Winter is the season of greens and with that you can also see the fresh green chickpeas abundantly available. As a child and even today I love opening it from it’s pod and eating them raw as well as roasting them too. I also enjoy eating the saag made with it’s leaves which I will try to post sometime.
As a child, I remember carrying a small bunch in my hand and then eating it sitting on a dari in the courtyard while I drenched myself in some sunlight.
Now a days the peeled fresh green chickpeas are available easily in the super marts, surely making our lives easier in the times of hurry. I had a pack of this with me which I wanted to use in an innovative and tasty way, so I thought of making a biryani. The end result I must say tasted really good and with a combination of mixed veg raita is an excellent one pot meal. I had skipped my breakfast so after I finished clicking the pics I savoured myself with a plate of biryani and a bowl of raita and simply relished my wholesome meal. The green chickpeas had imbibed all the flavours properly and the rice was rightly aromatic just giving the perfect kick to the taste buds.
Ingredients for Green Chickpeas Curry
2-3 bay leaves
200 gms fresh green chickpeas
3 onions finely chopped
2 tomatoes finely chopped
3-4 tbsp. yogurt
3 large garlic pods
an inch of ginger
1-1/2 tsp. red chilli pwd
2 tbsp. coriander pwd.
1/2 tsp. turmeric
salt to taste
1 tsp garam masala
mix of ghee and oil for cooking
2 cups long grain/ basmati rice
4 bay leaves
1, 2” cinnamon stick
4 green cardamom
2 black cardamom
salt to taste
1 tsp oil
1 tsp lemon juice
fried onion strips
a pinch of saffron soaked in half cup milk
about 4-5 tsp ghee
For making the Rice
The biryani rice is quite aromatic and the aroma comes by adding whole spices while cooking the rice.
Soak about 2 cups of basmati rice in water.
Boil about 7 cups of water, to this add oil, lemon juice, whole spices and then add the soaked rice into it and cook till almost done (the rice grains must have a bite). Cooking in excess water allows the grain to be separate, drain the rice and pour some cold water on it to stop it’s cooking.
To Make The Green Chickpeas Curry
While making the curry for the biryani one must make it more spicy than the normal as it has to provide flavour to the rice too.
Heat a mix of oil and ghee and add the bay leaves followed by ginger garlic paste and saute. Now add the chopped onions and saute them till light brown in colour, tip in the tomatoes now and cook till mushy. Add the spices and salt now followed by the garam masala. Lower the flame of the gas and the yogurt stirring continuously so that it does not curdle. At the end the curry should have a semi gravy consistency.
Layering the Biryani
Spread a layer of rice followed by the curry, sprinkle some fried onions, about 2 tsp of saffron flavoured milk, few chopped mint leaves and a teaspoon of ghee. Repeat this layering process again with rice and curry till the top of the container. Seal the container and cook in a microwave at 100% power for 7-8 minutes and then let it rest for another 7 minutes before serving.
Serve hot garnished with fried onions and mint with a bowl of mixed veg raita.