April 1, 2013

Mud Puddle Chickpeas

Growing up, my grandma used to make what she called 'Chikad Chhole' ... and the best translation I can come up with is Mud Puddle Chickpeas. I know, that is kinda pathetic. However, the name is quite catchy in my opinion and is indeed a literal translation of my grandma's name for this dish. She made it with Chickpeas as well as with Green Split Peas. The recipe is about the same for both kinds of beans.

Chikad Chhole
Prep Time: 25-30 min (with canned chickpeas)

Ingredients (Serves 4):

  1. 2 x 15 oz Canned Chickpeas (drained and rinsed) (~3 cups cooked)
  2. 1 x 15 oz Canned Diced Tomatoes (I used Hunt's No Added Salt, Fire Roasted)(~1.5 cups fresh)
  3. 1 tbsp Ginger-Garlic Paste
  4. 1 tbsp Goya Recaito Cilantro Cooking Base
  5. 2-3 cups Water or Home-made Vegetable Broth
  6. 1 tbsp Cumin Seeds
  7. 1 tbsp Cilantro Seed powder
  8. 1/4 tsp Turmeric
  9. 2 tsp Deggi Chilli Powder
  10. Salt and Pepper, to taste
  11. Lemon/Lime juice, to taste
  12. Hot Sauce, to taste
I used canned chickpeas and canned tomatoes in the interest of time and because I forgot to soak chickpeas last night. If you remember to soak them overnight, make sure you precook the chickpeas for this recipe. In a stockpot, bring about a cup of water to a rolling boil. Add ginger-garlic paste, cilantro cooking base and spices and the tomato. Bring to a boil again, reduce heat to a simmer and cook tomatoes until they begin to disintegrate (5-7 min). Add chickpeas, and another cup or water or vegetable broth and mix well and continue to simmer for another 5-10 minutes adding more water, as needed, to keep the dish runny, but not soupy. Do a quick taste test and add more salt, pepper, and spices as needed. The tomato should add a certain sweet tang to the dish. Once you're satisfied with the taste, use a potato masher and press down on the chickpeas about 10-12 times so that some of the chickpeas get smooshed and form a thick mud (now you get why this dish is called a mud puddle?) making sure to leave about 2/3rd of the chickpeas still intact i.e. just enough that the intact chickpeas are floating in the mud :)!!! My grandma used to serve these over sliced bread, or rice, sprinkled with fresh lime juice and garnished with fresh cilantro leaves, fresh thinly sliced onions, sliced serrano/jalapeno peppers and even fresh sliced ginger. Instead of using bread or rice as the bed, I served these lovely muddy chickpeas over a freshly baked potato. Top off with hot sauce, as desired. 

Mud Puddle Chickpeas over a Baked Potato
My Assessment: Even without a lot of the fresh stuff that my grandma served these with, this dish was awesome and a hit with my dear American husband as well.

Quick Tip: If you want it extra spicy, or flavorful, add an additional tbsp of taco seasoning. Adds some extra zing. 

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)*: Calories 226 (Fat Calories 34)
Total Fat 3.8 g; Carbohydrates 37.9 g; Fiber 11.7 g; Sugars 8.2 g; Protein 10.4 g

* Nutrition facts are provided for the water option as vegetable broth calorie content can vary tremendously.

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