Methi Chole Sabzi / Fenugreek Leaves and Chickpeas Sabzi

When you want to pack proteins in your diet, get going with chickpeas. North Indian style curries with chickpeas are perfect for lunchbox recipes. Methi Chole is a popular Punjabi dish that combines fenugreek leaves with chole in a spicy gravy. It’s also a convenient way to include greens in your meal in a tasty manner. The aroma of this curry is amazing and it’ll make you want to eat it as soon as you make it.
Recipe Details :
Serves: 4 pax
Time: 30 mins
Difficulty: Easy
Ingredients :

  • 2 cups methi leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 big tomato, finely chopped
  • 1.5 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cardamom pods (break and finely powder)
  • 2 green chillies, slit in half along the length
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 2 tsp aamchur / dry mango powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp oil

Methi Chole

Methi Chole


Method:

  • Wash the fenugreek leaves and chop them roughly.
  • Fenugreek leaves

    Fenugreek leaves

  • Wash and soak the chole in water for 6 – 8 hours.
  • Drain the water and add the chole in a pressure cooker along with 3 tsp of salt and 3 cups water. Pressure cook this for 6 whistles on a medium flame. Then switch off the cooker and let it cool till the pressure is naturally released.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan. Once the oil is hot, add the bay leaves, cloves, cardamom powder and let them crackle for a few seconds.
  • Now add the chopped onion, a pinch of salt and saute them till they are translucent. Add ginger garlic paste to the onions and continue cooking till they are golden brown.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and green chillies at this stage and fry them for 2 mins.
  • Then add the turmeric powder, garam masala powder, dry mango powder and coriander powder. Mix well to combine. Let this paste cook for 2-3 mins.
  • Add the chole along with the cooking water. Taste and add more salt, if required.
  • Cook the chole for around 10 mins on a low flame.
  • Finally add the chopped fenugreek leaves and mix them well and cook them for another 3 mins. The aroma of the sabzi is amazing.
  • Methi chole

    Methi chole

  • Tastes good when served hot and best paired with roti or naan.

Tips:

  • Make sure the chole is well cooked before you add it to the gravy. You can cook it for some more time in the pressure cooker if needed.
  • Ensure that the methi leaves are washed well. Rinse them multiple times before cutting.
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Chole Patties/ Pattice – Indian Chaat

When it rains, I can’t resist the temptation to make something hot, spicy, and fried! There’s just something about the weather that calls for great snack food. All washed down with masala tea, of course. This time, I decided to make something a little more elaborate – Chole Patties. A previous dish had left me with boiled potatoes and this seemed a perfect way to use them up. As a variation, I used chickpeas (Garbanzo beans) for this recipe. Top off this easy-to-make dish with some nylon sev, finely chopped onions, and a squeeze of lime/lemon and enjoy!

Recipe Details :
Makes: 8 patties
Time: 45 mins
Difficulty: Medium

Ingredients for Chole:

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • A pinch of asafoetida (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder

Ingredients for Patties:

  • 4 boiled potatoes
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp dry mango powder/aamchur (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp chaat masala
  • 2 tbsp corn flour
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp semolina (optional)
  • Oil for frying

Chole patties

Chole patties


Method for Chole:

  • Soak the chickpeas overnight in water.
  • Once the soak is complete, drain and add the chickpeas to a pressure cooker.
  • Add salt, turmeric, asafoetida, and oil. Also add 3 – 3.5 cups of water and mix well.
  • Lid the pressure cooker and let it cook on medium heat for approximately 15 – 20 minutes. (If you use the whistle method, let it sound 8 – 10 whistles)
  • Once the pressure goes down, open the cooker and check the consistency. You can also use a masher to mash some of the cooked chickpeas to add some creaminess to the gravy. If you feel that it’s too thick, add some water and cook on a low flame.
  • Add red chilli powder (to taste) and check the seasoning.
  • Your chole is ready to serve at this stage. If you make this in advance, warm it gently before adding to the patties.

