I finally purchased Raghavan Iyer's 660 Curries and I've been waiting to get this book for a long time! Actually, my mom gave me the money to buy whatever I wanted for my birthday and this is what I chose :) I really love his recipes as I already have one of his other books. I decided to make this recipe for Palak Hara Chana, though I did some variations as I didn't have all of the ingredients.
Oh, and pardon the picture... I almost forgot to take one and had already started eating, so I quickly snapped a pic!
- 2 cans chickpeas, or 1 cup dry soaked overnight and cooked
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seed
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed
- 1/2 teaspoon ajwain
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar (or jaggery, crumbled)
- salt, to taste
- 8 ounces fresh spinach, washed and chopped or 1 package (8 - 10 ounces) frozen spinach
- 2 teaspoons cumin/coriander powder
- 1 medium lime, juiced (or 1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate)
Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the mustard seeds, cover, and cook until seeds stop popping. Sprinkle in the cumin seeds and ajwain and cook until they sizzle and turn reddish brown, 5 to 10 seconds.
Add the onion and fry until it is light brown around edges, about 5 minutes. Stir in the ground chili powders and turmeric and cook without burning, about 5 to 10 seconds. Pour in 2 cups water and stir in sugar and salt. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until half the liquid has evaporated, 15 to 20 minutes.
Stir in the spinach and coriander/cumin powder. Cook until the spinach is warmed through and has turned olive green, about 5 minutes.
Add in cooked chickpeas and simmer over medium heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until chickpeas absorb the flavors, 20 - 25 minutes. If the sauce is too thin and you prefer it thicker, mash some of the chickpeas and simmer about 5 more minutes.
Add the lime juice (or tamarind) and stir. Serve and enjoy!