References to Rawlpindi always take me back to some of the first books I ever read set in India like Paul Scott’s the Raj Quintet, and of course the English in India, partition, and all that that brought with it.
So why have I just made and eaten this dish?
I’ve been practising Yoga at home and taking a few classes, and after every session I’m ravenous! When I took yoga classes in India, they were always early morning sessions, where you wouldn’t eat anything before exercising then afterwards I’d go to a cafe and have a fresh fruit juice, like pineapple swiftly followed by something like Massala eggs or a chickpea curry served with some chapatis, or a poori.
In order to reproduce that taste memory and assuage my hunger with something other than bread, I made a big batch of this so I can freeze some. The amount here would make about 3 – 4 portions.
I took the original recipe from Madhur Jaffrey and she describes it as being “known in Pakistan, all of the Punjab as Pindi Chana. This gingery dish has a lovely dark aromatic flavour, which comes from the roasted spices.”
I varied the recipe by adding some winter squash into the dish – largely because it needed using and plus I fancied some fresh vegetables with the chickpeas. Either way it is a very simple and tasty dish. It can be eaten on its own or with breads like chapatis or stuffed in a pita, alongside a yoghurt dish like a Raita.
Chickpeas and Pumpkin Rawlpindi Style
- 1 can of chickpeas
- 1 tsp of cumin seeds
- 1 tsp of coriander seeds
- 1 dried red chiili
- 1 – 2 tbls vegetable oil
- 1 onion peeled and finely chopped
- 2 oz of ginger, peeled and finely cut into Julienne style strips
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tbls ground amchoor
- Drain the chickpeas, but keep the liquid.
- In a heavy frying pan dry roast/fry the cumin, coriander seeds and chilli until they start to change colour and a beautiful aroma fills the room. Let them cool for a minute or two and then grind them in a coffee grinder or spice mill.
- In a large pan (I use a wok) heat the vegetable oil and add the chopped onions, fry until they start to brown.
- Add the ginger and fry for a minute
- Add the drained chickpeas and the all the spices, stir and mix well and cook for about 5 minutes, until all the spices are well cooked
- Add the chickpea liquid and approx. 8floz of water, turn the heat down, cover the pan and cook for 30 minutes.
Cooking notes and options –
- I added a piece of pumpkin, which I’d peeled and diced into chunks and cooked it in with the chickpeas.
- You could add 2 chopped tomatoes, or add another vegetable like spinach
- You can add some diced potatoes to make the dish more substantial for a main meal.
Gardening Notes ~
I used a piece of Tromba D’Albegna, a wonderful Italian squash that can be eaten young as a summer squash or left on the plant to mature and be used as a winter squash. The taste reminded me a bit of butternut squash.
And conveniently all the seeds are at the bulbous end of the squash, so no scraping squash seeds out. It is also fairly thin-skinned so is easy to peel.
A word of warning though for when you are growing it, you may get the odd “fruity” comment as, well, it kind of looks a bit like ….. hmmm…..