Creamy Kala Chana Soup
It’s hard to get back to blogging when you are away for a while. I was worried I would’ve lost all of my visitors and readers. But you know what? I was wrong. A few of my posts got quite a lot of views, even though the blog had been relatively inactive with new content. I received a lot of good feedback through comments and emails. Some of you missed me, checked on me and encouraged me to come back. So, thank you for doing so. A foodie friend recreated my Kale quesadilla recipe and shared it here. This was a real morale booster for a great start of the year and to get into the routine of posting and keeping in touch with you all.
Today I bring you a healthy, creamy and chunky soup that is mild enough to be kid friendly and layered with flavors of cumin and ginger to please adult tastebuds. It uses black chickpeas or kala chana as we call it (in hindi and urdu, instead of the regular beige chickpeas. If you are not familiar with black chickpeas get some today and try this recipe. I’d love to hear your feedback. They’re honestly the best tasting legume! Well, they are not actually black but dark brown in color and small with tough skin. You can usually find these in Indian grocery stores and in many big bulk stores. They don’t get quite as soft, so soaking overnight is a must. You can eat them as a snack after soaking or sprout for salads. When cooked the meaty flavor of kala chana broth is so aromatic and satisfying that the regular chickpeas, just can’t compare.
I kept this recipe simple, so anyone, anywhere can try this soup. It was prepared for a friend who had just had their second child. Their 5 year old loved the soup so much she wanted to save some for school lunch.
- 1 cup kala chana (160 g), soaked overnight
- 1 cup sweet potato , diced
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 tsp ginger, finely chopped
- Salt and black pepper to taste (you can make it spicy by adding red chili powder)
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 3/4 tsp cumin powder (roast seeds before grinding)
- 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
- green onion to garnish (optional)
- Lemon juice to taste
- 2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
- Fill the pressure cooker with the soaked black chickpeas, add 4 cups of water. Add the salt to the water, cover and lock the lid.
- Bring to pressure over high heat. Then reduce heat to medium low (so that you barely hear hissing from the pot) and cook for 35 minutes or till tender.
- Turn off the heat but do not open the pressure cooker ( at this point chickpeas can be frozen for later use in curries or salads).
- Heat up oil in a pot on medium. Add cumin seeds. when they begin to sizzle add ginger.
- Fry for few seconds then add sweet potato.
- Stir fry for a minute then add chickpeas and the chickpea broth ( it will be about 1 1/2 cups after boiling).
- Raise the heat to high, bring just to a boil, then reduce.
- Simmer partially covered until the sweet potato is tender, about 5-8 minutes.
- Add coconut milk and cook until heated through ( you can add more water or broth to thin the soup).
- Add cilantro, roasted cumin powder salt and fresh black pepper.
- Ladle the soup into bowls, squeeze some lemon juice.
- Serve with a whole grain (GF) bread or baguette and a green salad for a balanced meal.
Without a pressure cooker, skip steps 1-3 and do any of these instead:
Soak the beans overnight and then rinse and replace the water and cook on medium heat in a medium pot for 2 hours or until nicely soft but not falling apart. Make sure water level is at least 1" above the beans at all times.
Put the chickpeas in slow cooker pot with sufficient water and cook for 10-12 hours.
Cook frozen black chana for 15 min with 3 - 4 cups water.