Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Spicy Chicks and Ladies Fingers

Okra & Ceci Indiani con Pomodorini e le Spezie "Panch Puren"
Chana Dhal (cracked Chick Peas), with Okra, Tomato and Panch Puren Spice

Another new acquisition this past Saturday at the indoor market in Frankfurt, was a bag of Chana Dhal, or Indian cracked chick peas. I got these and another 2 kinds of unusual and exotic pulses...  and you know me well enough by now- any new and unusual kinds of food always make my pulse race!

So I soaked the chick-peas first this morning, so they would be ready to go in the evening- which was a good thing as I had to work late again! To prepare this dish, I dry-roasted a tablespoon of Panch Puren spice mix and toasted it for 2-3 minutes, until it become wonderfully aromatic and then ground it into a fine powder using my mortar & pestle.

I added a tablespoonful of clarified butter, a crushed clove of garlic and the chick peas and stirred everything well together. Next, came a good splash of milk, some cayenne pepper, a bay leaf and a little ground coriander seed...

I let the chick peas simmer gently and started frying the okra in a little butter, with a bit of garlic, then added them to the chick peas and continued simmering for a further 10 minutes. After checking the flavor, I decided it WAS quite strong indeed and so I added a handful of cocktail tomatoes- the perfect addition to okra and the Chana Dhal!

The final ingredient  was some finely chopped red onion, which literally went in 2-3 minutes before serving- just the way I like it! This way, it stays crunchy and sweet and is a great accompaniment to any Indian meal. I hope you enjoy it!


  1. That is a real delicious recipe! I'm following you immediately. Regards from a Sicilian in Rome!

  2. Haha! I am glad you like it Francesca! I hope you enjoy it too! Best regards from a Sicilian Francesco in Frankfurt!