Butternut Squash with Black Chickpeas Subzi (Kumro Chokka)

One of my visits to Honolulu, Papia Sengupta, made this wonderful dish and I was blown away. The first thing that attracted me towards the dish was the color, very appealing to the eye. The second was the ingredients – like a lot of folks, I too am intimidated by the size of the vegetable in question (Pumpkin)! The last but not the least was the taste – what a great combination, color and the texture. The sweetness from the Pumpkin, the salt from the Chickpeas, the flavor and the aromas from the Panch Puran….it just takes the cake! Not only did I eat like a pig (without guilt) and took the balance of the dish as a doggie bag….yes, I was in love 😉
Enjoy this great love of ours and thank you again, Papia for this awesome recipe!

Ingredients:

Butternut Squash (or Pumpkin) – 1.5 lbs (800gm approx)

Black Chickpeas – 1 cup
Water – 3 cups
Salt – to taste

Oil – 2 tbsp
Panch Puran ((see below): 1 tsp
Salt – to taste
Red Chili Powder – to taste
Cumin Powder – 1 tsp
Minced Ginger – 1 tbsp
Sugar/Jaggery/Brown Sugar – 1 tsp, optional and to taste

Method:

For the Black Chickpeas:
1. Wash and rinse the Channas and soak them overnight (atleast 8 hrs) with fresh water.
2. After 8 hours, rinse out the water, transfer the Channas into a pressure cooker, add Water and Salt (1/2 tbsp or to taste).
3. Close the Pressure Cooker and allow it to cook on high heat for 1 whistle, lower heat and cook for another 30 min.
4. Turn off the flame/heat and allow the pressure to go down by itself.
5. Open pressure cooker and drain/remove the liquid and save the Channas.

For the Subzi/Vegetable:
1. Wash, cut, peel, remove seeds and fiber & cube the Squash (Pumpkin) to bite size.
2. In a open wok/skillet, heat Oil on medium heat.
3. Once hot, add the Panch Puran and allow the seeds to pop and sizzle.
4. Add the cubed Squash.
5. Mix well and cover and cook till 3/4th way done. Ours took about 12 min.
6. Stir periodically for even cooking. The Squash needs to be a little translucent and soft (but not mushy).
7. Time to add spices – Salt, Red Chili Powder, