Green chickpea is called cholia or hara chana in Hindi and is a seasonal vegetable, making its appearance in winter. In the northern parts of the country, it is roasted in the bonfire on Lohri with entire neighbourhood sitting around the fire, singing songs and splitting and eating the juicy and sweet peas warm from the fire!
There are many culinary uses for hara chana, including subzi, salad, cheela (a kind of pancake like dosa), chat and even sweets.
In parts of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, the tender leaves of this plant are made into a creamy dish.
Hara chana is a good source of proteins and carbohydrates and very high in dietary fibre which minimises the risk of colon cancer. It also controls cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and is a rich source of vitamin A, C, E, K and B complex vitamins,. In addition to these, it is also has many vital minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron and pantothenic acid.
So consume as much of this vegetable as you can when it is in season!
Here is a recipe for a side dish for your winter meal made with hara chana. It goes well with phulka and paratha, alike.
Ingredients – (3-4 servings)
Fresh green chickpeas (Hara chana) – 1 tea cup
Potato – 1 medium
Tomato – 2 medium
Ginger – ¼” piece
Green chilli – 1 – 2
Refined oil – 1 tbsp
Jeera – ¼ tsp
Hing – 1 pinch
Red chilli powder – ½ tsp
Dhania powder – 1 tbsp
Amchur powder – ¼ tsp
Garam masala – 1/8 tsp
Curd – ¼ tea cup
Salt to taste,
Coriander leaves for garnishing.
- Pressure cook chana and potato along in ½ cup water. Lower the flame after one whistle and cook for 5 minutes
- When the steam subsides, open the cooker and mash the chana while it is still warm. Mash or grate potato.
- Blend together tomatoes, ginger and green chillies. Beat the curd and keep aside.
- Heat oil in a pan, add jeera. When it sizzles, add hing and the tomato mixture, stir and add haldi, chilli powder and dhania powder. Saute the masala on low flame till oil separates. Now add the curd and stir it till the mixture starts to boil.
- Add the mashed potato, chana and ½ to ¾ cup water and salt. Cook on low flame till it starts to boil. Add amchur powder and garam masala. Allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes to let the subzi come together. Switch off the stove.
- Garnish it with chopped coriander leaves and serve with phulka or paratha.
The mashed potato gives it creaminess. The consistency of the gravy should not be too watery nor too thick so adjust it accordingly.