Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Now-Infamous Chana:

This is a basic recipe for chana; chick peas fried to crunchy to make an awesome snack. I made these before my brother and sister got here 'cause it's a cheap and easy munchie to make that most people seem to enjoy. What I use is cilantro and garlic for the main seasoning but change it up if there's something you're particularly fond of. Maybe some culantro? Or parsley? I wonder what rosemary chana would be like? Sounds nasty to me....

I also use some cumin seeds, salt, pepper and some kind of chili like crushed red pepper or Sriracha rooster sauce for a kick. For this chana I thought I'd give it a change and use black eyed peas as well as chick peas.

The first step is simply soaking your beans and peas overnight in water, in the fridge, until soft.

Here you'll see my black-eyed peas soaking away. (above)

Cilantro (below)

I use about 1 head of cilantro per bag of beans/peas. Since I used peas AND beans I used 2 heads of cilantro altogether and enough garlic to kill the fleas off all the dogs in the pound. I pick the leaves off the cilantro stems because the stems don't break up but stay chewy like celery strings. I smash the garlic and cilantro up separately but it's all a big mess inside the mortar.  (above and below)

You'll see three things in this picture: the twelve o'clock mush is garlic, green in color from the runoff juices of the cilantro; the cilantro is three o'clock and is a shiny green mess. Coming up to nine o'clock is the seasoning mixture of salt, pepper, cumin seed, garlic salt and whatever else I can find in the pantry that might be good. Usually crushed red peppers but I was out when I made this. (above)

This is my chick peas, after soaking overnight fried in just enough oil to cover them in a deep pan. They spit a lot so be careful and keep them covered with a slotted lid if you have to. The water is dying to escape that hot oil so again, be very cautious. Oil burns are soooo 90's.

They look delicious already, don't they? After about 10 minutes or until golden brown and crunchy (take some out as testers if needed) remove from the oil and place in paper towels or clean cloths. After some oil has been soaked up and you feel it's grease free (as if) then you'll transfer your chana to a big bowl where you can mix in your seasonings. (above)

Remember to wait until your peas and beans are CRUNCHY before removing them all from the oil.

Below is my finished chana, chick peas and black-eyed peas fried until crunchy with spices and herbs galore. It's amazing and it's easy and again, there are few people who won't be asking for the recipe.

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