Split chickpea squares with coconut

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    4–5

Appears in

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook: 300 Classic Recipes from the Great Regions of India

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook

By Mridula Baljekar

Published 2017

  • About

This simple, delicious and highly nutritious dish, Amiri Khaman, comes from the mainly vegetarian state of Gujarat, which is well known for its aromatic spiced snacks, known as farsan. Every Gujarati housewife has a supply of home-made farsan in the store cupboard, as part of the age-old Indian custom of looking after guests, whether invited or unexpected. These wonderfully flavoursome squares make a fabulous appetizer when served with chutney, and are ideal for afternoon tea.

Ingredients

  • 350 g/12 oz/2 cups split Bengal gram (channa dhal or skinless split chickpeas)
  • 45 ml/3 tbsp sunflower oil or light olive oil
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1.25 ml/¼ tsp asafoetida
  • 10 ml/2 tsp ginger purée
  • 10 ml/2 tsp garlic purée
  • 24 fresh green chillies, finely chopped (deseeded if preferred)
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 5 ml/1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 5 ml/1 tsp sugar
  • 425 ml/¾ pint/¼ cups full-fat (whole) milk
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, finely chopped
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp desiccated (dry unsweetened shredded) coconut
  • chutney, to serve

Method

  1. Wash the split Bengal gram in a sieve (strainer), then transfer to a bowl and soak in cold water for 5–6 hours or overnight.

  2. Drain the split Bengal gram well, then process in a food processor or blender until a fine paste is formed.

  3. In a wok or non-stick pan, heat the oil over a medium heat. When hot, but not smoking, add the mustard seeds and reduce the heat to low.

  4. Add the asafoetida, followed by the ginger, garlic, chillies and turmeric. Stir to combine well and fry them gently for about 1 minute.

  5. Add the gram paste, salt and sugar, and cook over a medium/low heat, stirring constantly so it doesn’t stick, for about 6 minutes, until the mixture is completely dry and looks crumbly.

  6. Add one-third of the milk and continue to cook, stirring, for 3–4 minutes. Repeat the process with the remaining milk. Add the lemon juice and stir until well blended.

  7. Spread the mixture on a lightly greased plate to a 30cm/12 in rectangle and sprinkle over the coriander and coconut.

  8. Press down the coconut and coriander so that they stick. Cut into squares or diamonds and serve hot or cold with chutney.

Variation

You can vary the topping, adding very finely chopped fresh chilli if you like a fiery kick, or use other soft herbs, such as chopped mint or flat leaf parsley.

Per portion Energy 357kcal/1499kJ; Protein 18.5g; Carbohydrate 40.9g, of which sugars 5.9g; Fat 14.5g, of which saturates 3.3g; Cholesterol 12mg; Calcium 221mg; Fibre 7.5g; Sodium 76mg.