This hard-core Bong has learnt a lot from her neighbours and friends from the Northern part of the Country. I cherish my stay there and interaction with people. I have witnessed many rituals and programmes there and learned typical North Indian Cooking from some amazing home cooks. They were kind enough to share their secrets of cooking with me. Be it the preparation of Sheera to reduce the effect of cough and cold or proper process of making Sarson ka Saag or a perfect No Onion No Garlic Sookha Kala Chana along with Poori: a must have during the Navratri especially on Navami. This platter of Sookha Kala Chana with Poori is incomplete without homemade Sooji Halwa.
I personally found two Northern celebrations superb: Kanjak ceremony or Kanjaki Poojan and Lohri. Both these programmes have strong relation with a girl child as girls are worshiped on both. Another similarity I found between these two is making of Special Food! Kanjak ceremony is incomplete without Sookha Kala Chana with Poori and Lohri is incomplete without having Sarson ka Saag te Makki ki Roti. I have already wrote about the later so this time it is turn of Sookha Kala Chana with Poori which is a Navratri Special food. Sookha Kala Chana is similar to Chole (prepared with Kabuli Chana) or Bengali Ghughni (prepared with Peas) where Black chickpeas or Chola (in Bengali) is used and no onion and garlic is used while cooking since it is prepared as part of Prasad. Poori requires no further introduction; Poori is a famous Indian fried flatbread prepared with Whole Wheat Flour and basic difference between Poori and its bong brother Luchi is, we Bongs prepares Luchi with All Purpose Flour or Maida.
Comoing to the Kanjak Ceremony, I learned about the details of this ritual from Samita Auntie who was my landlady in Gurgaon. Kanjak Pooja means Kanya Pooja or worshiping girls considering them Avtar or Devi Durga. As per the custom 9 girls along with a boy worshiped on the 9th day of Navratri and they are feed with Shooka Kala Chana , Poori and Halwa. I am celebrating this festival since last three years and I have modified it a bit. Every year I prepare Sookha Kala Chana with Poori and Halwa for around 25 children including my little one and this list includes at least 10 underprivileged children from the neighbourhood. It gives me immense pleasure to feed them in my place.
Coming to the cooking part, every year I soak Kala Chana or Black Chickpeas overnight and start cooking early in the morning to finish entire cooking before 11 a.m. I don’t use onion and garlic in cooking for this particular day and follow traditional ingredients while cooking. I prefer to use Whole Wheat Flour for making Poori and Homemade Ghee to temper Sookha Kala Chana. I am sharing the recipe for 10 people here for the ease of the viewers.Print
Sookha Kala Chana:
- Black Chickpeas/ Kala Chana/ Chola: 2 Cup (300g)
- Ginger Paste: 2 Tsp.
- Cumin Seed: ½ Tsp.
- Bay Leaf: 1
- Whole Black Cardamom: 1
- Whole Green Cardamom: 2-3
- Cinnamon: 1”
- Green Chili: 2 (chopped)
- Kashmiri Red Chili Powder: 1 Tsp.
- Cumin Powder: ½ Tsp.
- Coriander Powder: ½ Tsp.
- Turmeric Powder: ½ Tsp.
- Garam Masala Powder: 1 Tsp.
- Dry Mango Powder/ Aamchur Powder: 1.5 Tsp.
- Lemon Juice: 1 Tbsp.
- Salt: to taste
- Ghee/ Clarified Butter: ⅕ Tbsp. (I prefer to use Homemade Ghee)
- Whole Wheat Flour: 500g
- Salt: 1 Tsp.
- Vegetable refined Oil: for deep frying Poori
Sookha Kala Chana:
- Wash and clean Black Chickpeas and soak Black Chickpeas overnight in plain water overnight (at least 8 hours). I use a big casserole for soaking the Chickpeas.
- Chickpeas will increase in size to double after overnight soaking.
- Take soaked Black Chickpeas along with 1 Tsp. of salt and 4 Cup of Water in a pressure cooker and start cooking with the weight on in high flame. After one whistle slower the flame and let it cooked for 20-25 minutes.
- Switch the flame off and wait till the cooker release the pressure and then open the lid.
- Strain Black Chickpeas from the water and reserve 1 cup of Black Chickpeas Stock for future use.
- Now take a Deep bottom pan and heat Ghee on it.
- Temper the Ghee with Bay leaf, Cumin Seed, Whole Cinnamon, Green and Black Cardamom and then add Ginger paste to the tempering.
- After 1-2 minutes of cooking in low flame add Cumin Powder, Coriander Powder, Turmeric Powder, Dry Mango Powder, Salt and Sugar and Lemon Juice to the tempering and add 1 Tbsp. of Water as well and cook in low flame till oil separates from the mixture.
- Now add boiled Black Chickpeas to the mixture and mix properly and add previously reserved Black Chickpeas stock to the mixture.
- Cover the pan with a lid and cook in medium flame till water evaporates completely.
- Add Garam Masala Powder and mix properly.
- Garnish it with slit green chilis.
- Sookha Kala Chana is now ready to serve.
- Take 500g Whole wheat Flour in a bowl and add salt and 2 tablespoon of Oil to it and mix properly.
- By adding water little by little make stiff dough. It took me 1 Cup water to make the dough
- Cove the dough with a wet cloth for 15 minutes before frying Poories.
- Divide the dough in to 25-25 portions and turn each portion into small balls.
- Using a rolling pin make 3” diameter Poori from each ball.
- Heat sufficient Oil (around 300 ml) in a deep bottom pan.
- Fry Poories one by one till those turn golden in colour and puffed from both side.
- Serve Poori hot with Sookha Kala Chola.
Adding Lemon Juice is optional but gives good taste to Kala Chola.
- Prep Time: 8 hours
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Serving Size: 10 People