JFI Chickpea: Green Chana Tamarind Kootu

"South India received the chickpea late, perhaps around 500 to 300 BC and ...., southern names like kadalai are quite diferent from the Sanskrit chanaka or harimanthaka. The latter grains find mention in the Buddhist writings of 400 BC but the Khalva of the much earlier yajurveda (c 1000 BC) is also thought to refer to the same grain". from KT Achaya's Indian Food, a Historical Companion

Chickpea is still called Harimanthaka in Telugu(from here), astonishing how a name persists over a thousand years. Today's post is on fresh green chickpea - different from dried desi chanas that have a green skin. The wild form of chickpea ripens only in the winter, while the domesticated form can be harvested in summer as well(from here) which might explain why I ran into them at my local farmers market this weekend!

In Gujarat, these fresh chickpeas are plentiful in winter (and also double up as horse feed :)). My father likes them roasted in the oven in the skin, and then shelled for a wonderful smoky sweet and soft evening snack.

This particular recipe is a variation of a recipe from my mother, she uses the dried kabuli chickpeas. It is delicious with rice and any coconut vegetable combination - we had fresh green beans and coconut karamad ( sabzi) along with this.

11/2 cups fresh shelled green chickpeas
1/2 cup Tuvar dal
Curry leaves
5 brinjals cut in about 1 cm sections and quartered
1 tbsp tamarind paste( I use Tamicon which is really strong, if you use a fresh tamarind paste, please increase quantities to compensate)
salt to taste
2 tbsp oil
pinch asfoetida

Podi: (Spice Powder)
4 tbsp Chana dal( Bengalgram)
8 tbsp Dhania ( Coriander seeds)
5 dried red chillies
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp Jeera ( Cumin Seeds)
1/2 cup grated coconut

Dry roast all ingredients except the coconut, until you can smell the nutty aroma of the legumes and aroma of the jeera.
Grind into a find powder along with the coconut. If you need, you can add some water to grind finely.

Cook the Fresh green chickpea and tuvar dal in the Pressure cooker for two whistles or until soft. Take about two tbsp oil in a deep pan. Add mustard seeds and wait until it pops. Add asfoetida and curry leaves. Then add the brinjal and stir fry until softened. Add the cooked chickpea and tuvar dal combination and the Podi( spice powder) and tamarind , salt to taste and boil for another five to 10 minutes.

PS: Also check out My Legume Affair, seventh helping hosted by Srivalli, your JFI Chickpea entries would make wonderful entries to My Legume Affair.


Anonymous said...

Love that pic of the green chickpea. Just the other day I saw some in the stores, but stopped myself from buying as they were kinda worn out. This makes me feel like going & getting some.

Chitra said...

This is new to me.i've never seen this so far.nice posting!!

FH said...

Lucky to get those green chana, ms! We used to eat those a lot when we were in school, whole bunch of them during breaks! :))

Lakshmi said...

I ate plenty of fresh peas on my recent trip to Mysore. I always look out for new recipes with these. Bookmarked yours! will give it a try soon :)

Vegetarian Zest said...

HI, I just happened to see your food blog. Must say...It's an interesting one. I've a food blog too but just started. I would like to participate in the events. Pls let me know how can I.


suvi said...

this brings back memories from my college days, when we would go all the way to sinhagad (near pune)just to eat these!

Preety said...

hey never saw green channa here in grocery stores..but your dish looks perefct

Anonymous said...

Mumbai's full of green chickpeas right now, and you can bet I've been growing a bit crazy eating as much as I can before they go away.

Sunshinemom said...

Good entry and that was good thinking to use green chhole in kootu. Here we find the fresh ones called harbhara in December and Jan.

Malar Gandhi said...

Oh...I miss that greatly here. When I used to live in Delhi...enjoyed this yummy fresh green chana...ur post makes me nostalgic! Love the recipe u prepared, sounds good to me.

Adlak's tiny world said...

hey this is wat we call it as pulli kootu.. combination of chenna with brinjal, raw banana, cluster beans etc..

love your kootu and pic.. nice one