Anday Cholay Ka Salan – A Classic Lahori Brunch:
Everyday food just can’t be lavish and time consuming. This doesn’t mean it has to be boring or plain either! We, Lahoris, simply can’t eat boring food, no matter how much you convince us of the nutritional benefits. Luckily, We can convert many Pakistani curries to quick and healthy meals just by holding back on the quantity of oil, increasing the use of ginger and garlic, and spicing up simple ingredients. Anday Cholay ka Salan or Egg and Chickpeas Curry is one such delightful recipe that is filling, nutritious and gets done in minutes. The same curry can be cooked without eggs or you can add meatballs or meat to it too. In fact, Murgh Cholay is a very popular street food version of this salan.
What Is Salan?
Salan and Roti (whole wheat flat bread) are the staple food at most homes in Lahore, in fact the entire Pakistani Punjab. The term curry is not indigenous to Pakistani cuisine. Salan is a stew like preparation of either vegetables, lentils, chicken, mutton or beef. Salan can be thick like a masala curry called “bhuna” or soupy which is called “shorba’. In both cases salan is scooped up with a piece of roti and enjoyed as main course. The Pakistani style salans are more inspired by Central Asian cuisine and are less spicy compared to the neighboring Indian curries.
A Healthy Comfort Food? Yes, That’s Possible!
Regular readers of my blog know how much I love eggs. I think they are the best instant food which is delicious and healthy. What can be more energizing than eggs paired with the goodness of chickpeas, really! That is why these two ingredients, eggs and chickpeas are very popular in Pakistani dhaba/street food culture because they are filling and keep one satisfied for a longer time without breaking the bank. If you don’t load up on oil, this recipe is perfect for weight watchers. I make the salan/Shorba with a soupy consistency and mostly eat a bowlful with a spoon, without any rice or roti because chickpeas are filling enough and require no added carbs to make the meal feel complete.
- *Yogurt in the recipe can be replaced with three tomatoes.
- If you have boiled or tinned chickpeas, your curry shall be done within 15-20 minutes.
- Just remember to rinse the tinned chickpeas to get rid of extra salt and preservatives before you add them to the curry.
- If you want to cook chickpeas from scratch, then soak them overnight in water with a pinch of salt and baking soda. No need to boil them separately, you can add them straight into the sautéed masala with lots of water and cook covered for an hour or till they are done.
- It’s easier to boil a large batch of chickpeas once and freeze them for quick availability when required. To store the chickpeas longer for future use, boil and drain all excess liquid. Pat them dry and store in small portions in plastic containers or zip log bags.
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- 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or cooking oil of your choice
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 inch piece ginger
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- salt to taste
- 2 black cardamoms
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 2 cups boiled or tinned chickpeas
- 4 hard boiled eggs
- Green chilli peppers and fresh coriander for garnishing
This Is What You Do:
Heat oil in a deep pan, add onions. Fry till golden brown.
Scoop them out of oil. Add fried onions, ginger, garlic and yogurt to a blender. Whiz to make a smooth paste.
Add the onion paste back to the pan, add all the spices, chilli powder and salt.
Sauté the masala till it turns darker in colour and oil separates from it.
Add boiled/tinned chickpeas. Add enough water to make curry. I keep mine of a soupy consistency so usually add 2+1/2 cups of water.
Reduce heat. Cover the pan and let it simmer for 5-6 minutes. Meanwhile boil eggs and cut them into halves lengthwise.
Pour chickpeas curry in the serving dish. Place egg halves over it. Garnish with chopped green chillies and coriander.
Serve hot with plain roti or steamed rice.Serves 4