We Indians are extremely fond of chickpea flour. We use it to make pancakes, steamed cake, fritters, batter for fritters and we make curry with it too. Whenever one talks of (besan) chickpea flour curry, instantly your mind drifts to the famous GattekiSabzi. It’s a Rajasthani specialty where the chickpea flour dumplings are boiled and then cooked in a creamy yogurt gravy. What I have for you today is my mother in law’s specialty, Besan kiSabzi. You will definitely get the earthy chickpea flavor but it’s cooked in a whole different way.
She doesn’t make the dough from chickpea flour, instead she cooks the flour with water and makes it like a roux. Then, she then pours it in a flat container and allow it to cool down. Once it is cooled down, she cuts rough bite size squares of it and fries it crispy. It’s this crispy chickpea flour bites which appeals me more. It’s rustic, crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside and would easy pull off as a snack bite with your tea or coffee.
These crunchy chickpea flour bites are then stir fried with some onion and spices to turn into a sabzi! It’s dry and doesn’t have a lot of gravy. Every time she visits us or we visit them, this is one of the dishes Arvind would always request. Now, whenever she prepares this dish, it looks so easy and effortless but the tricky part is making that chickpea roux. You have to constantly stir the batter so it doesn’t get lumpy and that was not easy for me. I failed several times!
We can never replicate the exact taste of mom’s recipes. They have some kind of magic in their hand but I am glad to be able at least make it tasty enough.
INGREDIENTS: For the chickpea roux
– Chickpea flour (besan): 1 cup
– Water: 2 cups
– Asafoetida/hing: 1 teaspoon
– Chili powder: ½ teaspoon
– Turmeric powder: 1 teaspoon
– Ginger, grated: 1 inch
– Salt: to taste
For the sabzi (stir fry)
– Onion, finely chopped: 1 medium
– Ginger, finely grated: 1 inch
– Garlic cloves, finely chopped: 4 nos.
– Tomato, finely chopped: 1 no.
– Cumin seeds: ½ teaspoon
– Turmeric: 1/8 teaspoon
– Cumin powder: ½ teaspoon
– Coriander powder: ½ teaspoon
– Chilli powder: ½ teaspoon
– Aamchur (dry mango powder): ½ teaspoon
– Salt: to taste
– Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
For the tampering
– Oil: 1 tablespoon
– Whole dry red chillies: 2 to 3
– Asafoetida/hing: a pinch
– Few curry leaves
– Measure all the ingredients with your KitchenAid Measuring Cups and pour for the chickpea roux in the KitchenAid Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Saucepan and give it a whisk to mix it all together. Then, turn on the heat to medium and keep stirring the batter until it comes together as a thick paste, almost like a roux.
– Oil a flat container like the KitchenAid Nonstick Round Pan and pour the thick chickpea paste. Spread it flat and allow it to set in room temperature.
– In about 30 minutes, it should be completely set. Cut it into bite size squares. If it looks rustic, don’t worry. They don’t need to be perfectly shaped or of the same size.
– Pour 3 tablespoons of oil in the KitchenAid Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Nonstick Skillet and once it’s hot enough, layer the chickpea flour bites and fry them until they’re golden brown on both the sides. Once done, set these fried chickpea bites aside to be used later.
– Next, add 2 tablespoons of oil in your Nonstick Skillet and scatter the cumin seeds. Add garlic, ginger and onion. Give it a stir.
– Then, add salt, turmeric and allow it cook for a couple of minutes. Add the spices (cumin powder, coriander powder and chili powder) along with chopped tomato and cook for a couple more minutes.
– Drop the chickpea bites and give it a stir. Finally, add ¼ cup water, cover and let it cook for a few minutes. If you prefer a runny curry, you can add more water or yogurt at this point. Once done, switch off the heat.
– Heat oil in a small pan. Add asafetida, whole dry chilli and curry leaves. Allow it to splatter for a couple of seconds and then, pour it on top the stir-fried chickpea bites.
– Serve warm!