Hey everybody.. this is chana-pulao from the house of Indosungod!
There was this big potluck I had to go to.. yes, Nupur's potluck at One Hot Stove. Couldn't possibly miss it now, could I? And I'd had my eye on this pulav for a while now. So this was the perfect opportunity to make it!
One of the very first few times I officially cooked on my own was actually for a potluck! :) It was a potluck at a friend's friend's friend's place! I was staying with some friends. So when they were invited, so was I! Now, how could I show up empty-handed? So what if I had no kitchen of my own! I got some chicken and one large onion and made ginger chicken with some leftover takeout-soy-sauce packets in my friend's kitchen. :)
Potlucks are a lot of fun. Diwali potluck, Christmas potluck, Happy-Budday potluck, Sunday potluck, No-reason potluck, there is always scope for a potluck. We have a potluck... we call 4 friends. They end up calling 2-3 friends of their own just cos they were planning to meet them anyway. It's a potluck. If you bring food, then you are totally invited! :) Keep it casual, keep it easy, play a game or two, put on some Incredibles to occupy the kids..
If I host, then I have to play it slightly safe. Something like this chana pulav, a dal, one vegetarian side-dish and raita is what I make. That covers all my basic food groups (just in case all the guests end up bringing only soda or only desserts.. No, sugar is not a food group.) ;) And yes, I never make dessert for potlucks that I host. I keep some icecream or a can of gulab jamuns as backup. Almost always altleast one of the guests brings a dessert. ;)
Now, on to Indo's chana pulav.. I modified her recipe to use a can of chick-peas, a microwave and some minor-shortcuts.
Oil - 1 teaspoon
Bay leaves - 2 small
Cloves - 3
Cinnamon stick - 1 small
Curry leaves - 5 or 6
Fennel seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Onions - 2 medium sliced
Ginger-garlic paste - 2 teaspoons
Green chillies - 1 small, finely chopped
Tomatoes - 2 finely chopped
Mint leaves - a few sprigs, washed and chopped
Coriander leaves - a few sprigs, washed and chopped
--- I used about 3 frozen cubes of coriander-mint chutney. Yes it also had coconut, but that's ok, I told myself ;)
Cooked Chana/Garbanzo beans/Chickpeas - 1 Can or say 1 &1/2 cups
Rice ~ 3/4 cup
Water - 3 or 4 times that of the rice ~ 3 cups (water proportion varies from microwave to microwave)
Red chili powder - to taste
Salt - to taste
1) Heat the bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon stick, curry leaves and fennel seeds with some oil in your pyrex bowl. (Indo powders a lot of these into a masala, I just added some of the spices whole - like the bay leaf, curry leaves and powdered the rest roughly with a small mortar-pestle.) In the microwave, I always heat the masalas till I can smell their fragrance when I open the door. Roughly 1-2 minutes.
2) Add onions, heat till they are soft and cooked.
3) Add ginger-garlic paste, chopped green chillies. Heat till they are all cooked.
4) Add chopped tomatoes and coriander-mint chutney. Heat till they are cooked.
5) Add cooked chickpeas (or canned ones, as in my case). Add salt and red chili powder. Mix well and cook. I like to add salt at this point so that the chana absorbs more salt than the rice (to be added next).
6) Add washed, drained rice. Mix well and heat for 2 minutes.
7) Add water. Heat for 10 minutes or more, till the water has been absorbed and the rice seems to be well cooked. Add more water and heat more if necessary.
The Chana Pulao was fabulous and will certainly be doubled in portion and made for my next big potluck! :)
Thanks for the recipe, Indo!!
Cheers everyone and have a good week!