Chana Chaat

I chose to serve my chana chaat for lunch, along with pilchards, cucumber and smoked paprika on rice cakes, and some steamed onions and peppers…

Due to a recent trip to an Indian restaurant, chana chaat has become one of my favourite dishes. It consists of tender chickpeas in a mix of spices and herbs, usually with a spoonful of Greek yoghurt on top, and can be served as a starter, main dish, lunch, or a side. Since the first time I had this dish I have analysed what this little bowl of wonder contains, and miraculously the first time I tentatively followed my own made up recipe…it actually worked. I surprised myself. And my family, who had “every faith” in my cooking skills (translation: absolutely no faith in me what so ever).
Any hungry students, vegetarians, vegans, omnivores or healthy eaters take note- confirmed meat lovers too, this dish may convert you- this recipe is cheap, delicious, protein rich, healthy and quick to make (from beginning to end it took me approximately 35 minutes). It has a wonderfully warming flavour and aroma, which is perfect for the winter months fast drawing in. Best of all, and as with all my recipes, the ingredients can be obtained from any supermarket; no chia seeds, flax, wheat germ or other expensive ingredients. Most of those used where already in my kitchen cupboards.
With that all said I’ll leave you to this super simple recipe- it’s definitely going to be a staple for when my uni life begins, which incidentally is tomorrow…

Ingredients (serves 2 as a main dish or lunch, serves 4 as a side dish):

  • 1 can chickpeas, well drained and rinsed
  • 1 small handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4tsp chilli flakes
  • Dash of lemon juice (approx.1/2-1tsp)
  • 1 fresh tomato, chopped
  • 1 small pinch ground ginger
  • 1/2tsp cumin
  • 1/4tsp turmeric
  • 1/4tsp garum masarla
  • 1/4tsp madras curry powder
  • 1/2 vegetable stock cube, with 100ml boiling water
  • 2tsp oil, or fry light
  • 1tsp vegetable gravy granules

Method:

  • Add the oil or fry light to a pan and turn it up to a medium heat. Into this pan add the onion and cook until it begins to soften. At this point add the tomato, stir, and cook for a further 4-5 minutes.
  • Now add the lemon juice, followed by the spices (I combined mine in a ramekin and then added them all at once- much easier).
  • Add the vegetable stock and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  • After this time add the chickpeas, stir and simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes. Half way through this time add half the fresh parsley.
  • Once the 15 minutes is up add the gravy granules to thicken the chana chaat, followed by the remaining parsley. Remove from the heat once you have added the herbs.
  • Serve immediately, or cool and store in the fridge for up to three days. This can be eaten hot or cold, and tastes great with a spoonful of Greek yoghurt and garnish of parsley- enjoy!
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