This North Indian snack hails from the western state of Gujarat. It's made from chana dal, also called split chickpeas, flavored with garlic, ginger, and other spices, and absolutely delicious, nutritious, and easy to make — no baking necessary. These protein-packed, melt-in-your-mouth squares are excellent to serve as an appetizer with ketchup or sweet tamarind chutney.
Amiri Khaman: North Indian Chickpea Squares [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
- 1 cup chana dal (dry split chickpeas)
- 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1-inch piece ginger, grated
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida, garlic powder, or onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- Salt, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 3/4 cup non-dairy milk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon coconut flakes
- Wash the chana dal/split chickpeas and soak in cold water for 5-6 hours or overnight. Drain, add to a food processor or high-speed blender, and process the chana dal into a fine paste adding just enough water.
- In a non-stick pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium. heat. When hot, add mustard seeds and once they splutter, add asafoetida, followed by ginger, garlic, and turmeric. Fry for about 1 minute.
- Add the ground chickpea paste, salt, and sugar, then cook over medium-low heat until the mixture dries out and gets crumbly, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add 1/3 cup of non-dairy milk, mix well, and continue to cook, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes. Repeat the process with the remaining milk.
- Add the lemon juice and stir until well-blended. Once the mixture leaves the sides of the pan, press it into a lightly greased 8-inch pan and sprinkle with coriander and coconut, pressing them down gently so that they stick to the chickpea mixture.
- Cool and cut into squares or diamonds and serve hot or cold. Serve with ketchup and/or sweet tamarind chutney.
Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking of India by Mridula Baljekar.