Yesterday was feast day for V and me. Not that yesterday was any special day but I just felt like cooking a grand meal. Probably, a reason for the special dinner was that V worked every day of last week. While his parents were here he had taken two days off, for which he had to make up by working Saturday, Sunday too this week. Another reason was that I wanted to try a few dishes that I had been postponing for a while. So, as a result, the dinner table was laden with my quick version of shahi paneer (an Indian cottage cheese dish), mama’s channa masala (a chickpea/garbanzo dish), spinach pooris (Indian fried flat bread) and for dessert shrikhand!
Shrikhand is one of the main desserts in Gujarat (a state in western India) and quite popular in Maharashtra too. Its fairly easy to prepare and delicious to eat. To make it, you need to strain the yogurt in a muslin cloth under pressure, so that all the water drains off. Then, to the strained yogurt, you add green cardamom powder and powdered sugar. In a tablespoon of hot milk, dissolve saffron. Add this to the yogurt. Mix well. Top with finely chopped pistachios and pomegranate, chill for a while and its ready to eat!:)
The shrikhand, spinach pooris and the paneer were something I tried on my own and forgot to note the measurements down. So, I am only posting the recipe for the chhole/chana masala, (but have given the general idea to prepare shrikhand above). The recipe is fairly quick to make and freakingly tasty! Enjoy making and eating it!
- 1 cup Garbanzo beans/ chickpeas
- 1 tbsp channa dal
- 3 cups water
- Salt, to taste
- 1 black cardamom
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1-2 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3-4 green chillies, finely chopped
- 1 inch piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp channa masala
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 tea bags
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp amchoor/lemon juice
- ½ tsp tamarind concentrate (optional)
- salt, to taste
- Soak the chickpeas and channa dal overnight.
- In a pressure cooker, add the drained chickpeas. Also add in the tea bags, salt, cardamom, cinnamon stick, red chilli powder and bay leaf. (Since I didn't have tea bags, but only loose tea, I added the tea, cinnamon stick and cardamom in a muslin bag and put it in the pressure cooker.) Add the water and pressure cook till chickpeas are soft (In my cooker it takes 1 whistle on high, another whistle on medium and then I let cook on slow for 15-20 minutes). Remove from heat.
- Once the pressure drops, remove lid. If there is too much water put on high heat and reduce water level. There should only be a little water left in the cooker.
- Add the chopped onions, green chillies and ginger. Sprinkle coriander powder, chana masala, cumin powder. Mix.
- Separately, heat oil to smoking temperature. Now, the next step has to be done very quickly. Pour the smoking hot oil into the pressure cooker. Once you pour the oil, quickly close the pressure cooker with a lid. Then shake the container so that everything inside mixes well together. And voila! the dish is ready. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and lemon wedges. Serve with pooris and curd and enjoy each bite.