Pakistan – Naan Channy (White Chickpea Gravy)


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by Dahiza Umar

INTRODUCTION TO THE DISH

When we are talking about the famous Pakistani breakfast, Naan channy is at the top of the list. This is the kind of breakfast that can be eaten even in breakfast but also in lunch and dinner. The channa gravy is cooked with simple ingredients but some famous varieties of channa cooked and loved by Pakistani people is CHIKAR CHANNA. This is the gravy of gram pulse/ chickpea that is usually white chickpea. This gravy included the mashed chickpea and was full of oil floating over the gravy. In some stalls, chickpea gravy is served with many complimentary items like Boiled eggs, meatballs, meat pieces usually chicken, and sometimes mutton pieces. Infamous breakfast when it comes to the usual breakfast routine, channa gravy and halwa puri is famous. And when some famous and special breakfast is pronounced, nihari and Haleem, payee is famous.

This is a spicy gravy of white chickpea with some green vegetables like coriander leaves, green chilies, mint leaves, etc. This is served by adding extra oil because people of Punjab use DESI GHEE, which is made of pure milk and butter. This is added in a humongous amount and served by adding extra oil to the dish. The use of special ghee and oil into the gravy with special spices and some aromatic herbs like star anise and cinnamon, cumin, cloves. Most of the time, gravy is cooked by adding black pepper powder and green chilies. The white gravy of chickpea with black pepper powder looked very nice. People used to admire the addition of extra oil to their plates. The use of pure clarified butter in the dish makes it more aromatic and amazingly delicious. It is said that the use of that kind of butter makes good energy. This breakfast of so heavy you can skip lunch by eating this heavy breakfast.

The breakfast of Pakistani is not completed by having tea. But in some areas of Punjab, LASSI is also served with this breakfast. It is totally your choice to have either lassi or tea with the breakfast. Moreover, Salad, pickle, and yogurt are also served with this special breakfast.

CHANNA GRAVY is popular in different states are given below

  • Central Asia
  • Middle East
  • South Asia
  • Indian Sub-continent
  • Pakistan
  • India
  • Bangladesh

DIFFERENT VARIETIES OF CHANNAY GRAVY IN PAKISTAN

  • Chicken Channy
  • Lahori channy
  • Lamb Channy
  • Degi Channy
  • Chikar Channy
  • Amtrisari channy
  • Daal Channy
  • Hyderabadi Channy
  • Beef Channy
  • Mixed channy
  • Malai Channy
  • Kofta Channy
  • Anda Channy, etc.

PUNJABI CUISINE

This dish is a famous dish from the cuisine of Punjab. As when we are talking about the dish from Punjab, it came to us like the dish served and cooked in Clay pots with the addition of fresh and aromatic spices. The use of ingredients in Punjab is very fresh and pure. They used to grow their own food like vegetables, grains, and fresh milk, butter is also prepared. There is also an impact of fresh food like vegetables, grains, milk, butter, and spices on their food makes it even more delicious. Like when Channa and any other gravy is cooked, it has a different aroma from other regular curries because of the addition of some freshly cultivated herbs like curry leaves, etc.

They use to add Fresh ghee or butter prepared by milk from their own cows and buffaloes. These all the elements like spices, butter, and the use of clay pots takes the dish to the next level.

STREET FOOD OF PAKISTAN

When we are talking about the food of Pakistan, how can we forget to talk about the street food of Pakistan? Pakistani food is very delicious but when it comes to street food, they have their own swag. The use of disposable plates and roadside stalls are very popular in Pakistan among students, drivers, etc.

Naan Channy is a dish that is very popular among small stalls and roadside hawkers. They have a big pot of utensils of metal with a small burner to warm up the gravy before serving. They have salad, yogurt, and bread to serve together as a whole meal.

They have huge varieties of channa and other elements like cold drinks, lassi, tea, salads, etc.

CONDIMENTS SERVED ON THE TOP OF CHANAY GRAVY

Most of the time channy is served as a simple gravy but it is also served with many other items like :

BOILED EGGS

When eggs are served with channa gravy it is known as ANDA CHANNA. It is a very popular dish among the channa gravy varieties. This is the special plate in which hard-boiled egg is served along with the channa gravy and extra butter addition. It is a complimentary item but it is not a part of the curry or the dish. This is cooked separately and added just over the plate to channa or sometimes served on a separate plate.