Method for Patties:

  • Peel and thoroughly smash the boiled potatoes – there should be no lumps.
  • Add all the spices and integrate into the mashed potatoes. Slowly dust in the corn flour and mix it into the spiced potatoes. The mixture should just come together – if it seems wet, you may need to add a little more corn flour.
  • Make patties from the potato mixture and lightly dust them with the semolina. (optional)
  • Shallow fry them in oil on a medium flame till golden brown on both sides. Remove and place on paper towels.
  • To serve, place the patties in a bowl or a plate. Top with the chole and add toppings of your choice. Like I wrote earlier, I like the classic nylon sev, onion, coriander leaves, and freshly squeezed lime juice. The possibilities are endless – try finely cut green chilli, or diced green mango, or even some pomegranates.

Tips:

  • Don’t make the chole too watery. It should have enough thickness to coat the patties.
  • If in the initial cooking, the chickpeas didn’t get soft enough, just add more water and cook it a little longer.
  • If you are using freshly cooked boiled potatoes, let them dry a little before you start mashing them. If they are too wet, the mixture will not come together.

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Burger with Tahini Spread

I was surfing the web and saw that most of the food-related updates were connected to the Superbowl. Finger foods, bar bites, burgers and beers comprised most of my news feed. To add to that, I was missing vada pav from back home. This dish was a result of all such thoughts. I decided to use sweet potato as the primary ingredient. Most vegetarian burgers contain mushrooms – but I’m not a big fan of them. To add some body to the burger, I used chickpeas. This combination worked great together and the patty had layers of flavour and texture. When slathered with some tahini yogurt dip topped with thinly sliced onions, it was a perfect bite. It is not very oily and the patty has loads of texture on its own. We paired it with wholemeal buns – but they are good enough to eat on their own. For those who are vegans, you can just skip the yogurt spread. I would love to hear how it turned out in case you try it 🙂

Recipe Details :
Serves: 3 pax
Time: 45 mins
Difficulty: Medium

Ingredients :

  • For burger patty

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 2/3 cup chickpeas, soaked overnight. Else use canned ones.
  • 1/3 cup of all-purpose / wheat flour
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt to taste

  • For tahini spread

  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Sweet potato and chickpea burger

Sweet potato and chickpea burger with tahini spread


To make the patty:

  • If you are not using canned chickpeas, pressure cook or boil soaked chickpeas till they are soft.
  • Wash and peel the sweet potato. Coarsely grate it to yield around 2 cups. Once grated, squeeze out the water from the sweet potato.
  • In a bowl, take the grated sweet potato, chickpeas, flour, salt and the spices. Mix well to combine. While mixing, try to keep different textures of the chickpeas. I left some whole, some were partly broken and some were smoothened into a paste.
  • Make rounds of the patty mixture and flatten them.
  • Sweet potato and chickpea burger patty

    Sweet potato and chickpea burger patty

  • Heat a non-stick pan on medium flame and add the oil. Place a flattened patty and let it cook on one side. After about 2 mins, flip it to the other side. Remove it when golden brown and crisp.

To make Tahini spread:

  • For the spread, take all the spread ingredients in a bowl and stir. It will seem thick at the start, but as you keep stirring it, you will get the desired consistency.
  • To assemble the burger, I placed the patty on the lower half of the bun, added a layer of onions on top of it and then topped it off with the delicious tahini spread. We had a great meal!

Tips:

  • Do not overcook the chickpeas. You need them to give texture to the patty.
  • Squeeze as much water as you can from the sweet potato. If the patty mixture is too “wet”, it will not get crisp.

Chickpea, Carrot and Couscous Dish with Pomegranates

I traveled to Bali recently – and I have to let you all know that it’s one of the best places to visit to eat! There are umpteen options for vegetarians and if you are a foodie, then Bali is surely going to be on your repeat list. This recipe is an adaptation of a dish that I had during one of my meals. It is inspired by Moroccan cuisine which plays with and balances sweet and savory flavours with the spices used to season them. Personally, I always wanted to try making a dish with couscous, and I am glad I managed that through this dish. I added some ingredients and made it to my liking. I must say this has been one of the most wholesome and fulfilling recipes of mine. I remembered the taste of the dish and tried to build it stage-wise which was an interesting process in my cooking journey. The texture of couscous is like semolina and the dry roasting process for both of them is identical. This dish is very easy to make, healthy and a welcome change from a boring salad. It is quite filling, ingredients can be added and the dish can always be evolved to suit your liking. I hope you enjoy trying it and do let me know on the outcome as I would be happy to read about it 🙂

