Sunday, December 7, 2008

Besan Chutney (Spicy Chickpea Gravy)

This is a thick gravy made from chickpea flour. This is also known as Senaga Pachadi (See Sailu's Recipe here), Besan Sambar or Bombay Chutney. I have also heard it referred to as 'poor people's chutney' as the economically disadvantaged people often will have all these simple ingredients, which are cheap and easy to obtain.

3 cups water
1 tbspn oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1 cup besan (chickpea flour)
3 green chilies sliced lengthwise
5-8 curry leaves
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup small diced tomatoes
Pinch ING (Asafetida) -optional-
Pinch turmeric -optional-
Salt to taste

1. Place the oil in a sauce pan on high heat.
2. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds.
3. When mustard seeds pop, turn heat to medium, put in the diced onion, curry leaves and green chilies.
4. As the onions become translucent, add the tomatoes and 1 1/2 cups of the water.
5. While this mix is boiling, place the remaining 1 1/2 water, 1 cup besan, ing, and salt in a blender and blend nicely.
6. Add the blended mixture into the pan and begin to heat. Keep adding salt while it's heating. It will require a lot of salt, more than other dishes. Try to do this quickly because the mix will thicken quite quickly. It's good to turn the heat down a little as when it gets so hot, the mix will bubble up and spurt out of the pan. Be careful as if you add turmeric, the mix that spurts up may stain things.
7. Let this settle for some time before eating so all the tastes can mix together.

This is usually eaten as a dip with dosa or idli. We have also eaten this with mixed rice.

Another version of besan curry with peanut powder added! Pithale is the regional name of besan curry among Marathis of Maharasthra!
Pithale - Bhakri (Besan Curry and Rice Roti)

Related Posts/Links: Kanchipuram Idli

Benefits of Curry Leaves Benefits of Asafetida