‘Hara chana’ is a native variety of chickpeas found in India. It is olive green in colour and bears close resemblance to black chickpeas, or kala chana. It is used often to make chaat, a spicy, tangy salad, and is often sold in small paper cones in bus stands and train station stalls. It is a very popular dish being healthy, and tasty. I am aware it is simple, but I hope it will be informative to at least some of you, who may not have seen this chana.
This chaat is not to be confused with tangy tea time snacks like samosa or aloo tikki which are also served with chutneys and turned into chaat. This is a salad and the chaat is the dressing.
Recipe: Hare chane ki chaat
Yield : Serves 3-4 persons, as an appetizer or salad
Hara chana | Green chickpeas (dried) – 2 cups
Ripe, firm tomatoes, chopped – 1/2 cup
Small, red onions, chopped fine – 1/4 cup
Fresh coriander leaves with stalks, chopped fine – 2 tbsp.
Green chilli – 1, chopped (Optional)
toasted to dark brown, and powdered cumin seed powder – 1/4 tsp.
Lime – 1-2
Salt to taste
Soak dried green chickpeas in water overnight. Drain, rinse, and cook on high pressure with fresh water, for 4 whistles. Lower heat and cook for another ten minutes. Let cool naturally. Remove the chickpeas, drain the water, and set aside till needed. You can also steam the chickpeas in a steamer as suggested by Varsha as this will preserve nutrients.
In a mixing bowl, add the above ingredients, except lime to the the chickpeas and mix well to distribute salt evenly. Squeeze half a lime and check for acidity balance. Add more if needed.
It tastes similar to brown chickpeas but smells fresher. You can however substitute with brown chickpeas if needed.
Serve cold or warm, not hot.