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KRI January 2019 Recipe of the Month

Taken from From Vegetables, With Love: Recipes and Tales from a Yogi’s Kitchen
(Revised and Expanded New Edition) by Siri-Ved Kaur Khalsa

Black Channa with Mustard Oil

Yield: 6 servings

An excellent source of fiber and nutrients, this dish is also served traditionally to honor a special anniversary, the passing of a loved one, an offering of gratitude, or as a prayer for protection. It is especially tasty when served with Lemon Rice (page 186). Perfect vegetable companions are cruciferous greens (e.g., kale, mustard, rapini) and/or beets.


Ingredients to make Black Channa with Mustard Oil:

  • 2 cups whole kala channa (black garbanzo beans)
  •  ⅓ cup ghee or oil
  •  2 onions, chopped
  •  8 cloves garlic, chopped
  •  ⅓ cup chopped fresh ginger
  •  1–2 jalapeño chiles, chopped
  •  1½ teaspoons cumin seeds
  •  1 teaspoon black pepper
  •  2–3 tablespoons pure mustard oil
  •  2 teaspoons black salt (to taste)
  •  ¼ cup chopped cilantro (optional garnish)

* Select how you would like to cook the beans: In a regular soup pot or a pressure cooker. Soak beans overnight or 8 hours in 2 quarts of water.


Regular Pot Method: 

Drain and put beans in a 6-quart soup pot. Add enough water to cover beans by at least 1-inch. Bring to boil, cover, and cook at slow boil for about 2 hours, until beans are very soft. Add water if too much boils away.

Pressure Cooker Method:

Drain and put beans in pressure cooker. Add water to cover beans by 1 inch. Cook at high pressure for 15 minutes. Release pressure with quick release method. If beans are not soft, pressure cook a few minutes longer. Meanwhile, prep and chop remaining ingredients.


For the Masala:

Heat ghee or oil in a heavy skillet over a medium to high flame. Add onions, garlic, ginger, and jalapeños and cook about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until soft and getting browned. Add pepper and cumin seeds, stir, and continue cooking for another 5-10 minutes, adding a little water, as needed, to prevent sticking. Drain off excess water from cooked beans, leaving about 1-2 cups liquid in the pot. Add onion-ginger mixture to the beans. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 more minutes. You may mash some of the beans if you like. Add black salt to taste and remove from heat. When time to serve, drizzle beans with mustard oil and garnish with cilantro.


About Black Channa

Black channa, also known as kala channa or desi channa, are small brown chickpeas/garbanzo beans grown in India. Legend has it that farmers of other crops don’t want their farms next to farms growing channa for fear of inevitable lightning strikes burning up their fields. Black channa has about three times the fiber content of the more common yellow chickpeas, and thus an exceptionally low glycemic index. Black channa is used traditionally to help improve digestion and energy. Cooking Yellow or Black Garbanzos: 1 cup of dry beans will yield about 3 cups cooked. Once cooked the beans should be completely soft, but not breaking.


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