Recipe Details :
Serves: 2-3 pax
Time: 40 mins
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients :

  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 3 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 2 tsp ginger, finely chopped
  • 3 tsp garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely crushed (Or you can use 1/2 a can of tomato puree)
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 pomegranate, deseeded
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves for garnish
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste (optional)
  • 1.5 cups water

Method:


    Pomegranate layer at the bottom

    Pomegranate layer at the bottom

  • Take a pasta bowl or a broad dish and place the pomegranate seeds as the bottom-most layer. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to the seeds and set it aside – preferably in the fridge.
  • Place a pan on medium heat, add oil and the cumin seeds. Once the cumin seeds splutter, add the ginger, garlic, cinnamon and onion. Once the onion turns translucent, lower the flame, add the carrots. Add some salt, cover and cook for 5-7 minutes.
  • Once the carrots are done, add the chickpeas and tomato puree. Also add 1 cup water. Stir well, add some salt and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Couscous - middle layer

    Couscous – middle layer

  • Simultaneously start dry roasting the couscous on a medium flame in a separate pan. The couscous will start to turn golden brown in 5 mins and you will also get a slight fragrance. Now add 1.5 cups water and let it boil on a low flame so that the couscous fluffs up. Switch off the flame and set it aside for 5 minutes before plating. This will form the layer above the pomegranate seeds.
  • Final dish

    Final dish

  • By now, the carrots and chickpeas part of the dish would also have been done. Remove that from the flame and plate it on top of the couscous layer. Garnish with coriander leaves and this is going to be one tasty dish!

Tips:

  • While boiling the couscous, ensure that your water proportion is correct. To much water will make it mushy.
  • Let the couscous rest before you serve it. Once it has cooled slightly, you can fluff it with a fork.
  • If you do not have pomegranate, you can also use finely chopped dates.

Quinoa with Chickpeas and Black Bean Salad with Lemon-Cumin Vinaigrette in Potato Basket/ Quinoa with with Chickpeas and Black Bean Salad with Lemon-Cumin Vinaigrette in Aloo Katori

I’ve been reading up on healthy foods and came to hear a lot of good things about quinoa. It is being touted as a healthy grain as it is a rich source of protein and fiber. When cooked, it fluffs up nicely and almost resembles couscous or sabudana (tapioca). What I like about cooking is the ability to experiment with new ingredients and since I had never cooked with quinoa before, I decided to try a salad. I also wanted to understand the quinoa behaviour while cooking. I read that the cooking process is similar to the one used for rice. However, I found that it is better to be conservative on the quinoa to water ratio. The brand of quinoa I suggested a ratio of 1:2 (quinoa:water). When I tried it, the quinoa was too soggy for my taste. Ultimately, I ended up using 1:1 ratio of quinoa to water. Wash the quinoa thoroughly (3 – 4 washes) before cooking as it has a bitter outer coating. This recipe has quite a few ingredients – each adding their own taste and texture. I had made it as a picnic starter and it turned out to be delicious. This recipe has 3 main components: The quinoa salad, the lemon-cumin vinaigrette and the potato basket. This dish can be made just as a salad and served with a dash of lemon, the vinaigrette is multipurpose and can be used with other salads, and last but not least, the potato baskets can be stuffed with a filling of your choice. In short this is my triple bonanza post, three recipes in one dish! Needless to say, experimenting with these combinations to create a dish was a deelightful experience 🙂

Recipe Details :
Serves: 3-4 pax
Time: 40 mins
Difficulty: Medium

Ingredients :

  • For salad

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (please see tips section of this post)
  • 1/2 can black beans
  • 1/2 can chickpeas
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander, finely chopped

  • For vinaigrette

  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • fine zest of half a lemon(optional)
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp honey (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • For potato basket/aloo katori

