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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Welcoming Spring with Chholiya

There are many signs of spring. Nature has ways of telling us that it is time to change our lifestyle. Change in temperature, change in the time of sunsets,  in the flowers,  in the fruits and vegetables, they all tell us that our bodies are meant to change our eating habits , living habits as time and season. Our ancient scriptures tell us that we should eat seasonal produce, and every seasonal ingredient solves a nutritive purpose in its respective season . yes now we do get certain seasonal fruits all year round, but these hybrid fruits and vegetables don't solve the purpose they intended to do in their actual season .

One such ingredient is chholia , or green chana . this is the pod form of gram . young , sweet , fresh and so different from its brown version. When you walk down lanes of vegetable markets, one sees these vibrant mounds of green chana. unfortunately its a big hit amongst its fans and it disappears as soon as it comes. There is a small bengal variant  which is tender and a rather strong and sturdy patna variety. Both taste very different from each other .   These do not have a great shelf life , so try and  consume them on the same day .

Chholia is also available in bunch form . This is how it actually grows , in pods . as children we used to sit in the sun in early spring and eat these pods. the tender chhola saag is also very tasty . it has this really tender leaf taste , somewhat like morning dew .

I am using both Chholia and Chana Saag and Creating a beautiful recipe. Made a lovely chholia kadhi , in which the pakodas are made with the saag and the chholia is pureed and added into the kadhi. so here goes .


Chholie ki Kadhi

For kadhi

Curd 1 cup
Water 6 cups
2 tbsp besan
Chholia ( pureed ) 1/2 cup 
Red chili powder 1 tsp
Dhania powder 1 tsp
Oil 2 tbsp
Pickle oil 3 tbsp
Onions 2 nos chopped
Ajwain 1 tsp

  • Heal oil and pickle oil and temper with ajwain onions
  • Mix all remaining ingredients together and add the onion tadka
  • Cook till thick ( approx 40 mins )

For pakoda

Pakoda Batter 

Besan 1/2 cup
Onion chopped 1/2  nos
Green chilies 2 nos chopped
Red chili powder 1 tsp
Ajwain ½ tsp
Chopped chana saag 1/2 cup
Pureed chholia 1/2 cup 
Baking powder 1 pinch
Oil for frying 

  • Mix and deep fry
  • Put into the kadhi and simmer till soft

This pakoda batter can be made with soaked daal puree instead on besan and fired on the griddle like a pancake to make a lovely snack that can be enjoyed over a hot cup of tea. Do enjoy this beautiful ingredient  quick it is available only for a few weeks . 

Cheers !

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