Sunday, October 12, 2008

Kala Chana Saag

On my visit back to Pune, I noticed that Main Street in Camp looks nothing like the one I used to remember. Of course, when I still lived there, it bore no resemblance to the Main Street of when I was a little kid. There were a couple of stores I remember vividly. Toy Center, one would think, as the name suggests would be a Toy Shop. However pestonji logic dictated that the store be half pharmacy, a quarter electrical appliance store with some toys behind the counter. Thus the name. There were the usual Marzorin, Budhani, Wonderland and other Camp staples. One place, however, where they still don’t seem to get with the fact that it is 2008, is Monafood. The weirdly designed restaurant was divided into 3 levels from the street. The outermost served Softee ice cream. The next level in was the juice bar. And the third level in from the street was the actual restaurant. Complete with discoloured Formica tables and waiters who bring you your water in steel glasses with their fingers in it. I never knew what the complete Monafood menu except that they had one, because the only reason you’d go to there was the Chana Bhataura. The most delicious bowl of spicy chana with long a green chili sticking out of it, surrounded be a juicy wedge of lemon and a couple of slices of onion. All placed next to the fluffiest, puffiest bhataura you’ve ever seen. It has been almost 30 years since I have been to Monafood, but I every time I eat chana bhataura, I can help but compare it to the Monafood one and thankfully, none has even come close.

2 cups Black Chana soaked overnight.
1 large Tomato chopped
2 Onions chopped
1 bunch Spinach finely chopped
1 tbsp Oil
2 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Chili
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
4 tsp chopped Cilantro
1 tsp grated fresh Ginger
1 tsp fresh Garlic paste

Heat oil in a wok and add ginger and garlic
Add onions and stir till brown on the edges
Add tomato and allow it to cook for a few minutes
Add Garam Masala, turmeric, salt and chilli and mix thoroughly
Add Spinach and allow it to cook
Add Chana and stir till it is mixed in properly
Add 2 cups water and allow it to cook
Keep adding water till Chana is completely soft and cooked

9 comments: said...

Hi,I read ur write ups regularly ,mainly for the pic of pune and the eclectic eateries that u speak of ,they touch a chord .recipes are nice too.and really like ur blog name.

Kitchen Flavours said...

wow looks simple, nice and healthy.

Alka said...

Hey nice recipe,it reminded me a bit of chana palak,where the procedure is exactly same except that more spinach is used and less of chana
I am yet trying to figure out why street food is always more delicious than those of swanky restaurants...and btw i too posted a chana recipe today..same pinch...and why don't u send this to Sra's My Legume Love Affair event...this is so apt for the event

Sangeeth said...

Looks great and perfect! Drooling here

Anonymous said...

Good to know Monafood still exists! Never knew anybody to consume anything there but the incredible chana, with gigantic golden bhaturas.

Tee said...

I had Chana Bhatura at Mona foods once....after hearing a lot of good reviews about it. That was soooooo long back. I have to revisit next time i got to Pune. Good old camp...I wonder how it is now...
The chana saag looks delish :)

Priyanka said...

i usually make it sans the tomatoes and spinach but with some fresh grated coconut added to it- this is one of our family favorites

Joanna said...

Your recipes and comments make me hungry! And sorry I did not get to Pune on two trips to India. Maybe next time!

Life as I see it said...

Fantastic article. Made me feel really proud about my grandfather, who started Monafood and how people love the chana bhatura.... :)