I bring to you today a very popular traditional curried chick pea dish made very Un- traditionally with peppery nutritious green herb watercress. This is my husband’s favourite delicious protein packed, high fiber dish made healthier with addition of beautiful greens. Hope you will love it as much as we do.Topped with marinated onions it is a finger licking gooood!!!! colourful dish.
An aquatic plant found near springs and slow-moving streams, watercress is an often-overlooked, leafy green food source that is a close cousin to mustard greens, cabbage, and arugula. An attractive, succulent plant, watercress bears small, round, slightly scalloped leaves, which, in summer, produce tiny white flowers that become small pods with two rows of edible seeds. Watercress has been cultivated in Europe, Central Asia, and the Americas for millennia for use as both food and a medicine.
One of the best culinary aspects of watercress is its versatility. It can be used as a salad green (a very nutritious one!) with Romaine lettuce or fresh spinach, steamed and eaten as a vegetable, and in soups for a subtle, peppery flavor. It’s also a standard ingredient for sandwiches in Britain for both common and high tea.
Because watercress grows in water, it should be washed thoroughly, then soaked for half an hour or so in cool water with hydrogen peroxide added (around one tablespoon per quart) to remove any pollutants, parasites etc.
Vitamins A, C, and K, and phytonutrients like isothiocyanates and gluconasturtiin in watercress strengthen bones, limit neuronal damage, fight infection, help maintain healthy connective tissue, and prevent iron deficiency. Studies have found the compound PEITC in watercress may suppress breast cancer cell development and prevent DNA damage in cells.
You can find this oft-overlooked leafy green in most supermarkets, so give it a try when you make your next trip to the grocery stores.
2 cups of boiled chickpeas ( or canned )
1 bunch watercress leaves picked, washed and finely chopped ( I do use the tender stems )
1 medium sized red onion peeled
1 inch piece of ginger peeled
2 cloves of garlic peeled
1 green chilli
1 large hot house tomato chopped in in a chopper
3 – 4 tbsp. strained tomato puree
1 tbsp. kabuli chana masala ( subsitute with 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder and 2 tsp. garam masala )
1 tbsp. ghee or oil
a pinch asafoetida
1 red onion finely chopped and marinated with lemon juice for garnish.
salt to taste
1. In a food chopper chop onion, garlic and ginger just enough to see the pieces and not a puree !!!
2. Thoroughly wash the watercress, mabe even soak it in hot water or hydrogen peroxide for 10 minutes as it may harbour parasites or any other pathogens because watercress grows close to slow moving water sources.
3.Chop the watercress leaves fine.
4. Heat the ghee in a heavy pot and fry the chopped onion and garlic mixture on medium heat till the mixture is translucent or 6 – 8 minutes.
5. Add asafoetida and watercress and saute’ for a few minutes, the leaves are tender so it does not take too long. Add also the chana masala, turmeric powder and saute’ for a few minutes.
6. Move the onion mixture to the side gradually and add the chopped tomato lining the bottom of the pan.
7. Let the tomatoes cook for few minutes and then add the tomato puree and chick peas and cook on slow heat for 10 – 15 minutes so that curry comes to a boil and the delicious flavours soak in to the chick peas. Add salt.
8. At this time you will smell the spicy, delicious aroma of the curry. Garnish with marinated onions. You can serve it with rice or bread or Naan bread. It is a great meal eaten with good bread.