Do you remember Navrati celebration. In every state of India, there are different ways and customs related to the auspicious festival. Some keep fast for complete 9 days, some make it feast for themselves. Like a neighbour of mine, who used to crib whole year that during Navratri time, she loose a lot of her weight and hence energy too. But since she feel so highly devoted towards ‘’Maata Raani’’, the goddess, and she has maintained this since her childhood, she cannot skip these fasts now. Well, such good thought that is !! But if you see her eating during those days, it was like she is giving a treat to herself, with all those fat dense Halwas, heavy Kuttu Puris and ghee laiden fried potatoes.. Ohh la laa.. As kids, we used to spend a lot of time in her home since we also got to have a lot of them while she was preparing in the kitchen. I know that was evil of us to take advantage of her like that. But c’mmon .. we were kids and loved the stuff she used to prepare.. all smelling amazing and fresh.
Sorry Anty, if you are reading this. We really loved your food 🙂
Anyways, coming back to the festival. What I meant to express with this example was.. People keep different priorities during those 9 days. Like at our home, Mum kept it in the simplest form it could be. She used to prepare food with as minimum oil as it could be, mostly keeping fruits for snacks, with no onion, garlic at all used in food. There was a different sort of fun in having that food and we used to wait for it whole year.. The purpose to keep things simpler was only to devoid our mind and soul from as many processed things as we can. And devote ourselves completely to natural things, for God. And that was her idea of celebrating Navratri and paying devotion towards goddess. On the last day of the fest, she kept fast and distribute food among kids. This recipe of ‘’Black chickpeas a.k.a. Kale Chane ki sabzi’’ was given as Prasad along with Semolina Halwa. And with this, we used to end our 9 day simple living and indulged into feast Mum prepared.
So again, this recipe is dedicated to her ideas and thoughts, and although I don’t follow them anymore, it used to be a memorable experience for over the years. I have prepared this one just as she used to, without onion, garlic and any heavy spices like Garam Masala. Though you can twist it according to your own taste, I would still recommend trying this version at least once. Am sure you will like it as much as I do, for those days when you just want something light to eat.
- 1 cup Black chickpea ( soaked overnight)
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds
- 1 tsp red chili powder, coriander powder each
- ½ tsp Panch phoran
- 2-3 dried red chilies
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 2 large tomatoes, chopped
- Handful of coriander leaves, chopped
- ½ tsp Asafoetida
- 1 tsp Oil
- Salt to taste
- Pressure cook black chickpeas for 3-4 whistles. They should be tender enough to be mashed when pressed between fingers.
- Heat oil in a pan, fry asafoetida and sauté for half a min. Splutter cumin seeds and add red dried chilies along with grated ginger. Fry it all for a minute.
- Next, add chopped tomatoes along with rest of the spices. Cook it covered for 4-5 minutes till tomatoes get tender and mushy.
- Add chickpeas along with ¼ cup water and cook covered for 10-12 minutes stirring in between.
- Open the pan and cook it uncovered for a few minutes if there is any water remaining, so that it gets dried up.
- Turn off the flame and sprinkle cilantro leaves for garnish on top.
- Serve it hot with chapathis or Dal –Rice combo along with pickles and Riata,…