My husband always requests this dish. He has his set in stone favorites and maybe it is a good thing that he knows what he likes. Chickpeas stew (channay ka salan) is a favorite of his. My sister and I tease him with the nickname, “woohoo, channay.” Okay, you might think we are completely bonkers, but there is a reason why we call him that. About 3 years ago, at his sister’s wedding, my sister, my husband, and I were at the dinner buffet and my husband spotted this dish in the lineup and exclaimed, “woohoo, channay!!!” My sister and I looked at each other in utter amazement. Out of all the dishes, he was most excited about the chickpeas. I was drooling over the biryani and the haleem. The chickpeas were an afterthought to me. Partially, because this dish is something I can easily prepare at home with almost no effort.
You could say it is good for me that he likes this dish so much. It is so easy to prepare, much like many Pakistani dishes. I do not post too many Pakistani dishes (although, I do cook them frequently), because a lot of them have the same ingredients with a different protein and/or vegetable combination. I am not that adept at making some of the more difficult ones, yet. Any Pakistanis reading this might also be unimpressed because this is a basic home-cooking recipe that xyz million people can make blindfolded. It is also very hard to get these items to look pretty, because most dishes are stewed. Hopefully, this one appeals to your senses!
My husband says I never give him credit for helping me choose dishes to make, so here I am giving him full credit. Hopefully, he will be happy with this. He will probably mock me and say, “out of all your entries, you give me a tribute in your chickpeas post!” To this I will respond, “you were the one who ‘woohoo-ed’ over them.”
In my family, this dish is usually served for brunch, but it is also great for dinner! Enjoy!
Spicy Stewed Chickpeas
3 cups of cooked chickpeas (soaked then boiled in water with a pinch of baking soda until tender)
1 medium-sized red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped finely (optional and not necessary)
1 large tomato, chopped (I prefer to purée the tomato, but chopped is fine)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
3/4 teaspoon red chili powder, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder, homemade is best
salt to taste
long green chilies (available at Indian/Pakistani grocery store and even at regular grocery stores, they are usually about 3 inches long and thin).
handful of cilantro, chopped
a few slices of red onion, for garnish
a little extra garam masala, for garnish
Heat some oil (about 2-3 tablespoons) on medium heat in a medium-sized pot. Add in the onions and cook until light brown, about 7 minutes. Make sure they are not too brown, just about to turn light brown. Add in the garlic, if you re using it and allow it to melt in with the onions. Next add the chopped tomatoes and fry for a minute or so. Add all the spices and allow the raw taste to cook out of the spices, about 2 minutes. Add in the chickpeas and mix around so that everything is distributed. Add in some water, the amount is up to you, the water will evaporate. You can add more water as it is cooking if you do not like the consistency. I would start with 2 cups. Cook on medium-low heat until you do not see any individual pieces of tomatoes or onion. The gravy should be uniform. This will take 30-45 minutes. About 10 minutes before it is ready I like to throw in a whole green chili for some extra flavor. Garnish with chopped green chilies, cilantro, sliced red onion, and a sprinkling of garam masala. Serve with fresh naans or roti. If you are feeling decadent then try paratha or poori.