  • 1 medium potato, shredded on the largest side of a box grater
  • 1/2 tsp oil
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • Salt as per taste

Quinoa with beans salad

Quinoa with beans salad


Method for salad and vinaigrette:

  • Wash the quinoa thoroughly and place it in a pan with a 1:1 ratio of water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Once it boils, put on a lid and turn the heat to low. Cook till all the water is absorbed. Take it off the heat and leave to rest for 20 minutes. Fluff well with a fork.
  • Combine all of the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well. Prepare the vinaigrette only after the quinoa is cooked.
  • Now combine all the salad ingredients in a bowl. Add half the quantity of the prepared vinaigrette into the salad bowl and mix well. Let the salad rest for about 20 mins at room temperature before serving.
  • The salad can be refrigerated overnight and the extra vinaigrette can be used at the time of serving the next day. The vinaigrette is essential as it adds a great acidity to the salad. If you do not have the ingredients for the vinaigrette, then just squeeze some lemon juice on top to balance the salad flavours.

Potato baskets

Potato baskets


Method for potato basket/aloo katori

  • Wash and peel the potatoes. Grate them on the largest openings on a box grater.
  • Squeeze the grated potato to remove excess moisture. The more water you can remove now, the better.
  • Now combine the remaining ingredients with the potatoes in a bowl. Do this quickly as the potato will start to oxidize.
  • Lightly grease a muffin tray. Scoop some of the mixture into each section of the tray.
  • Working outwards from the center, press down to create a flat base and then push the mixture up the sides of the wall to create a bowl shape.
  • Bake in an oven at 180 Celsius for 20 minutes. At that stage check if the baskets are golden brown. If not, continue baking, checking every 3 – 5 minutes.
  • Remove the baskets from the muffin tray. You can serve them immediately.

Tips :

  • For those staying in Singapore, I used the Origins Health food Organic Quinoa pack and I did not cook according to the instructions on the pack as it made the quinoa too mushy for my liking.
  • For an interesting perspective on cooking quinoa and reading instructions about the same, give this a read http://foodbod.wordpress.com/2014/04/13/dont-cook-quinoa-as-it-says-on-the-pack/
  • I used canned versions of the chickpeas and black beans. You can soak them overnight in the usual manner and make them too.
  • If you refrigerate the potato baskets, then warm them slightly in an oven so that they get a bit crisp before serving the next day.

Radish Channa Sabzi

Radish, as a vegetable, is used extensively in salads, paratha stuffing and sambhar. I got bored cooking radish in those styles and tried a gravy side dish to go with rotis. The outcome of channa (chickpeas) and radish together turned out to be an interesting and tasty protein combination. Radish is an excellent source of Vitamin C and is a healthy vegetable to include in your diet.
Recipe for Radish Channa Sabzi

Serves : 2-3
Ingredients :

  • 1 cup chickpeas, soaked overnight / minimum 8 hours [can use canned chickpeas also]
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 long white radish, peeled and diced
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste [optional]
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander to garnish [optional]

Radish channa sabzi

Radish channa sabzi


Method:

  • Drain the water from the soaked chickpeas. Pressure cook the chickpeas with 2.5 cups water for 3 whistles on medium flame. If you want them softer, cool a little longer.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds.
  • When they splutter, add the onions and cook till they are soft and transparent.
  • Add the ginger-garlic paste along with salt, turmeric, coriander powder and garam masala and mix well.
  • Add the radish pieces and stir well so that spices coat the radish. Cover the pan and let it cook for 4-5 minutes on a low flame.
  • Add the tomatoes and cooked chickpeas at this stage. Taste and add salt if required. Stir the vegetables to combine.
  • Cover the pan and cook until tomatoes are soft and mushy.
  • Finally add 1.5 – 2 cups of water, cover the mixture with a lid and let it cook for 5 mins. Make the final adjustments for salt and gravy consistency at this stage.
  • Garnish with coriander and serve hot.

Tips :

  • If you do not like the texture of chickpeas to be mushy, then add the chickpeas at the end.
  • Monitor the water levels in the gravy while cooking. Add water and manage the heat to get the consistency of your choice.