Jaisalmeri Chane, is a delicacy from Rajasthan. Jaisalmer is one of the most famous tourist destinations in the state of Rajasthan, India. ‘Kale Chana’ means black chickpeas. ‘Kadhi’ means yogurt based dish. ‘Kale Chane ki kadi’ literally translates to ‘black chickpeas in yogurt gravy’. I came to know about this recipe very recently, when it was shared by my dear friend and fellow blogger Dhwani Mehta. She shared the stove top pressure cooker version of the recipe. She had mentioned that it was a traditional dish from Jaisalmer. I love traditional recipes. I really liked this recipe because it was a protein rich dish and it looked so appetizing. Being a vegetarian, I always look out for different vegetarian options to include protein in our diet. This dish was made with yogurt, gram flour and black chickpeas which are all good sources of protein. My kids like chickpeas so I thought my kids might enjoy this dish too. The recipe was so simple and the dish was so nutritious that I bookmarked it immediately to try it soon. Earlier, I had prepared many varieties of South Indian Kadhi(Majjiga Pulusu, Challa Chaaru, Challa Pulusu), Maharashtrian Kadhi and Punjabi Kadhi but I prepared ‘Kale Chane Ki Kadhi’ for the first time. The dish had a very unique taste and we all liked it. I would definitely make it again and again.
While writing this post, I recalled an incident which happened 20 years ago when we planned to attend ‘Desert Festival’ in Jaisalmer. You all might have read the recent news about the United Airlines flight passenger who was dragged from an overbooked flight. We were in a similar situation then. Thank god it was not that bad though. We booked our tickets for a 10 day trip to visit Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. A friend of ours had suggested us to attend the unique and special ‘Desert festival’ in Jaisalmer, which is a 3 day celebration that happens once a year. Coincidentally the ‘Desert festival’ for that year was scheduled in the same period we planned our trip. We were so excited and made our plans to attend this festival. After reaching Delhi, we talked to a travel agent and booked our bus tickets from Delhi to Jaisalmer. The tickets were issued and everything was going smoothly as planned. We packed our bags and boarded the bus that was heading to Jaisalmer. After travelling about 30 miles, a couple boarded the same bus. The bus was totally booked and there were no room for more passengers. The couple got mad and had an argument with the bus conductor. Finally, the bus conductor came to us and said that the travel agent who issued the tickets to us had overbooked the bus and we need to make an alternate plan for our travel. He said that the other couple were issued the same seat numbers and they had bought their tickets on an earlier date and our tickets were issued on a later date. Our plan was all messed up because of the irresponsible act of the travel agent. We had no other option left. We got down the bus and returned back to our hotel room by taking a cab. Next day, travel agent apologized to us and said that he will reissue the tickets in a day or two. But, it was too late, because we will not be able to make it in time to attend the dessert festival. Hmmmm!! We were disappointed a lot for not being able to attend the desert festival. We reminded ourselves that ‘Whatever happens, happens. Don’t stress’. Keep calm and carry on. We visited Jaipur, Agra and Mathura. We had a great time and enjoyed rest of our trip.
Here is some information about Rajathani Cuisine, that I read from the online resources. Rajasthani Cuisine is influenced by both the war-like life style of its inhabitants and the scarcity of vegetables and water in this arid (excessively dry and having insufficient rainfall to support agriculture) region. Gram flour(Besan) is of the ingredients that is widely used in Rajasthani food. Rajasthan is one of the leading producer of milk in India. Due to scarcity of water and fresh vegetables, the dishes were cooked with dried lentils, beans, milk and milk products(ghee & buttermilk). Dry mango powder/Amchur powder was used as a substitute for tomatoes. Most Rajasthani cuisine uses clarified butter/Ghee as the main medium of cooking. Food that could last for several days and could be eaten without heating was preferred. There is so much more to learn and explore about this delicious cuisine. I noticed that, the recipe I am sharing today is made using all the above mentioned ingredients besan(gram flour), dried beans(black chana), ghee, amchoor powder(dried mango powder) and yogurt.
‘Jaisalmeri Chane’ is traditionally served with Missi Roti(flat bread made with whole wheat flour, gram flour(besan) and spices. It can be served with plain rice or any type of roti. Since the preparation of this dish doesn’t need any vegetables, it would be ideal to prepare especially on the days when you run out of fresh vegetables in the refrigerator. I have adapted the recipe from here and made it in my Instant Pot. Lets begin the process of making this nutritious and delicious dish in the Instant Pot.
