Savory Indian chickpea pudding

December 26, 2011 at 9:04 pm (Beans, C (2 stars, okay, edible), Indian, Madhur Jaffrey)

Even after my experiments with Socca I still had some chickpea flour left, so I decided to try this recipe from Maddhur Jaffrey’s World of the East.  She calls it a savory chickpea flour “quiche,” but then goes on to say that it resembles a quiche only in that it’s like a set custard that can be cut and served in sections.  

The technique is pretty simple.  You mix 2 1/2 cups of sifted chickpea flour with 4 1/4 cups of water, adding the water slowly and whisking to prevent lumps from forming.  You then heat 5 Tbs. of oil in a small 2 1/2-quart pot and throw in curry leaves and then sliced onions.  You add garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, and water, and stir-fry for about 1 minute.  Then the chickpea flour batter goes in and you bring it to a boil, stirring all the time.  You reduce the heat to medium-low, stirring vigorously until the mixture seems to leave the sides of the pot.  Jaffrey says that this should take about 20 minutes.  At the end you add salt and lemon juice, and pour the mixture in a 9×9-inch cake pan.  Sprinkle the top with cilantro, green chilies and grated coconut.  Once cool you cut it into squares and serve it as a snack or as part of an Indian meal.

I only had ~1.5-2 cups of chickpea flour, so I had to cut the recipe down.  I also cut back on the oil, using about 2 tablespoons I think.  But I used the full amounts of all the seasonings.  I’m not sure why (could have been that I cut the oil?), but my chickpea flour mixture never came to a boil.  It went from a liquid to pretty solid, without ever coming close to boiling.  Once it was pretty solid it was almost impossible to keep from sticking and burning to the pan.  So I didn’t end up stirring for anywhere close to 20 minutes.  I quickly gave up and poured it into an 8×8 pyrex pan.  But I mixed most of the chilies and cilantro (and some diced raw onion) into the batter, rather than sprinkling all of the garnishes on top.  Only the coconut was reserved for the top layer.

The final dish didn’t get too much flavor from the chickpea flour.  Mostly it tasted like curry leaves, ginger, garlic, coriander, coconut—all the different seasonings used in the recipe.  The chickpea flour is essentially just a carrier for the Indian spices.  Derek said that the texture was a bit strange, but flavorwise it was quite good. I also didn’t love the texture, an the flavor was a tad too intense for me.  Maybe I should have cut back on the seasonings since I didn’t have enough chickpea flour.  And maybe the texture would have been better if I had added all the oil, but I’m not sure about that.

Rating: B-
Derek: B

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