Chana dal or baby chick peas with white pumpkin
Don’t be put off by the sound of this dish. Chana dal also known as Bengal gram and baby chick peas has a very distinct flavour. It cooks faster than others and lends itself to both vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes. you can add bengal gram to any dish cooked it red meat and the outcome is superb.
In this dish I have satisfied the flavours of both groups. Using any roasted masala or meat masala (any packaged meat masala/Sunday masala will do) I have combined the non vegetarian flavour with a good hearty pulse. This dish serves six super to eight hungry souls
Chana dal – 200 grams
White pumpkin- 400 grams chopped fine
Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
Garlic – eight cloves sliced
Curry leaves – two sprigs
Onions – two large minced
Tomatoes – two large minced
Green chillies – 3 or 4
Meat masala (any ready made one) – two large tablespoons
Fresh coriander – handful chopped
Oil and salt as required
Soak the chana dal overnight. In a pressure cooker, cook it for three whistles with water and salt. Allow it to cool and then purée half the cooked dal with some stock. Add this to the remaining half and set aside.
Now in a pot heat oil and crackle the mustard.Make sure the mustard crackles or you end up with a bitterish taste. Add the garlic and chilli and allow the garlic to brown.Add onions and curry leaves and fry till the onions are translucent. Add the tomatoes and cook this mixture for two minutes. Now add the ready made meat masala (any meat masala will do). Fry this mixture well adding a little water to prevent it from burning. You should cook this on low heat for at least two minutes.
Now add the puréed chana and the whole chana along with the finely chopped white pumpkin. Add the stock of the chana dal as required and allow this to cook for fifteen minutes on slow fire stirring constantly as chana dal tends to stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. Finally when cooked, garnish with coriander.
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