Wednesday, April 16, 2014


This is a fresh pickled relish flavoured with fresh green garbanzo beans, carrots, and mustard, quite typical to Gujarat - home for me! Although this is Gujarati in flavours, it's neutral enough to be great with Indian food from any region. 

As I've mentioned before, I have a pickle affliction. And while I almost always relegate dried garbanzo beans to hummus, I simply love fresh garbanzos. They're a bit of work because of the shelling they require but they're totally worth it. I've never made Indian pickles before because I assumed they need things I can't be bothered to go find. But this recipe couldn't be simpler! If fresh garbanzos are out of season, make it with carrots alone.

I find dried garbanzos to be quite heavy so I seldom have them whole, but these fresh ones are mild, light, and easy to eat even raw with a bit of lemon, salt, and cilantro.

Adapted from Gujarati Chatko.

Leela Chana-Gajar nu Athaanu
Makes: 1 - 2 cups

- 1 cup fresh chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- 4 small carrots, cut into 1 in. pieces
- 1/4 cup black mustard seeds, coarsely powdered in a blender (not in a food processor)
- 2 tbsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. chile powder
- 1/2 cup safflower or other neutral oil
- 1 lemon, juiced
  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a rolling boil. Add the carrots and boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and remove the carrots from the water with a slotted spoon. Spread out the carrots on a dry kitchen towel to dry completely.
  2. Bring the water to a boil again and add the chickpeas. Boil for 2-3 minutes, turn off the heat, and strain the chickpeas.
  3. Spread out the chickpeas on another dry kitchen towel to dry completely.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the oil, powdered mustard, salt, chile powder, lemon juice, and stir to combine. Add the carrots and chickpeas and mix everything well. Taste and adjust the salt and add more chile powder if you want more heat. Keep in mind that the vegetables will reduce in volume a bit as they pickle so it's best not to overdo the salt and chile.
  5. Transfer to a clean, dry glass jar and close the lid. Leave the jar in a very sunny spot for 3 - 5 days.
  6. Refrigerate and enjoy with any kind of Indian food!

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