For dinner last night, I made some Masala Channa (Chick peas/) and prata. Unfortunately, for not using the right ingredients and method, my prata were much of a disappointment. :( If you take a bite of these, you must have a very strong teeth to bite and chew it.. LOL... Somehow I just couldn't get it right when I made prata or any type of Indian bread.. hmmm must work on it harder.. hahaha..

Masala Channa is a typical Calcutta street food known as ghughni. The wholesome taste of chickpeas laced with spices and tamarind juice, are enjoyed with flat breads such as chapatis and pratas. Somehow, my betta half doesnt like to eat chickpeas (now I know) but I love it.

Recipe: Masala Channa ( from the book-The World's Greatest-ever Curries)
Serves :4

225g/1-1/4 cups dried chickpeas (I used canned chickpeas)
50g/2oz tamarind juice
120ml/1/2 cups boiling water
45ml/3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 inch piece of root ginger, grated
1 fresh green chilli finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander (I used fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped)
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
225g/8oz tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp garam masala
chopped chillies and chopped onion, to garnish

1. Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with plenty of cold water. Leave to soak overnight. (I omit this step because I used the canned chickpeas)

2. Drain the chickpeas and place in a large pan with double the volume of cold water. Bring to boil and boil vigorously for 10 minutes. Skim off any scum, then cover and simmer for 1-1/2 - 2 hrs or until soft. ( If you used canned chickpeas, place the content in medium saucepan and heat until simmering while stirring)

3. Meanwhile, break up the tamarind pulp and soak in the boiling water for 15 mins. Use the back of the spoon to rub the tamarind thru a sieve (strainer) into a bowl, discarding any stones or fibres. (Leave out this step if you are using commercial tamarind paste in the place of the fresh pulp.)

4. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan and fry the cumin seeds for 2 mins until they begin to splutter. Add the chopped onion, garlic, ginger and chilli and fry for 5 mins.

5. Add the cumin, coriander, turmeric and salt and fry for 3-4 mins. Add the tomatoes and tamarind juice. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 mins.

6. Add the chickpeas and garam masala, cover and simmer for about 15 mins. Garnish with chillies and onion. (I didn't garnish with chillies and onions on my chickpeas)

Hmmm... How I wish there is a "mama stall" in this small town...... sigh..... ;)

Have a good weekends everyone. :)

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