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As you can see my blog is about food and recipes. I love eating and trying out new recipes all the time.

Very often we mum's think of healthy and interesting food options that we can make for our kids especially when they are back from school knowing that their lunch boxes never come back home empty. Hence I always feel its important to give them a healthy and wholesome snack once they are home. When my kid comes home from school I always try and give him some source of carbohydrate combined with proteins along with this, a fruit and milk, or puddings made from milk. Kids normally can't eat too much at one time, so the portions can be small but giving them a little from each of these food group ensures a balanced meal.

I have some interesting ideas that I'd like to share with you all. You might find some of my recipes very basic but I am hoping that my blog is helpful not only for Indians but for people all around the world! Indian food is quite popular and enjoyed by most, so hopefully you can attempt recipes from here and make it yourself now, in your kitchen. Please do go through my recipes and give it a shot at trying them. Let me know how things turned out and if you enjoyed your experience of cooking.... Feel free to get in touch, share your experience, leave a comment or ask any questions you may have. Thank you for stopping by and taking a look! I do hope its helpful.

Happy cooking!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Chana Masala

2 Cups Chana (chickpeas - wash well and soak overnight)

1 Big onion (finely chopped).
2-3 small green chillies.
1 tbspn grated ginger.

4-6 black peppercorns.
1 big bay leave.
1 tspn Jeera (cumin).
1 clove.
2-3 tbspn of tomato puree
2 tbspn oil.
1 small boiled potato.

Pinch of cinnamon.
Pinch of freshly crushed black pepper.
1/4 tspn Turmeric powder.
2 tspn roasted cumin powder (dry roast the cumin on a non stick pan till you get the cumin fragrance, do not burn or roast too much, cool and then grind to make a fine powder. You can store this in a bottle for future use).
1-2 tspn Chhole Masala (available in all Indian Stores).

1 tspn Garam Masala.
2 tspn dry mango powder.
1-2 tspn coriander powder.
Salt to taste.

Wash the chickpeas well and soak them overnight. Add salt and boil in enough water (so the chana are all submerged in water), till they become soft or pressure cook on a medium to high flame (around 4-6 whistles should be enough depending on how good the pressure cooker is) till they are soft.

I have used the pressure cooker. Switch off the gas after about 4-6 whistles. Do not open the lid immediately. Allow it to cool for 15 to 20 minutes.

Heat oil and add clove.

Add peppercorns and bay leave.

Add cumin and grated ginger.

Add finely chopped onions and green chillies.

Stir and cook the onions on a medium flame till they turn brown.

Add tomato puree and stir.

Add coriander powder.

Turmeric powder.

Dash of Cinnamon.

Garam Masala powder.

Dry mango powder.

Roasted cumin powder and stir well.

There are many spices used here hence if you feel the taste would be to overwhelming for you then reduce the quantity of each spice used and make it milder depending on your taste.

Now add the boiled chickpeas along with some water used for boiling them.

Stir and cook on a medium flame.

Add Chhole masala and stir well.

Chop the boiled potato in medium sized squares and add into the chickpeas.

Add little bit of freshly crushed black pepper and stir.

Chana Masala is ready. Serve hot with Roti/Paratha or Rice and sliced onions marinated in salt, lemon juice and few chopped green chillies.

Whenever I have left over chana in the fridge this is how I use it up the next day. What you will need is:
Bread slices.
Lemon juice.
Finely chopped green chillies.
Finely chopped onions.
Coriander and mint chutney (optional).
Haldiram's Bhujia or sev (this is made from gram flour and is available in all Indian stores).

Spread the chana on the bread as shown.
If the next day you feel the chana gravy has become thick add little water (to bring it to the consistency you like), warm it up and then spread evenly on the bread slice.

Add some finely chopped onions.

Squeeze some lemon juice on top.

Sprinkle few finely chopped green chillies.

Add finally add sev or bhujiya..

You can also add green coriander and mint chutney on top (or keep on the side), however this is optional. It tastes great either ways.

Chickpeas contain phytoestrogens which are weak plant versions of real oestrogen. There's evidence that these may modulate the body's own production of the hormone in a way that could lower the risk of breast cancer, protect against osteoporosis and minimise hot flushes in post-menopausal women.
Other ways you could consider using chickpeas are in salads, (they are particularly good with tuna and sweetcorn) or toasted as a snack (stir fry them in some olive oil until golden).

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