Chickpea - pasta subzi or soup
It is evident by the number of fast-food pasta joints mushrooming in major Metros of India that Italian dishes are fast replacing Chinese food in popularity. Apart from availability, increase in purchasing power, and readiness to experiment global cuisine, I feel it has a lot to do with the fact that Italian cuisine makes use of fresh herbs as much as Indian cuisine does.
Of all Italian dishes the one that has gained maximum fans is the pasta especially macaroni. While pasta by itself is not as unhealthy as is generally touted, a lot depends on the variety used and how it is cooked. If one uses pasta made of refined flour or even durum wheat the nutritional value is naturally lowest in the former case and comparatively better in the latter. Cooking the pasta swathed in layers of cheese and served with preserved sauce obviously is as high in fat as it is in taste and ends up being junk. There are healthier options of whole wheat pasta or multi-grain pasta available in most shops these days. I buy Ogran's buckwheat pasta and find that the end product is better in flavour as well as taste as compared to durum wheat pasta but then I resorted to the substitution quite early, so I could be biased here! Today's dish however is made of lasagne sheets from barilla (made of durum wheat and semolina) as I have still not been able to find multi-grain lasagne sheets in my area.
The idea for the dish sprouted from the very popular Gujarati dish called 'daal-dhokli' and from another tasty Sindhi dish called macaroni-aloo ki subzi. Dhoklis are similar to pasta but made of whole wheat flour. A dough kneaded out of whole wheat flour and water is rolled into rotis which are then cut into inch long squares and boiled in a gravy to make dhoklis. These are healthier and taste very much like pasta.
I use pieces of lasagne sheets instead of dhoklis. Since we all know that pasta tastes great in tomato sauce I simply boil these 'lasagne dhoklis' in the simplest Indian gravy - onions, tomatoes and whole spices. Though I make these as a side dish for rotis, I find that the dish can be had as a filling soup by itself and is an easy dish to cook for one person also.
Recipe: Pasta-chhole ki subzi (Lasagne - pasta with chickpeas in gravy)
Soaking: overnight or 4-5hours
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Shelf Life: Have fresh
Recipe Level: Easy
Recipe by: Sunshinemom
- Chickpeas - 1 cup, set to soak overnight/4-5hrs. with enough water and pressure cooked till done
- Lasagne sheets each broken into eight pieces of roughly equal sizes - 4 nos.
- Onion, finely chopped - 1 big (I used 1/2 cup of shallots sliced thin)
- Tomatoes, finely chopped- 2
- Crushed/minced garlic - 2 pods (I used 6 snow mountain garlics)
- Ginger - 1", julienne
- Cumin seeds - 1tsp.
- Ground coriander seeds - 1.5tsp.
- Red chilli powder and salt as per taste
- Oil - 1tbsp.
- 2 cloves, 1 bay leaf and 6-7 black peppers
- Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp.
- Dry fenugreek leaves (Kasoori methi) - 2tbsp.
- Coriander leaves/basil for garnishing
Chickpea - pasta subzi or soup
- Heat oil in a wide wok and season with cumin seeds, garlic and ginger and whole spices.
- Add chopped/sliced onions and saute with a pinch of salt till brown.
- Add chopped tomatoes, a pinch of salt, turmeric powder and chilli powder and saute till the tomatoes turn squishy and the juices ooze. Squash them lightly with the ladle and add the cooked chickpeas.
- Add water if needed as we need some liquid to boil the pasta. Cover and cook stirring well till the chickpeas absorb the masala. This should approximately take about 7-8 minutes.
- Remove lid and add the pasta, adjust the salt and spices and stir well to separate the pieces. Let cook for about 15minutes till the pasta is done. Please stir in between or the layers tend to stick together.
- Add coriander powder and fenugreek leaves (optional) and cook for another two minutes to let the flavours blend.
- Remove and serve hot with rotis or as soup, garnished with coriander leaves.
- The flavours are purely of one's choice - oregano or garam masala will work as well as coriander powder.