kala chana

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Boiled kala chana
Washing the kala chana and then soaking it prior to boiling eases the cooking. Boiled kala chana are relished on their own, hot, warm or cold - as per one's choice. To boil them, first wash them thoroughly in cold water until water runs clear; then in a large pot, place soaked kala chana and cover completely with water. Add salt to taste. Cook it with a lid on it. Remove from heat and drain it. Also, it can be cooked in a pressure cooker. The cooking time depends upon one's cooking method.
Soaked kala chana
These chana can be soaked overnight in water, but 3-4 hours is usually enough to make them grow plump in the water and ready for cooking. The cooked one can be used in salad dressings or chana masala can be made or simply eaten in chat form with lime juice and masala.
Sprouted kala chana
Wash and soak black chickpeas in plenty of water, overnight. They expand considerably, so place them in a big vessel. In a strainer, spread the cheesecloth. Pour away the water and gather soaked black chickpeas. Bring the edges together and tie a knot. Hang the cloth in a windowsill. Allow to sprout. Usually takes a day or two. Don't let them dry completely. Remove, sprinkle water and hang again or use a sprayer to keep the cloth moist. Too long a sprout, the seed turn to bitter sometimes. Remove and parboil them in salted water until they are tender or steam-cook. Sprouted black chickpeas make a great snack and a good addition to curries/stews/kurmas. It is a tasty addition to Pani Puri too.

How to Select
Always sort through dried dal before cooking to remove any stones or debris. Rinse the dal before cooking or toast the dal if required, then rinse.

Culinary Uses
· These beans retain their shape and are therefore desirable in a salad or are lightly sautéed and mixed with fresh diced onions, minced cilantro and lime juice as a side dish.
· Chick peas can be cooked with or without salt, sautéed in garlic butter, or with mayonnaise and lightly cooked vegetables to make a delicious salad.
· It is a wonderful addition Pani Puri.
· Kala chana are a form of conventional chick peas. These lentils are very nutritious and used in curries and chaats
· Soaked and cooked makes it easy to cook and very delicious
· Soaked and sprouted is used for salads
· Cooked with other vegetables to be used as a side dish for Indian Naan or Roti.

How to Store
Always store dry beans in a dry airtight container at room temperature. Do not store dry bean in the refrigerator. Once cooked, beans can be kept in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to 5 days and in an airtight container in the freezer for up to six months. Beans are best used within one year. They can lose their moisture and take longer to soak and cook. Always rinse and sort beans before cooking. Beans and lentils can have very small stones but this is rare. Small stones are difficult to remove from beans and lentils because stones are organic and have to be removed by human hands.

Health Benefits
· The chickpeas are a bit heavy on digestion if you eat it for dinner. Breakfast or lunch is the best times so that it gets digested by the time you go to sleep.

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