Winter Vege - Green Garbanzo
At the local hang out in my city where everyone, well ... hung out on the weekend, was a vendor who sold 'harbhara chaat'. It was impossible to walk past his cart without buying a paper cone filled with the stuff. In fact it was impossible to be in the general vicinity and not be drawn to that mouth watering mix of steamed chana, onions, lemon juice and chaat masala. The softie ice cream and pav bhaji could wait. The chana? It was pure gold!
HARBHARA CHAAT (Spiced Green Garbanzo)
Cook chickpeas in salted water until just tender (frozen peas cook faster).
Add chopped onion, green chilli and slivers of raw mango. Sprinkle chaat masala and roasted cumin powder evenly over the mixture.
Add a dash of lemon juice, garnish with finely chopped cilantro and serve. You can either spruce this up with sev or make a lo cal lunch by adding mung bean sprouts.
After that trip down memory lane I turned to my trusted cookbook for a recipe. Kalra writes, "every winter the Punjabi housewife spends half the morning shelling fresh gram to make one of her vast repertoire of cholia dishes - with potatoes, eggs or most popularly with paneer".
Combining chana with paneer sounded intriguing enough so I gave it a shot.
HARA CHOLIA TE PANEER (Green Garbanzo with Paneer)
(adapted from 'Prashad: Cooking with Indian Masters' by Jiggs Kalra)
2/3 cup green garbanzo
1/4 cup paneer cubes
1/2 cup scallions, finely chopped (white part only, or use shallots)
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
3-4 green chillies, deseeded and slit
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
1/3 cup tomato puree*
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
finely chopped cilantro for garnish
Heat ghee in a kadai or sauce pan. Add chopped onions and saute till light brown. Next add ginger garlic paste and saute till well mixed. Add chillies, red chilli powder and stir for 1-2 minutes.
Add tomato puree and saute until ghee collects at the sides of the pan. Toss in the chickpeas, stir then add 1/4 cup of water. Cook on medium heat until peas are tender. Season to taste.
Add paneer; sprinkle cumin powder and garam masala. Garnish with finely chopped cilantro and serve hot.
* I used this tomato gravy; remember to adjust spices accordingly
Tags: harbhare harbhara hara chana chaat chickpeas garbanzo paneer cholia chole choley punjabi cuisine