Mango Chickpea Salad

Ramadan Kareem!

The holy month of Ramadan has graced us once again, and I pray that our fasts and prayers are accepted, and we leave the month renewed in faith and spirituality!

I had originally planned to post a recipe for every day of the month, but life got the best of me and I wasn’t able to prepare 30 days worth of recipes for the blog. I will however be posting family favorites regularly throughout the month, and I hope that you are able to take some inspiration from them 🙂

Recently I stopped by to pick up a few essential items from a local Indian grocer, and I stumbled upon freshly arrived mangoes! Now if you’re desi (person of South Asian descent), I’m sure you can imagine my excitement. If you’re not desi, let me explain: we live for mangoes. It’s in our DNA. The love for them courses through our blood.

We went through most of them as is, but I got creative with a few. Some were blitzed into milkshakes, and a few were chopped up and tossed into this delicious Mango Chickpea Salad (recipe from Green Evi). It’s amazing on its own, and would also pair well with a grilled protein as a main entrée.

 

MangoChickpeaSaladPic

 

Mango Chickpea Salad

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (one 14-ounce can) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 green chili, seeded and diced small
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Handful cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl and toss to combine.

Refrigerate leftovers.

 

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Chicken and Chickpea Curry/ Murgh Chanay

Growing up in California, there was a mosque nearby that we used to attend frequently.  It was a small mosque, a ranch-style home that was transformed into a few prayer halls and a large kitchen.  It had a very homey feel to it and I have wonderful memories of my time spent there.  Unfortunately several years ago, a bigot that lived nearby decided to take it upon himself to vandalize and set fire to the mosque (you can read more about that here).  Since then, a new mosque has been built in its place.

Some of my fondest memories of that Masjid (mosque) revolve around the community potlucks.  They were simple affairs, and the women from the community always brought with them plenty of home-cooked meals.  The majority of the community in that area was of Pakistani Punjabi background, and that reflected in the food that was brought to these events.  Murgh Chanay, Chicken and Chickpea Curry, was almost always present at these potlucks, and was loved by all.  It is a simple dish, and it is often enjoyed with Matar Pulao (Green Pea Pilaf), plain rice, or with Naan/Roti (traditional flatbread).

Enjoy!

MurghChanayPic

 

Murgh Chanay

Yield:  3 to 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless chicken, cut into desired pieces
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced, divided
  • ½ cup oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • ¾ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cups chickpeas
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 green chili, sliced lengthwise
  • Cilantro, chopped, for garnish

Directions:

Heat half of the oil in a cooking vessel over medium-high heat.  Add half of the sliced onions and cook until transparent.  Add ginger-garlic paste, red chili powder, turmeric, and salt and cook for 2 minutes.

Add ½ cup water, tomatoes and chicken, cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the chicken is no longer rare and the tomatoes have lost their shape and begun to form a paste.

Run half of the chickpeas through a blender or food processor with ½ cup water, and blitz until a thick paste is formed.  Add chickpea paste and whole chickpeas to chicken, mix, and cook until a thick gravy is formed.

Heat remaining oil in a small fry pan over medium-high heat.  Add remaining onions and cook until golden brown.  While the onions are cooking, add garam masala and green chili to chicken and mix well.  Top with tempered onions (with oil), cover, and reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Hummus (with Yogurt)

Since we’ve been living in the Midwest, we’ve been lucky enough to live in areas with large Arab populations.  Needless to say, we have been very fortunate to be able to try a vast amount of authentic Middle Eastern and Arab cuisine.

The biggest shock that came from sampling all of these amazing Arab foods, was that what I once considered Hummus was really not Hummus at all.  Authentic Hummus is creamy, and has a slight tang.  It’s not supposed to be chunky and bland.  How could I have possibly been depriving myself of the real-deal for all these years?!

So basically since I’ve discovered real Hummus, I’ve made it a point to locate a recipe that is as authentic as it gets, and to include it in our diet as much as possible.  What makes this recipe stand out is the addition of yogurt, which adds additional creaminess and a slight kick to the Hummus.  This Hummus keeps well in the fridge, and tastes amazing either warm, at room temperature, or even cold.  It’s totally versatile 🙂

HummusBiTahinipic

Hummus

(With Yogurt)

Yield:  1 ½ to 2 Cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • ½ cup tahini
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 ¾ cup chickpeas, cooked and drained
  • Paprika and olive oil, for garnish

Directions:

Combine lemon juice, yogurt, olive oil, garlic, tahini, and salt in a blender or food processor and blitz until smooth and light.

Add chickpeas and continue blending, stopping to stir frequently, until smooth.  Add lukewarm water one tablespoon at a time to achieve desired consistency.

Spread hummus on serving dish and garnish with paprika and olive oil.

Refrigerate leftovers.

Indo-Pak Chickpea Street Food/ Channa Chaat

Eid Mubarak!

May the prayers of those who were lucky enough to perform Hajj this year be accepted!

I’m sharing my mom’s famous Channa Chaat recipe today.  Anytime there is a potluck, people beg for my mom to bring her signature dish.  It’s really easy to throw together and can easily be halved, doubled, tripled, etc.

I hope everyone has a safe, happy, and fun-filled Eid 🙂

Channa Chaat

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups chickpeas, boiled
  • 2 medium potatoes, boiled and diced
  • 1 cup tamarind chutney
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice (bottled)
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon chaat masala
  • ½ teaspoon dried mango powder
  • ¾ teaspoon red chili powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • Sliced tomato, lemon or lime, green chili, onion, and cilantro for garnish

Directions:

Combine all of the ingredients, except garnish, together in a bowl and transfer to a serving dish. Top with garnish ingredients.

Refrigerate leftovers.

Chickpea Pilaf/ Chana Pulao

And the stress and panic is beginning to set in.

We’ve decided to have an iftar party this coming Saturday and our total guest list includes 25 people.

25 people! I’ve never cooked for that many people before!

I think most of the panic is self-induced though.  You see, I’m really OCD when it comes to planning things.  I sat down and made a list of everything that will be served, and then I went ahead and made a schedule for the rest of the week for myself.  I think that just having everything that needs to be done written out is what’s scaring me, but hopefully I can pace myself this week so that I’m not freaking out on Saturday LOL.

Anyway, today’s recipe is a chickpea pilaf that can be eaten either plain or in place of unseasoned rice.  Some folks (me!) like it plain with some mint chutney (recipe coming soon!), while others feel as if it’s too bland on it’s own.  Either way it’s a great recipe to build on and can be customized to your liking in innumerable ways.

(By the way, I’ve submitted this recipe to The Halal Foodie for their Ramadan Event, a place where you can find an awesome array of iftar recipes!)

Chana Pulao

Yield:  2 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rice, soaked for 15 minutes
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • Oil, a few tablespoons
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 8 cloves
  • 8 whole black peppers
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 tablespoons yogurt, whipped
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 cup chickpeas

Directions:

Heat oil over medium-high heat and fry the onions until they are soft and transparent.  Add all of the spices, mix, and cook for about 8 – 10 minutes.

Add the chickpeas, yogurt, rice, and enough water so that it’s about one centimeter above the surface of the rice.

After most of the water has evaporated and the rice is ¾ done, lower the heat and cover the vessel.  Allow the rice to be steamed to completion.