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Channa aur simla mirch
Fried chick-peas and peppers

This recipe is traditionally served with wedges of firm tomato and hot bhaturas. If you like, you can serve it with any of the Vedic breads described in the next chapter, or as a breakfast with yogurt and ginger tea.

Soaking time: overnight
Preparation and cooking time: 1 hr

11/2 cups (250 g) chick-peas
11/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon ghee or vegetable oil
2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 or 2 fresh chillies, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon asafoetida
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) pieces
1 medium-sized tomato, washed and chopped (optional)
2 medium-sized tomatoes, washed and cut into 8 wedges each


Soak the chick-peas overnight in water double their volume. Drain them and put them into a pot. Add enough water to cover them by about 3 inches (7.5 cm) and add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Boil for 10 minutes. Remove any froth that has collected on the top, cover, and gently simmer over medium-low heat for 40 minutes - 1 hour, until the chick-peas are tender. Then drain off the water. (Save 1/2 cup [125 ml] of this water if you plan to make a sauce).
Over medium heat, heat the ghee or vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry the cumin seeds. Then add the minced chili and ginger. Add the turmeric and asafoetida and then follow immediately with the cut pepper. Turn the pieces of pepper with a spoon. When they appear soft and browned, add the drained chick-peas and stir for 3 minutes. Then add the remaining salt.
If you would like a sauce, add the water you saved, or 1 chopped tomato, and cook 5 minutes more.