Thursday, January 24, 2013

Chana Phova

Come Friday morning and most of the homes in Mangalore and the neighbouring towns are filled with the distinct smell of Chana Upkari and Phova Chutney(Phova Upkari). I don't know the significance of preparing Chana dish on Friday but most of the GSBs follow that.

My mother never used to make Chana Phova combination for breakfast when we were young. She used to make phova chutney along with biscuit ambade or with buns as tea time snacks because my father used to like mostly dosa and idli sambar on Sundays for breakfast. Thus, we boys had an urge to satiate ourselves and we used to eat these snacks at Taj Mahal, Bus Stand Canteen or at Rama Bhavan after the annual Rathotsava is over or during exams when we used to wake up early to study.

For hard working people, chana phova combination is like concrete in the stomach. Hence we Mangaloreans call this concrete breakfast! Chana is protein rich and phova is rich in carbs and fibre. Added ingredients help in supplementing other essential nutrients and also help in digestion.


For Chana Upkari:
Brown Chana(Chick Peas) - 1 Cup
Sweet Potato/Raw Plantain/Potato - 1/2 cup peeled and diced
Green Chillies - 2 cut into small pieces
Salt - To taste
Coconut Oil - 1 Tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 Tsp
Red Chillies - 2-3 broken
Curry Leaves - 4-6
Asafotoeda - A pinch
Grated Coconut - A handful

For Phova Chutney:
Coconut - 1/2 Grated
Cumin Seeds - 1 Tsp
Coriander Seeds - 2 Tsp
Green Chillies - 2-3
Grated/Powdered Jaggery - 2 Tbsp
Salt - To taste
Medium thick Phova - 2-4 cups
Cococnut Oil - 1 Tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 Tsp
Red Long Chillies(Optional) - 2 broken
Curry Leaves - 4-6

Method for Chana Upkari:
Wash and soak Chana with sufficient water overnight.
Discard the water and cook in a pressure cooker with 2 cups water.
Heat oil in a kadai. Add mustard seeds and allow them to splutter.
Add broken red chillies and curry leaves. Add asafotoeda and sauté.
Add the dices sweet potato/raw plantain or potato and mix well.
Add the soup from the cooked chana, bring to a boil, cover and allow to simmer for 5 mins.
Add the boiled chana, salt to taste and allow to cook further.
When the soup thickens and the side veg is cooked, switch off the fire.
Garnish with grated coconut.

Method for Phova Chutney: 

Pound in a wooden mortar with wooden staff or stone, or grind to a coarse chutney in a mixie, grated coconut, green chillies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and jaggery.
Add salt to taste and then mix in the phova as much as the chutney holds, while mixing well with a gentle squeeze so that the juices from the chutney infiltrate into the phova and soften it.
Season with Mustard seeds, red chillies, curry leaves in oil.

Serve Chana and phova side by side with a well ripe banana to finish off.


Sundari Kamath said...

A forgotten combo to me. Thank you for this wonderful post!

Rajanikanth Shenoy, Kudpi said...

You're welcome Sundari.


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