KALA CHANA TURAI – काला चना और तुरई की सब्ज़ी (Sponge Gourd & Black Chickpea Curry)

As a child, I passionately hated courgettes (better known as Tori/ Torai / Turai in Punjab and Nenua in Bihar).  My first reaction at the sight of this vegetable would invariably be EWW!! On the other hand if there was any vegetable that my dad loved with absolute passion, you guessed it right, it was the torai. To my utter horror, he planted the torai vine in the vegetable garden so he could have an unfailing supply of the vegetable (all the more reason, then, for me to hate it…even more). I suffered relentlessly through out the summers at the hands of this vegetable – day in day out!

Post marriage, when my mother-in-law made this vegetable, I very candidly told her that this was one vegetable that I couldn’t stand the sight of. She insisted that I at least taste her preparation and trying not to offend her, I obliged and I am glad I did that. Her preparation with black chickpeas gave a completely different flavour profile to the vegetable and it tasted so delicious! In my opinion, it tastes best with rice but you can enjoy it with chapatis as well. This preparation is loaded with iron and beneficial for those who want to raise the level of their hemoglobin. I almost always make it in an iron kadahi (wok). You can use cast iron wok or cast iron cooking pot. 
½ kg courgettes (tori) – peeled and chopped in small size
50 Grams (approx. one fist-full) Kala Chana / Black Chickpeas, soaked overnight
1 tbsp of Mustard Oil or any Oil of your choice
1 Bay Leaf
¼ tsp Jeera (Cumin Seeds)
A pinch of Methi Dana (Fenugreek Seeds)
1 – 2 Green Chili (depending on heat), finely chopped
1 Small Onion (¼ Cup approx.), finely chopped
½ tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
Salt to taste
½ tsp Red Chili Powder (if the green chili is hot, reduce the amount of red chilies)
½ tsp Haldi (Turmeric Powder)
½ tsp Dhaniya Powder (Coriander Powder) 
¼ tsp Garam Masala Powder
Fresh green coriander for garnish (optional)
Pressure-cook the black chickpeas with 1/4th cup of water in a pressure cooker till the cooker release two pressure whistles.
(if cooking in a cooking pot, use half a cup or more of water to cook the chickpeas) CHECK NOTE* given at the end of the post.
Once all pressure has released on its own, open the lid and check for done-ness. It doesn’t matter if the chana / chickpeas are not completely done coz they will later cook along with the tori. 
Heat a wok or a cooking pot and pour the oil in it. Once it starts to smoke (only in case you are using mustard oil) reduce the heat and carefully add the cumin, mustard and fenugreek seeds. Immediately add finely chopped onions and green chili. Increase the heat and stir and fry the onions till they begins to turn translucent and a bit goldenish.
Now add ginger garlic paste. Stir and fry till it turns aromatic before adding chopped courgettes. Add the salt, red chili powder, turmeric powder and coriander powder. Stir the ingredients for a minute and then add black chickpeas (along with water, if there is any left after boiling the chickpeas) Cover the wok with a lid and allow the contents to cook stirring occasionally. 
Switch off the heat once the vegetable is cooked and the black grams done, add the garam masala powder. (If you plan to serve it with rice, then do not wait for the water to be absorbed else you can reduce the water by cooking the curry further on till it has little water left)
Stir well and transfer to the serving bowl and sprinkle with fresh green coriander. 
Serves – 3
NOTE* – My mother-in-law cooks the chickpeas along with the tori but it takes approximately 30 minutes for it to be ready. So, to quicken the process, I usually pressure cook the chana (black chickpeas).
Thanks for your visit and see you soon again with another exciting recipe!

One thought on “KALA CHANA TURAI – काला चना और तुरई की सब्ज़ी (Sponge Gourd & Black Chickpea Curry)

  1. Hands down to you! Really! What are you? 😉
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    Loving it.
    Thanks a ton.

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