January 24, 2008

A Simple Chickpea Soup- Channa Saar

Saaru is a name for anything that is made by seasoning a lentil or a vegetable with a standard seasoning mix comprised of red chillies, curry leaves, garlic, and mustard seeds. Saaru is characteristic of South Indian cooking. While South Indian cooking is known to consist of coconut as a dominant ingredient, there are simple recipes like this which are made without the coconut. Saaru, along with Upkari(a dry vegetable side dish) papadams and pickle is a typical meal in most South Indian households. You can use any type of lentil in the above recipe- most commonly used are chick peas, red kidney beans or black peas. We use canned lentils as they save us the trouble of pressure cooking. If you want to use dry lentils, soak them overnight in water and pressure cook them with little salt after 24 hours.

Preparation time:2 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins

1 can garbanzo(or kidney or black beans)-wash thoroughly in cold water to remove the excess sodium
4 large garlic cloves crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
2 sprigs curry leaves, separated
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 red chilly, broken into pieces
salt to taste

Heat oil in a skillet. Add the mustard, curry leaves, garlic and chilly. When the mustard starts to pop, add the garbanzo beans and 1 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook till it the water starts to boil. Add salt. Simmer for 2 mins. Eat hot with rice or drink as a soup.


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