Pindi Chana (Dry Spicy Chickpeas) is a sure-fire way to satisfy your craving for a tangy, spicy dish. The dish originated in the city of Rawalpindi, hence the name "Pindi", and is as popular as Punjabi Chole in North India. However, unlike Chole, Pindi Chana does not have an onion-tomato gravy. It is prepared in a potpurri of dry spices including dry mango powder and anardana (pomegranate) powder, that bring about the strong tangy flavor. Without any gravy to hold them back, the spices set off an explosion of aroma and flavors that is sure to send your senses reeling in an ecstacy of taste.
Pindi Chana is usually served with Bhatura or Puri (both are variants of soft, deep-fried Indian bread). It is great as a snack too, owing to its dry and zesty nature. This dish scores a perfect 10 in satisfying all senses. It is ambrosial, attractive, aromatic - in short, an absolute delight! If your taste buds had a religion, they would sing prayers in honor of Pindhi Chana for introducing them to the ultimate tango of tanginess and spice. So go ahead, answer your taste buds' prayers :)
PINDI CHANA RECIPE
2 tea bags
Salt to taste
1 ½ tbsp Chana Masala
½ tsp Black salt
½ tsp Garam Masala Powder
1 tsp Dry Mango Powder (Amchur)
3 Green Chillies (such as Serrano); destemmed & slit
1" Ginger; peeled & sliced into thin strips
1½ tbsp Oil/Clarified Butter
½ tsp Carom Seeds (Ajwain)
1 medium-size Tomato; quartered
Spices for dry-roasting & grinding
1 ½ tbsp Pomegranate seeds (Anardana)
1 tbsp Coriander Seeds
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
2-3 Whole Dry Red Chillies
½ cup Onion rings; layers separated
2 tbsp chopped fresh Cilantro (Coriander) leaves
How to make Pindi Chana:
- Drain the water of the soaked chickpeas.
- Take a pressure cooker or deep pan. Add chickpeas, tea bags, 3 cups of water & salt. Cook until the chickpeas are soft but still retain their shape. Once the chickpeas are cooked, discard the tea bags.
- Retain 1/4 cup of the liquid in which the chickpeas were cooked & drain the rest. Keep aside.
- Dry-roast the spices kept for roasting in a pan on medium heat till fragrant while stirring constantly. Remove the pan from heat. Once the spices cool down, grind them to a fine powder.
- In a small bowl, add ground spices, chana masala, black salt, garam masala powder, dry mango powder, salt to taste. Mix well & keep aside.
- Take a deep pan, add the chickpeas. Spread the ginger slivers, tomatoes & green chillies over the chickpeas. Sprinkle the mixed spices all over the chickpeas. Keep aside.
- Heat oil/clarified butter in a separate pan on high heat till it is smoking hot. (Be careful of your fire alarms please!). Add the carom seeds and mix.
- Switch off the heat & pour the hot oil evenly over the chickpeas. Mix well such that the chickpeas get well-coated with the spices.
- Add the reserved liquid & mix well. Cook the chickpeas on medium-high heat until the liquid has evaporated while stirring constantly.
- Adjust salt & pepper as per your taste.
- Transfer to a serving bowl & garnish with onion rings & chopped cilantro leaves.
- Serve hot with Bhature or Puri.
All spices are available in Indian Grocery Stores.