11 August, 2009

Legume Love Affair - black chickpeas curry

The Chickpea belongs to legume family. Legume refers to the seeds of certain plants, a simple dry fruit which are low-fat, low-cholesterol substitute for meat. Chickpeas are high in protein and are one of the earliest cultivated vegetables. 7,500-year-old remains have been found in the Middle East.

Believe it or not but in 1793 ground roast chickpeas were noted by a German writer as a coffee substitute in Europe and in the First World War they were grown for this in some areas of Germany. Chickpeas are still sometimes brewed instead of coffee. [wikipedia]

For me chickpeas reminds me of my school days when in third standard, my science teacher told us to grow a plant in the small pot as an assignment for learning the growth and parts of the plant. I used to take a small ice-cream plastic bowl to plant chickpeas seeds in it. India is the world leader in chickpea (bengal gram) production.

Black Chickpeas Curry

There are two main kinds of chickpea:
  • Black Chickpeas (Desi / Kala Chana), which has small, darker seeds and a rough coat, cultivated mostly in the Indian subcontinent, Ethiopia, Mexico, and Iran.
  • Kabuli Chana(Chole/garbanzo beans), which has lighter colored, larger seeds and a smoother coat, mainly grown in Southern Europe, Northern Africa, Afghanistan, and Chile, also introduced during the 18th century to the Indian subcontinent
Usually, people like eating the Black chickpeas (desi/kale chane) in breakfast or as some evening snack cooked which have a very basic recipe that is boiling them till soft and then in very little oil slightly sautéing those with fine chopped onion, some seasonings and mixed with a tint of lemon juice.

I prefer a step further, cooking black chickpeas (desi/kale chane) as in a Curry. When one does not have any green vegetables in stock, these legumes are the best and easiest options to cook in the earthy delicacy.

Ingredients of Black-Chickpeas Curry:

  • Kala Chana CurryOnion-1 (chopped medium size)
  • Tomatos-2 (large size)
  • Green chillies-2-3Nos (optional)
  • Coriander Powder-1 tablespoon
  • Red Chilies Powder-1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric Powder- ½ teaspoon
  • Cinnamon Stick-1/4 inch
  • Black pepper-6-7Nos
  • Cloves- 2-3 Nos.
  • Salt- According to taste
  • Ginger-1inch
  • Garlic pods-6-8 Nos.
  • Oil- 3tablespoon.

Making of  Black Chickpeas Curry:

Making of Black Chickpeas Curry

  • Wash and soak the black chickpeas (kale chane) in water for at least 6-10hours or overnight. Rinse the chickpeas and keep side.
  • Dry roast the cinnamon stick and black pepper on the hot pan. Cool it and then crush to make them powder.
  • Either take ginger-garlic paste directly or make one by crushing them together to form paste and mix the dry roasted cinnamon stick and black pepper powder.
  • Fine chop the Onion and tomatoes.
  • Take other dry spices like turmeric, salt, red chilies and coriander powder in the bowl and mix to make paste texture with water.
  • Now, take a Pressure Cooker and heat oil in it.
  • Then add the cloves and following it add tomatoes.
  • Cook the tomatoes till glossy.
  • Now add fine chopped onion and cook till the onion turns golden brown.
  • Now add the ginger-garlic paste mixed with roasted cinnamon stick and black pepper powder.
  • Cook for next 2 minutes. Then add the spices (coriander, chili, turmeric powder and salt) paste made.
  • Mix all together well and cook until it turns golden color and leaves oil from the mixture.
  • To avoid the spices sticking at the bottom add ½ cup of water.
  • Now add the over-night soaked black-chickpeas into the vessel and mix it well with the spices.
  • Keep the high flames keeping stirring and roasting the black-chickpeas with the spices for next 5-10 minutes.
  • Now add chopped green chilies and 4-5 cups of water.
  • Close the pressure cooker with the lid and cooking until 8-10 whistles.
  • After all whistles done cover the vessel/cooker and let the smoke mixes well.
  • Check the consistency, simmer till required consistency. Also check pressing one of the chickpeas have turned soft. Add more water if required and boil.
  • Keep on rest for couple of minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves or fine shred of ginger.
  • Serve hot. Enjoy with warm rice or chapatti/bread.
  • Black Chickpeas LegumeYou can boil the black-chickpeas separately until soft and also one can use the same water in which chickpeas boiled to make curry.
  • One can also use ginger garlic paste.
  • Paste of onion and tomato can be used.
  • To enhance taste on can add the lemon-juice at the end before serving.
  • Better to use the pressure cooker than a normal pan, as it saves time and fuel.
  • The number of whistles in pressure cooker might differ. So if you are not sure then, after every 3-4 whistles open the pressure cooker and do check the chickpea have turned soft.To check, take one chickpea and press in between with fingers.
  • This recipe is also dedicated to the wonderful competition "My Legume Love Affair14" hosted by Susan,"The Well-Seasoned Cook" Blog.
Read More »

06 August, 2009

my first car - Black Beauty

...it is not Car
I was driving
but it is..
that drives me crazy...

