Kalay Chholay (Black chick peas)

I could wax eloquent about the virtues of the Indian black chick-pea. They are a nutritional power house. Packed with protein, soluble fiber, iron, zinc and with a low-glycemic index they are considered a key ingredient for the low-inflammation diet. This recipe is cooked with spices you’ll see listed in the low-inflammation diet books like turmeric, asafetida, fresh ginger and cumin.

Beans and legumes are vegetarian sources of protein. While many animal-based proteins contain saturated fats and cholesterol which are linked to heart disease, beans and legumes are virtually fat free. Black chick peas, for example, contain 20g of protein per cup while lentils offer 18g per cup. Protein is a component of every cell in your body and helps support muscle retention and growth.

For this recipe, you start out with the dry chick-peas like below. I’ve used 2 cups dry.

Soak these in enough water so that you have an inch of water over the peas…like so. Soak overnight.

Next cook these with 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ginger paste or fresh grated, 1/2 tsp red chili powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric and 1/8 tsp asafotida….see below. I use a pressure cooker.

Now, dice onions and about 2-3 large garlic cloves

In a wok, heat your favorite cooking oil (2-3 tbsp), add a 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds when heated and swirls form. Cumin seeds should sizzle.. like so-

Next, add garlic and saute about 30 seconds, add the diced/chopped onions and fry till light pick-golden brown.. like so –

Now add a whole can of low-sodium, diced canned tomatoes (I love furmanos)

Stir and add the chholay masala spice mix now and let this fry for about 10-12 minutes on medium until it looks like this-you’ll see oil pooling on the edges

Or this –

Now add cooked and drained chick-peas. Reserve the water to alter curry consistency if needed.

Water set aside-

Add cooked peas to the tomato-onion curry like below – kc13

Next add chopped cilantro if desired and it will look something like this-

Ta-da!! You’re done!! Wasn’t that easy?? Serve hot with roti or brown rice.




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