This recipe is adapted from Banaras ka Khana - a wonderful collection of Banarasi recipes. Nimona is common comfort food throughout North India, but it has variations from region to region. This Banarasi nimona sounds plain but the spices combined with the ghee make a complex and fragrant dish with a really incredible lingering - not spicy - flavour of black pepper. And it's full of Spring with the fresh green peas and green garbanzos! It's also simple enough that you don't need spices that aren't readily available in any grocery store. I like to add a sprinkle of lemon juice just before eating to brighten up the flavours even more.
The photos are a bit rubbish but I was in a hurry...
makes: 3 generous servings
- 1 cup shelled green peas
- 1 cup shelled fresh garbanzo beans
- 1 green chile de arbol or Thai green chile (or chile Serrano - in a real pinch)
- 1 in. piece ginger
- 2 cloves garlic (optional)
- 1 tbsp. ghee (or butter - don't use oil or you'll be making a different dish!)
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp. cumin powder
- 1 tsp. coriander powder
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
- 1-1/2 cups water
- In a food processor, coarsely crush the green peas, garbanzo beans, ginger, chile, and garlic (if using).
- In a pan, heat the ghee on medium and add the bay leaf and cumin seeds. When the cumin sizzles, add the powdered spices.
- Add the coarsely crushed vegetables. Stir to combine and cook for about 2 minutes. Turn the heat to low and cook till very fragrant, about 3-4 minutes, making sure the vegetables don't stick to the pan.
- Add water and cook till the peas and garbanzos are fully cooked. Turn off the heat, add the salt and cilantro and stir to combine.
- Serve hot with rice or roti.