Eggs can be served in different types like :

  • Desi egg
  • Semi solid eggs
  • Fried eggs slices
  • Whole boiled eggs
  • Boiled egg slices
  • Sunside up eggs

JULIENNE GINGER SLICES

This is optional to add ginger over the top of the channa gravy plates. It is more towards the garnishing and presentational purpose.

GREEN CHILIES

It is like a must-last touchup element of the Pakistani gravies. This chili is added either in the form of whole chilies and some small slices of chilies or also in the longitudinal slices.

  • Fried green chilies
  • Pickled green chilies
  • Long slices or green chilies
  • Whole green chilies, etc.

GREEN CORINADER LEAVES AND MINT LEAVES

Fresh green cilantro or coriander and mint leaves are a must to add on the top one for garnishing and fresh mint aroma.

MEAT BALL

When meatballs are added this dish is known as KOFTA CHANNA. In Urdu, meatballs are known as KOFTA. They are usually prepared by mixing spices to raw mince and then shaped into small balls to fry them.

There are few types of Meatballs added to this dish :

  • Lamb meat balls
  • Beef meat balls
  • Chicken meat balls.

COMPLEMENTARY SIDE SERVINGS

There are some sauces and salads served with channa gravy to have more taste and crunch by salads.

SAUCES

  • plain yogurt
  • Green chili yogurt
  • Zeera yogurt
  • Mint sauce
  • Green chili sauce
  • Raita
  • Chutney

SALADS

  • Tomatoes and onions
  • Cucumber slices
  • Green chilies
  • Lemon wedges

BREADS AND NAAN

When we are talking about Breakfast, Naan is a kind of bread served with this channa gravy. But all other types of Pakistani bread that are also eaten with this channa masala like :

  • Kulcha
  • Sada naan
  • Butter naan
  • Roti
  • Roghani naan
  • Khameeri roti
  • Khameeri naan

ORIGIN OF CHANNA GRAVY

The exact origin of this special breakfast is not known but it is common is assumed to be originated from LAHORE, at the time of the Indian subcontinent. This dish is similar to haleem by the mean of serving and also the ingredients but different in cooking method. This is purely originated from the time of MUGHALS. Because Lahore is the land of Mughals and this dish is the old tradition of Lahore. It is also known as Lahori Breakfast. A book named ‘‘kings and caliphs and lords and leaders” written by  Abu Muhammad al-Muzaffar ibn Sayyar has the recipe for the dish similar to the traditional channa gravy in the expect of ingredients.

TIME REQUIRED

  • Preparation time : 10 minutes
  • Cooking time : 30 minutes
  • Total time : 40 minutes

NUTRITIONAL ASPECTS

  • Calories : 230
  • Protein : 29 grams
  • Carbohydrates : 18 grams
  • Fats : 28 grams
  • Fiber : 2 grams

TASTE

Spicy and salty with the aromas of spices and herbs, having lots of butter

INGREDIENTS OF CHANNA GRAVY

  • White chickpea beans : 300 grams
  • Onions : 4
  • Tomatoes : 4
  • Garlic paste : 2 tablespoons
  • Ginger paste : 2 tablespoons
  • Green chili : 6
  • Lemon juice : 4 tablespoons
  • Salt : 2 teaspoons
  • Red pepper flakes : 1 teaspoons
  • Cumin powder : 1 teapsoons
  • Curry powder : 2 tablespoons
  • Mint leaves : few
  • Garam masala : 2 tablepsoons
  • Butter : 100 grams
  • Oil : 1/2 cup
  • Yogurt : 250 grams
  • Chicken stock : 2 cups
  • Black pepper powder : 1 teaspoons
  • Turmeric powder : 1 teaspoons

COOKING METHOD

  • Take onions slices and add oil with butter in a large cooking pot and let them fry for 10 minutes so the onions are translucent in colour.
  • Add garlic ginger paste and fry for further 10 more minutes.
  • Now add 2 glass of water with all the spices like salt, pepper, turmeric, curry powder, etc.
  • Let this masala to cook on low heat until the vegetables and soft and dissolved.
  • On other pot, add water and salt to boil the chickpeas. To speed up the cooking procedure, soak chickpeas for a night before cooking and add some baking soda.
  • It took aroung 20 minutes on pressure cooker to cook chickpeas.
  • When water of onion mixture evaporates, add tomatoes and yogurt into the mixture and cook on high flame.
  • Now add chicken stock to the mixture with boiled chickpeas.
  • Let this cooked for 15 minutes by covering the lid and on low heat.
  • Now if you want to make more thin gravy, add water.
  • Serve by adding green chilies and lemon juice.

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