Channa Almond Pomegranate Mason Jar Salad

Mason Jar Salads - replete with a protein and some fresh veggies

Mason Jar Salads – replete with a protein and some fresh veggies

Being on a salad spree is no fun really. Chomping on plain old carrots, chewing romaine and mindlessly mincing the veggie can be exciting for first few nights, but it sure gets exhausting when you intend to continue the salad sojourn for days to come. I know of this, coz it happened to me. But I want to diligently stick to the fad, so I fish for new ingredients, newer proteins and yet newer ways to eat my greens.

He was heading out. Not one to carry a tiffin, grabbing a sandwich or some street side junk are his usual options. Well, that was not be that day. I was determined to pack his supper.
Wide mouthed glass jars preserving fruit and vegetables seems like an incredible idea. They are air tight. No spill, no soil, no frills. So easy to carry around. And looks pretty cool too. Somewhat amused, somewhat intrigued, somewhat preempted, he took his tiffin 🙂

Toasted almonds - for that extra bite!

Toasted almonds – for that extra bite!

To add a protein to your vegetable bowl is a must. That extra mile on the treadmill is of no use if you don’t support it with a repairing agent. Lean muscles, shiny hair and strong nails give obeisance to exactly this necklace of amino acid. Yea, so all in all, it’s that important.

So I add channa one day, paneer another, Mung sprouts, soya nuggets, boiled peanuts, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, tofu and assorted nuts to give you an idea.

Kale channe or black bengal grams is what I used for this wonder salad. Its nutty. Its wholesome. It adds enough bite to fill your bowl as well as your tummy.

Lime - can't do without it!

Lime – can’t do without it!

Making the vinaigrette is therapeutic – for me. I love whisking lime juice and extra virgin olive oil. Pounding pepper, sprinkling rock salt, crushing garlic – oh yea! Me loves it. I try to stay away from creamy sugary dressings as it annihilates the entire purpose of me chomping on greens.

Good to go :)

Good to go 🙂

The recipe –

Ingredients

  • 1 cup black bengalgrams or kale channe, soaked for at least 7-8 hours
  • 1/2 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 big tomato, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds, slivered
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate
  • For the dressing – juice of 1 lime, 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 clove of crushed garlic, 1/2 tsp pepper powder and salt to taste.

    Method

    Boil the black bengal grams in a big pot of boiling mildly salted water till they are almost done. Drain and keep aside.

    For the dressing – whisk together all of the mentioned stuff.

    Toss all the salad ingredients except the almonds. Mix in the dressing. Toss well. Refrigerate if required for 30 minutes. While serving garnish with toasted almonds. I love the crunch from the nuts so I add loads!

    The good stuff

    The good stuff

    If setting into jars – pour the vinaigrette first. Then layer with boiled bengalgram, cucumber, pomegranate, tomato, onions, lettuce and lastly toasted almonds.
    the pictures show the channa and almonds finishing on the top as I wanted to photograph them that way 😉

    Make this your dinner

    Make this your dinner

    Angie’s Fiesta Fridays is something that I look forward to every Friday. She holds this virtual potluck party for all of us. Its one post where you get sweet savoury, mains, appetizers n gorgeous desserts all under one roof and not to mention a whole lot of wonderful enthusiastic bloggers too! So I’m taking a salad this time. What are you?

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    Amritsari Channe

    Amritsari Channe

    Amritsari Channe

    I am fretting and fussin over a name. An apt name for this wonderfully aromatic royal north Indian beans usually eaten with puffed deep fried pooris or bhaturas. They are made in a host of different ways hence we have names for every kind.

    What I have here is a dark semi thick gravied version, usually made in Punjab, a northern state in India. Lot of spices are used, some whole, some ground. The end result is spicy, earthy and extremely flavorful. Love for these beans is eternal in my house. They sit happily waiting for their meal to arrive! Bliss, when you have happy faces to feed.

    Over the years I’ve had little problem with Chickpeas. They usually turn out well. Having changed recipes several times, and now finally zeroed in on a cross between a couple of formulas, my tryst with these beans is here to stay.

    With bread and salad

    With bread and salad

    My grouse lately is what to accompany this curry with. Traditional pooris and other deep fried stuff is out of our menu. Husband is happy with plain old chappathis. But I find it almost belittling to serve this curry with phulkas… just doesn’t seem right. Bread or ready made whole wheat kulchas are a better option. They somehow justify this royal dish 🙂

    With rice, papad and salad

    With rice, papad and salad

    For me, I almost always make some rice. Chole chawal is a regular in many north Indian homes. Roast a papad, cut up some salad, drizzle salt and lime juice – and you have a very tempting plate in your hands!

    Works like magic

    Works like magic

    Chickpeas are usually white to light brown in color, and post boiling they turn a pale yellow. So, to deepen/darken the gravy, we have a very rustic old way to do so. A spoon full of tea leaves bundled in muslin cloth is dropped into the pot of boiling chickpeas. This darkens the beans and imparts an earthy flavor to the gravy. Mother also added whole spices into the bundle sometimes. Made it easier for her to remove the spices after their work was done, she says.

    Ideal for anytime

    Ideal for anytime

    The Recipe:

    Ingredients

    • 1 and half cups kabuli channa or dried big chickpeas, soaked overnight.
    • 2-3 tbsp channa dal, soaked along with the chickpeas
    • 2 tsp ghee or oil
    • 2 whole cardamoms,
    • 1 bay leaf, 2/3 cloves, a small stick cinnamon
    • 3 garlic pods
    • a tiny piece of ginger
    • 1 big onion, chopped
    • 1/2 cup leaves of mint and coriander leaves
    • 2 medium sized tomatoes, ground
    • 1 tsp anardana or dried pomegranate seeds
    • 3 tsp chole masala, store brought or home made
    • 1 tsp coriander powder
    • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
    • salt to taste
    • 1 tsp tea leaves tied in a muslin cloth
    • Garnish: Julienned ginger, onions, tomatoes, french fries and coriander leaves – optional.

    Method

    Boil chickpeas and channa dal along with the bag of tea leaves, crushed garlic and salt. Keep aside.
    Grind chopped onions, ginger and leaves of mint and coriander to a fine smooth paste.

    In a big wok, heat ghee or oil. Throw the whole spices – bay leaf, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon. Saute for a minute. Add and fry the onion-coriander mint paste till the oil leaves sides. To this add ground tomatoes along with anardana, chole masala, coriander powder and red chili powder. Mix well and fry the paste very well till the fat separates. Now mix in the boiled chickpeas. Give it a final mix and boil. Garnish.

    Serve with pooris/bhature/bread/kulchas/rice.

    For the calorie conscious!

    For the calorie conscious!

    Note: You can add the whole spices while boiling the chickpeas.

    Note: Oil or any butter can be used, but I prefer ghee. It adds to the aroma and richness of the dish.

    I love my rice!

    I love my rice!

    Comin back to the name. Ah a name! Since the method leans more towards the ambarsariya kinds, mother advised me to call it Amritsari Channe. And so I do as I am told. Its mothers day after all. 🙂

    Punjabi tadka

    Punjabi tadka