Channa Recipes

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Lobia Dal Spiced Curry Recipe (Black Eyed Peas Curry) Recipe

First of all, I would like to send you my best wishes for the New Year, and i hope this week has started as well for you as it has for me. 

I've been extremely busy preparing for the promotion of my second cookbook, Banh Mi. As I mentioned last week, 2014 seems to be starting with a bang. I'm doing a Golden Globes Luxury Gifting Suite at the beginning of the year and copies of Banh Mi will be included in the celebrity "swag bags."  Celebrities will be photographed on the red carpet at the suite with the Banh Mi book and I will be serving a few dishes from my cookbook. I'm so excited!

For the first Meatless Monday of the new year, I went for a super easy Indian vegan dish called lobia dal. It's an especially simple lentil bean dish if you use frozen black eyed peas. The rest of the ingredients consist of chickpea flour (besan), cumin, chiles, tamarind and curry leaves. I served it with warm roti (Indian flat bread), gur (jaggery, which is palm sugar; it tastes similar to flavorful brown sugar) and garlic chutney to complete the meal. 



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Tomato Chana Dal Spiced Curry Recipe Recipe

I rarely make this dish because Daddy, my father-in-law, prefers chana dal without tomatoes. But today, I made an exception and prepared the gram lentils with the remaining San Marzano tomatoes we harvested from our vegetable garden. The weather has been incredibly hot lately in the Bay Area and a few tomatoes are still peaking daily. 

First, I boiled the soaked chanal dal until softened. Then I prepared a gravy using the tomatoes, mixed chopped onions and a bit of ginger. The marriage of the natural sweetness from the onions with the tanginess from the tomatoes works well. Once the thick sauce is ready, I added the chanal dal, drizzled a bit of water to thin the texture of the dish and added the signature Indian finishing touch of garam masala. Lulu and the girls absolutely loved it! Hopefully Daddy will come around as well.


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Moroccan Inspired Chickpeas Recipe

Moroccan Inspired Chickpeas

09.08.10 by Jackie

After the interview with Las Vegas Chef Pinisetti, I was determined to try out his version of harissa. We made a batch over Labor Day Weekend using red chiles from the garden. I had about 2-3 tablespoons leftover that I didn't want to go to waste.

I decided to make a loose interpretation of an Indian dish called chole, where I replaced the garam masala, ginger garlic paste and amchur (dried mango powder) with Moroccan flavors. I added the leftover harissa to the dish and made a spicy cream cheese sauce to season the chickpeas. Sautéed mushrooms added a "meaty" texture and pieces of preserved lemons, raw onions and tomatoes cut the richness of the dish.

It was such a hit in my house with both the vegetarians and meat eaters that I’m sure to make it again soon. They said it was like a spicy mushroom stroganoff. That wasn’t exactly what I was going for, but they liked it. It’s interesting how flavor combinations can evoke memories of totally different foods. Over the summer I made Earl Grey ice cream and everyone said it tasted like Fruit Loops. Go figure!


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Chana Masala Recipe (Chole) Recipe

Chana Masala Recipe (Chole)

04.17.10 by Jackie

Chana masala, also known as chole, is my father-in-law's favorite Indian dish. It is a very common dish sold by street vendors in India. Daddy is a vegetarian like Lulu, so the garbanzo bean-based dish is perfect for their diet. Garbanzo beans are full of protein and make a complete dish when paired with a starch such as rice -in the case of this dish- a bhatura. The beans are cooked in thick, spicy tomato-based gravy and finished with amchur, a dried mango powder which lends a sour note to the garbanzo beans.

As I mentioned, chole is traditionally served with bhatura. If you're not familiar with Indian cuisine, bhaturas are deep-fried bread rounds. They are similar to, but slightly larger than puris, which I love. I'll post that recipe soon.


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Chicken Kebab Burger Recipe

Chicken Kebab Burger

03.22.10 by Jackie

Chicken kebabs are both healthy and nutritious. The poultry is mixed with garbanzo beans and seasoned with Indian spices. I usually make this recipe when I have leftover chicken. We had company for dinner so I decided to make a complete meal out of them and serve them as burgers. I double-stacked 2 patties with tomato slices, cilantro, fresh mint, raita (Indian yogurt sauce), red onion and fried shallots.

The weather is getting clearer and sunnier by the day, so next time you think of a barbecue, you should consider making chicken shami kebabs (that's the real name of the dish). If you're planning a fancy dinner party, you could serve them as tapas. Bite-size burgers are getting very popular. Either way, you should definitely try this fresh take on an American classic.


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