Green chili chana achari. Not like any other chana masala you’ve ever tasted. Different. But so tasty.
I know you’ve never tried it. Because I made it up. It doesn’t exist. Or it didn’t. Until now.
But now it does. And I hope you try it. Even though you’ve never heard of it. It’s easy. Healthy. Vegan even.
Not that I care. I just like it. It passes my big flavour bar. What else do you need?
This one is pure glebekitchen
Full disclosure. I wrote this post for me. For purely selfish reasons. I want to remember. This one is now in my regular rotation.
I came up with it as a quick side for an Indian dinner. Green chili chana achari just happened.
I didn’t develop it over time. No tinkering. Didn’t even really think about it. Needed a chickpea dish. Whipped something up in a hurry. Tasted it. Loved it. And scribbled it down.
Maybe I could play with it. Make it better. Tweak it. Somehow. It’s possible. But I don’t think it needs it. This one fits my mouth just fine. Exactly the way it is.
Green chili pickle is the secret ingredient
I’m loving playing with Indian pickles these days. They make hotel style achari chicken what it is.
Garlic pickle puts garlic chilli chicken right over the top. Seriously. Right over the top. You need to taste that one to believe it.
And I’m slipping naga pickle in anywhere I can. I love naga pickle. If you’ve never tasted Indian pickles you need to start. This is not about kosher dills.
This is a simple recipe. Some onion. Some spice. A few curry leaves. Some green chilies.
And green chili pickle. Green chili pickle is 80 percent of the flavour in Green chili chana achari. Without it, it’s just another chickpea curry. Not bad. But nothing special.
Add some green chili pickle though. Magic happens. This dish is really just a way for me to eat more green chili pickle.
I use Mother’s brand green chili pickle. For the record I don’t do paid endorsements. Not ever. But the brand I’m using here is kind of important.
Mother’s is heavy on the mustard seed. If you want exactly what I’m tasting see if you can find it.
You can pick another brand. Or make it yourself. May not be exactly the same. But I’m betting it will still be tasty.
Green chili chana achari for your next dinner party
I love variety. Addicted to it. I want different tastes in every meal. Different textures. Melody. Counter melody. I get bored easily.
And Indian isn’t any different. I always want to see a minimum of two dishes on my plate. Three is better. Four starts to push into thali territory. Which I love. But that is a crazy amount of work. So I don’t do it often.
Think about adding green chili chana achari as that second note. A counterpoint to your star. Something that gives your taste buds a little surprise. Make your mouth smile.
Or make green chili chana achari as a main course. It’s good enough to hold its own. I’m even eating it for breakfast these days. Did I mention I like this dish?
Think about it. Consider mixing it up. Try something new.
This one is different. A little bit out there. I get that it’s a leap. But remember. I did this one for me. I am more than happy to share though…
Green chili chana achari
- 1 tsp mustard seed
- 1 tsp cumin seed
- 1 tsp kashmiri chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
green chili chana achari
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil – any neutral oil will work
- 1 large onion – diced
- 1 tbsp garlic ginger paste – homemade is always better
- 10-15 curry leaves – fresh. If you can't get fresh just leave them out.
- 3 green chilies cut lengthwise and then into 1 inch pieces
- 2 cans chick peas 19 oz cans (540ml)
- 1 1/3 cups water – or chicken stock if you aren't cooking vegetarian
- 3-6 tsp green chili pickle – see note. Start with three tsp and creep up on the flavour you like
- salt to taste
Do your prep
- Dice the onions. Rinse the chickpeas. Measure out your spices – whole in one dish, dried in another.
Make the green chili chana achari
- Preheat your pan over medium heat. Add the oil to a pan large enough to hold all the ingredients.
- When the oil starts to shimmer add the diced onion. Cook until lightly brown.
- Add the garlic ginger paste. Cook until it stops sputtering – about 30 seconds.
- Push the onion mixture to one side. You should have a puddle of oil in the pan. If you don't add a splash. You need this to cook the spices.
- Turn down the heat to medium low. Add the whole spices, the curry leaf and the fresh green chilies. Cook for around 30 seconds.
- Now add in the powdered spices. Stir those into the oil. You want them well coated in oil so they bloom. If it looks like the powdered will stick add a bit more oil. This is important. Cook for around 30-45 seconds.