I also shared the process of making it in a regular pressure cooker. Please refer to the notes in the bottom of the post.
Measuring cup used: 1 Cup = 250ml
Black Chickpeas/Dried Kala Chana – 1 cup
Ghee – 1 Tbsp.
Plain yogurt – 1&1/2 cup(use slightly sour yogurt for the best taste)
Asafoetida/Hing – 1/8 Tsp.
Cumin seeds – 1/2 Tsp.
Red chilli powder – 1&1/2 Tsp.(You can add more as per desired spiciness)
Roasted cumin powder – 1/2 Tbsp.
Roasted coriander powder – 1/2 Tbsp.
Turmeric powder – 1/2 Tsp.
Besan/Gram flour/Chickpea flour – 3 Tbsp.
Corinader leaves/Cilantro(finely chopped) – 1/4 cup
Amchur/Dry Mango powder – 1/2 Tsp.(optional ingredient to be added, if the yogurt is not sour)
Salt – as needed(approximately 1&1/2 Tsp.)
Garam masala powder – 1 Tsp.(I used MTR Garam Masala powder) The original recipe uses 1 Tsp. Garam masala powder but I reduced the quantity(I used only 1/3 Tsp.). I personally experience burning sensation in the stomach whenever I eat foods with a lot of Garam Masala. You can add more as per your choice.
Wash Black Chickpeas/Kala Chana. Soak them in a bowl of water for 8-10 hours (I soaked them overnight).
Discard the soaking water from black chickpeas/Kala chana. Add chickpeas in the instant pot insert. Add 4 cups water. Add 1/2 Tsp. salt, 1/4 Tsp. turmeric powder and mix. Close the lid.
Pressure cook the chickpeas/Kala Chana in manual high pressure setting for 20 minutes. Hit manual button. The default pressure setting will be high. Do not change this. Press on minus ‘-‘ button and set it to 20 minutes. Make sure that the sealing ring in placed under the lid and the anti block shield under the lid is placed and pressed in its position correctly. Turn the steam releasing valve on top of the lid to the ‘Sealing’ position.
You will hear a beep when the chickpeas is done. Let the pressure release naturally. Instant pot has a indicator pin next to the steam releasing valve to indicate if the steam is released or not. The pin drops down when the steam is completely released. Unplug the instant pot and open the lid when the pin drops down. Chickpeas should be soft and tender. Strain the cooked chickpeas/Kala Chana. Save the strained liquid and keep it aside.We will use it later. Now the instant pot insert is empty. Rinse the insert, wipe it with a dry cloth and use it to prepare kadhi in Step 5.
In another bowl, mix besan/gram flour, turmeric powder, roasted cumin powder, roasted coriander powder, red chilli powder, salt and yogurt. Add amchur/ dry mango powder if the yogurt is not sour. Mix them with a whisk to prepare a smooth batter without any lumps.
Turn on the instant pot in ‘Saute’ mode. Just press ‘Saute’ button. Add ghee in the instant pot insert. Once the ghee is hot(after few seconds), add cumin seeds and let them crackle. Add asafoetida. Now you need to switch to low saute mode. To do this, turn off the instant pot. Press ‘Saute’ button and hit adjust button twice.
Add the chana water that we kept aside in ‘Step 3’ and the yogurt mixture prepared in ‘Step 4’.
Stir continuously until it comes to a boil (this will prevent the yogurt from splitting) and continue to cook on low saute mode for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
Add boiled chana/Chickpeas and cook on low saute mode for 7-8 minutes stirring occassionally. It will thicken as it cooks. Turn off the Instant Pot. Kadhi will thicken further as it cools. Transfer the prepared kadhi into a serving bowl and garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve it hot with Missi Roti, Rice, Phulka, Poori or Paratha.
Notes: This dish can be made in a regular pressure cooker and a regular pan. I am sharing the procedure below:
Step 1: Pressure cook Black chickpeas with 4 cups of water for 4-5 whistles. Cook until chickpeas are totally soft.
Step 5: Use a wide thick bottomed pan instead of Instant Pot and cook on stove top on low/medium heat.
If you do not have amchur powder/Dry mango powder, you can add lemon juice after tranfering the kadhi into a serving bowl. Mix it well and serve.
This is a simple and easy recipe to make. Serve Jaisalmeri Chane with any Indian flat bread or over rice. !!!!!