My First CAR
It is not Car I was driving but it is The Car that drives me crazy..
Well Last month July,09  had been very hectic as well as very special for me and my family. It was the time of  I was celebrating happily my 2nd Anniversary of Marriage on 23rd July. The month passed eagerly waiting for our very New first Car to come home.

From past one year, I and my Hubby have been looking for the perfect car for us. We have been to almost all the showroom in the town looking to one and all models and brands of cars. Infact, my Hubby could get a PhD on cars, as he had been going through all the details and history on cars and brands ;)

Car recollects so many memories of life. I still remember when my father in early 80’s bought his first car, Fiat-Premier Padmini. More than a passion it was a complete pride to owe it. Most of the kilometers I have earned have been in traveling Fiat. It was a big car, accommodating many people at the same time.

That Emerald green Fiat Car with us attended most of the Marriage Ceremony of that time in my family. My father later got so much addicted to drive fiat that it was very difficult for him to change the car and switch to any new one. He didn’t mind if his colleges and friends by that time had already switched to their third car. Now, this is what I call a definite craze, passion and love for the first car.

Finally, after lots of push, he agreed to have his second car, TATA IndicaDLS. Indica is still intact in the current market and holding the strong position because of being small yet spacious diesel car, with great mileage chart and absolutely negligible maintenance.

For me both these cars are very special, as it was Fiat on which I tried my hand first to drive and learnt a basic and Indica is one which certified me as a learned in driving. "In family, my parents of their generation were the first one to posses the car. And this gives me an immense pride and pleasure to believe that to my generation, it’s again us who have got our car first in our family."

I have been a very loyal customer and have always trusted and adored the brand Fiat and TATA, so I had more inclination towards the cars offered by them.

As, this was going to be our first car and I thought to go with the trend, having a small car and we got plenty of choices to make like i10, i20 and Getz from Hyundai, Chevrolet’s first small car in India Aveo UVA, Skoda Fabia and Honda Jazz are also nice. Not to offend anybody choice but the small cars from the most popular brand in India, Maruti Suzuki’s cars like A-star, Ritz, Splash, and Swift were never in the race for us to choose. Many other brands were also supposed to launch new small cars but were not fixed. We (Hubby and ME) had almost decided the Indica Vista a new improved version of Indica became our first choice, infact was almost finalized it.

Just a day before the booking we saw in newspaper that Punto got launched. My Hubby just fell in love with the car. Apparently, one is not supposed to fall in love with a car until one drives and buys it. But He fell in love with the picture in the newspaper. My hubby with his friends went the same TATA showroom which is also collaborated with Fiat to see Punto. They saw the car, and simply fell in love with it.

I was also eager to see the world renowned and highly appreciated car. So in the weekend, we went together to see Punto, had a 15 minutes test-drive. The next I remember having twinkles in eyes and simply booked it!! It is as simple as that. Seems, like the wait for a year was completely worth. Fiat-Grande Punto Emotion in Hip Hop Black, was best and easy choice to make. It was exactly what we wanted and waited more. This small car features is no less than any other big car.

My Punto

We thought and expected the delivery of the car on our anniversary date but it took a week more and on 30th July afternoon, the dealer asked us for the pick up of the car. The time we were about to leave for pick up, it started raining heavily, so we decided to have it next day. We were so excited and eager to bring Grande Punto at home, next morning on 31st July, 2009. And what a pride, ride, leisure, pleasure and luxury it is to posses Punto.

Punto word if translated in Italian and Spanish languages means a point or hit.
The list of things that hit me crazy about Punto is as follows:
  • It’s our First Car. It is world-wide famous and comes from my favorite brand Fiat.
  • Though listed in small cars, it is very spacious and has stunning looks with world renowned performance.
  • It has automatic indicators and reminders for every simple and little thing, like it beeps and shows in written if seat belts not put or boot space is open. The doors get locked automatic after 100 meters drive.
  • This car also has the best Blaupunkt music system.
  • Many of the setting can be done through the manual buttons on the steering wheel.
  • This car has its strong alloy wheels and much thicker and bigger tubeless tyres.
  •  And most important it also has inbuilt Microsoft software in partnership with Fiat used inside the car known as Blue&Me. This system offers Bluetooth and USB connectivity to mobile phones and personal media players. It also provides a hands-free system, allowing you to control all features by voice commands. One can also their mobile phone.
  • Also this car has EcoDrive, a new service component which offers the ability to track driving efficiency. It collects data about CO2 emissions and fuel consumptions by saving them to a USB key, which can then be connected to a PC and analyzed.
  • It posses the most powerful engines have electronic stability program and anti slip regulation fitted. These egines are also environment friendly and Euro 4 ready. This  car is well equipped with safety system ABS(Anti-Lock Braking System), Power Steering and windows.
  • And most important, The Grande Punto was awarded with 5 stars in the EuroNCAP crash test for passenger protection and Euro NCAP 3 star certification for pedestrian safety.
  • And did you see this Punto Symbol written at the back of the car looks so cute and  P word is written in such a manner as if a man is sitting the car inside in the most comfortable position, holding the steering wheel.  

Happy Punto

I hope to every mile WE spend with this Punto, the Black Beauty multiples the Smile:)
Read More »