- Toss in the chickpeas and the water or stock and bring to a simmer. Cook, covered, for as long as it takes to get creamy chickpeas and a little body in the sauce. This will vary with the brand of chickpea. Somewhere between 20 and 60 minutes. Keep an eye on the water level. Add more as required. In the end you want your sauce to have a bit of texture so don't drown the chickpeas. You are going for around half the liquid volume you started with.
- This is the part that's up to you. It's hard to predict how much green chili pickle flavour you will want. Remember you haven't added any salt yet so everything will taste a bit flat. There's salt in pickle and I don't know how much there is in the brand you picked.
- Add 2-3 tsps of green chili pickle. Stir and taste. If you think it could use more taste add another tsp. Repeat until you get a flavour profile that works for you. I use 6 tsps for the brand I use (Mother's).
- Now taste for salt and adjust accordingly. I used 1/2 tsp but the chickpeas were pretty lightly seasoned. You may not need any more salt.
- I love this as a side dish to just about anything or as a vegetarian main course.
19 thoughts on “green chili chana achari”
Absolutely delicious as always! I used Priya Green Chill Pickles as I couldn’t find Mother’s – hopefully it comes close to what you had in mind. It probably did as the taste was great!
Ps. If you ever plan to visit Finland again let me know and I’ll make sure you experience the best of what my country has to offer!
Delighted you enjoyed it and if I ever get back to Finland I will hold you to your offer:-)
Any tips on how many chickpeas for those of us who use dried ones?
No secrets. Serious Eats recommends (and I find it works) soaking beans for an hour in well salted water and cooking them in well salted water (so salt everywhere).
I made this today, I liked the look of it but, for such a simple recipe, I was amazed at how good it tasted and how moreish it is. I live in the UK and bought Geeta’s Premium Chilli Pickle as it was only the equivalent of 3 CAD delivered from Amazon and the ingredients (green chillies, rapeseed oil, salt, MUSTARD seeds, lime juice, citric acid, turmeric, fenugreek, acetic acid, asafoetida) were similar to Mother’s (also Geeta’s Mango Chutney tastes great so I assumed this would be a good substitute; I wasn’t disappointed).
Great to hear you enjoyed it. The Indian pickle really makes a difference.
Just a quick question. In the ingredients you have 1tsp cumin seeds and also 1tsp cumin. Is it right to assume that this should be cumin powder? Thanks
Thanks for the catch! Cumin powder is correct. I’ve updated the recipe to clarify.
Well we made this two days ago … and we’re making it again today! Delicious, couldn’t stop eating it. We even ordered the Mother branded pickle off the ‘net :). We have an Aga type cooker that is always on so we are gradually adjusting your recipes to let us cook ones like this in the bottom oven (set to 100c) slowly for 6+ hours. So far have cracked the tarka dal! Will try with this one today and can’t wait to try cooking the black lentil one low and slow. We’re trying to brown the onions for hotel gravy in the oven for a few hours today to see how that goes as well!
The Mother’s pickle is some really tasty stuff! I’ve never had the pleasure of cooking on an Aga although I’ve always wanted to try. Hopefully you can find a spot on the top that lets you brown the onions a little quicker. A few hours is a serious commitment!
We actually have a cooker called an ‘Everhot’. Seriously easy to cook with. For example with your tarka dal recipe – put the red lentils, water, tumeric and salt in a lidded sauce pan – bung it all in the bottom oven (100c) without even bringing it to the boil first and then 6-12 hours later when you’re ready to eat add your tarka. So simple!! The caramelisation of the onions for the hotel gravy went really well – in the top oven at 190c in a lidded dutch oven – stirred approximately once an hour for about 4-5 hours and caramelised brilliantly with a lot less effort (for us) than doing it on the stove top. Slow and relaxed cooking!
Some day I will get to cook on an Aga!
Sounds absolutely delicious
Your recipe makes a big difference with an amazing flavour
Glad you liked this one Lallie. It’s a little different but it’s just so tasty!
Unfortunately where i live there is no chance of buying green chili pickle nor garlic pickle or naga pickle. Do you have a recipe for these? Pleeeeeeease!
Just experimented today with a chicken in a slow pot cooker.
Used your Taka Dhal to stuff the inside of the chicken and your hotel curry sauce ( 1 cup ) plus tsp of Pakistan curry powder ,1 star anise and the result was magnificent . Do try it please.
Sounds really good. I don’t actually use a slow cooker but I do love a good braise!
Sounds really good, but I don’t like Chana Dahl. Shame really.
I bet it would work well with potatoes as well. Something I will be trying soon.