Kale Chanay

We take kale chanay very seriously in my family. The simpler the better, and no one messes with the recipe. My parents were visiting this past month and as I was doing grocery, I picked up a pack of kale chanay in the hopes that my mom would cook them, and she did!

I usually resort to making normal chanay, chick peas, just because I’m usually in a hurry and canned chanay mean Chana Masala in less than 20 minutes. But I was in the mood, and now there’s no turning back. I’ve already made them once this week, and I’m pretty sure they’re going to become a regular in my kitchen. It’s so odd how when you move away from home the things that you ate on a regular basis become so foreign, and I’m here to rectify that.

So one thing that’s quite annoying about kale chanay is that you need to soak them overnight so they don’t take hours to cook. I’m talking 90+ minutes, which is odd because you could cook a whole chicken in less than half the time. So don’t be like me. Plan ahead. If you want to eat kale chanay, soak them the night before!

Here’s what you’ll need for a family of four, or in my house, 2 adults with a huge appetite:

1 1/2 cups kale chanay (soaked overnight)

1 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste

1 onion, finely chopped

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp laal mirch (chilli powder)

1/4 tsp haldi (turmeric)

3 cups water

3-4 Tblspn oil

1/2 tsp crushed coriander seeds

You don’t need a pressure cooker for this, but it will make your life easier. Feel free to use an instant pot, but a normal pressure cooker will do the job just fine.

Start off by rinsing the soaked chanay, draining them and adding them to your cooking pot. Add in the chopped onion, ginger garlic paste, salt, laal mirch and haldi. Add in about 3-4 cups of water. Put the lid on and cook under pressure for about 35-40 minutes. It seems excessive considering you soaked them overnight, but if you don’t want to go crazy just do it!

When the time is up, release the steam and turn your stove on medium high. For instant pots turn the sauce setting on to 20 minutes. Check for salt and spice and more if needed. Keep cooking and stirring, adding the oil at this point, until most of the water evaporates. This step helps in breaking down the onions until they completely dissolve into the chanay, and make everything taste divine.

If you’re like me, you’ll want a shorba, because how else are you going to drench the boiled rice you just made? So at this point, once you’ve stood there stirring while the water evaporates, you’re going to do a complete 180 and add 2-3 cups of boiling water to the chanay(add more if you like a thinner shorba). It helps to have the water ready to go in a water kettle. Add in the crushed coriander seeds as well and cook on a medium flame for about 5-10 minutes, or if you have time, cook it low and slow for about 30-60 mins so the flavors are off the charts. It’s that simple. Just a handful of ingredients and such a hearty meal, it’ll warm your heart!

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