Monday, 2 March 2009

Jaisalmeri Kala Chana / Black Chickpeas in Yogurt based gravy

It was in Jaisalmer that I had tasted this dish first ... served in the dinner thali at our place of stay. And loved this simple yet flavourful dish .

I always associate this dish with an awesome experience I had in Jaisalmer. When reaching our room after dinner, I noticed that it was very dark outside. Standing near the window I could however see that the terrace beneath ours was huge and positively glowing. It was a bleached & very whitish glow. I looked around and found an almost round moon ... so decided that it was the moonlight after all. But moonlight on a terrace/balcony won't make it glow. Went to sleep with a perplexed mind.
The next morning as soon as I was up I went to the window. And what do I see? There was no balcony! Even though we were on the 3rd floor. Instead ... it was the courtyard at the back of the hotel. And the ground was of golden sand. It was this sand that was glowing in the moonlight!!

It was a surreal feel ... remembering that surreal glow of the previous night! :-)

This prompted us to leave the cultural program halfway the next night ... and take a walk in the moonlit and glowing sand dunes. :-)

That walk in the silent desert dunes with the moon shining so very brightly ... and that unbelievable quiet of the desert .... was an experience by itself. :-)

Coming to the recipe .... this does not need too many ingredients .... just what I like about any dish. The only preparation needed is to soak and boil the chana before you can make this.

Need : Kala chana, soaked overnight and pressure cooked with a little salt, jeera/cumin, curd/plain yougurt, a little besan/ gram flour, red chilli powder, a pinch of hing, haldi/turmeric powder, a little cooking oil, water, salt to taste.

How to : Beat the curd, besan, red chilli powder, salt together. Add water to make it of slightly thin consistency.

Slightly mash the chana .... just to break them .... so that they can soak up the flavours.
Heat a little oil in a kadhai. Add jeera and then hing. Now add the chana and toss a little.

Now add the curd mixture and let it cook well ... to a thicker consistency.

Serve hot with rotis / parathas.

I served with parathas made from leftover dal.


  1. looks so delicious,.:-)and lovely description of the place where u stayed could feel it....:-)

  2. taaaaaaaaaaaasty entry ..ekdum chatpata hain..

    this blog reinforces the fact that legumes must be pressure cooked and mashed a bit to let them absorb the spice flavor.. I have learnt this through my own mistakes :)

  3. Tomar recipe dekhe mukhe jol eshe gelo! & I envy you:-) shoshur bari rajasthan e holeo never got the opportunity to go to jaisalmer or mt abu.. 2 of my dream places. ki shundor likhecho, thik chobi r moton!

  4. Bah! Yummy! Aita amar kache ekdom notun, I never used besan to make gravies. Kortei hobe Sunday te :) Thanks for sharing. Jaisalmir -er sand dunes, moonlight and your experience with it makes it more captivating!
    And for you and other fellow bloggers I have yet another recipe for mango pickle. Do keep visiting for MORE!!!

  5. Jaisalmer sounds amazing Sharmila. Thanks for sharing your lovely experience. I love yogurt based curries, this one sounds and looks delicious.

  6. I am always looking for ways to use chana, this recipe sounds delish! thank you :)

  7. I have already made my Summer plans, Sharmila otherwise reading your description I would have headed off to Jaisalmer! A late night walk in the sand dunes sounds so beautiful. I used to like chana like this too (Courtesy - M Aunty!). First picture has come out very pretty and that is one tempting dish! Hey, I am picking up a little bit of Bengali from the comments here:)

  8. ei cholar recipe ta totally new to me, sounds and looks delicious...have to try this...r u a travel writer, Sharmila? your write-up is so beautiful

  9. Thanks Priyanka! :-)

    Thanks Swati! You are indeed turning into a vey good cook. :-)

    Thanks Soma! Amio Mt.Abu jaini .. tobe have visited a lot of places in Rajasthan ... but it is the very interior and very rural Rajasthan that always attracts me. :-)

    Thanks L! :-) Besan shob gravy te use kori na ... only a little in curd based gravies to prevent any chances of curdling.

    Thanks Bharti! Jaisalmer is indeed amazing. :-)

    Thanks Priya! :-)

    Thanks Harini! And no .. I don't think you could have headed off to Jaisalmer in the summers even if you wanted to ... I find the day time heat of Rajasthan in Dec-Jan too much to bear ... so summers are a big no-no. :-)
    Looking forward to some bengali words in your future comments. :-)

    Thanks Indrani! Na go .. am a traveller ... amra dujonei chance pele berie pori ... tobe travel writer noi ... jodio ekta blog shuru korechi amar travels er opore. :-)

  10. Lovely description of the beautiful moonlit night.

    Curry looks delicious and very easy to make.

  11. Bookmarked the recipe,i would surely like to try black chickpeas with curd gravy,coz the only 2 styles that i eat these lovely chana is either in chana chaat ot cooked in onion tomato gravy.So this one would be a lovely variation
    Loved the description of Sand dunes in Moonlight.....Heavenly :-)

  12. kalkei kala chana baniyechi...sokha version ta. Eta jana roilo,khub halo lagche

    Tomar travel blog ta porchilam, khub bhalo laglo

  13. I love legumes and this dish looks perfect.

  14. bahut badiya!
    i am away for a week and what goodies u come up with!
    vaise, u shud think about travel writing

  15. Tried it today and liked it very much. Its so easy to make. Thanks for a keeper recipe.

  16. Tried it today and liked it very much. Its so easy to make. Thanks for a keeper recipe.

  17. Thanks Jayasree! :-)

    Thanks Alka! I too love them in a chaat ... and this way. :-)

    Thanks Sandeepa! And for going thru my other blog too. :-)
    Eta try kore dekho ... khub olpo shomoye hoye jaye.

    Thanks Pavithra! :-)

    Thanks Rashmi! Travel writing? Hmm :-)

    How nice of you to let me know Jayasree! Am glad you liked it. :-)

  18. looking rich and creamy. that gravy makes me hungry again.jus had my lunch but cant contrl my tongue dear...

  19. Surreal indeed,loved reading about it.The yogurt based chana gravy looks perfect with parathas:)

  20. I want to go to Jaisalmer now..:d
    wat an experience Sharmila..woah..good that u dint step into the balcony..:P
    The curry..I loved it so much..chick peas is a fav..n in yogurt gravy..yum yum..:)

  21. This recipe sounds very delicious and so very simple! I am looking forward to giving this one a try soon :-)


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