I was surprised to spot fresh green chick peas in a local farmer’s market. I had presumed that these were available fresh only in the “Bhaaji Galis” (street side produce markets) of Mumbai. If you are familiar with Mumbai (Bombay), in summers along the Marine Drive, you’d for sure see the “channa waalahs” make spicy green chick pea salads with fresh onions, tomatoes, red chili powder and a dash of lime.
Crisp, tender and mildly sweet these chick peas were simply irresistible. I bought a pound of these chick peas (on the pod) along with farm fresh onions, lemons and cilantro. I sun dried them for a week in the scorching Texas sun and tried recreating this Marine Drive “finger” food with the ingredients I could list from memory. Though the original recipe used fresh chick peas, I gave it a slight twist with these sun dried chick peas and sautéed onions.
This recipe could be modified by replacing the fresh green chick peas with sprouted green chick peas. It’s a quick fix spicy salad and is refreshing when served with cold yoghurt in summer.
2 cups Green chick peas fresh or sundried
½ cup diced onions
2 teaspoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder
½ teaspoon Red Chili powder
½ teaspoon cilantro, finely chopped
To a skillet add lemon juice and onions. Sauté for 3-4 mins, on medium heat, till the onions turn lightly transparent.
Add salt, turmeric powder, chili powder and cilantro. Mix well. Throw in the chick peas, sauté for 4-5 mins.
Serve hot or at room temperature with cold yoghurt.
The sun dried chick peas were slightly harder. Though they were in close resemblence to the dried packaged version, they required no pressure cooking and had a flavor very different from the completely dried and fresh ones. The dark color and the semi-dryness gave these chick peas a unique taste. If using fresh chick peas, its best to use them as is than sautéing to enhance its true flavors.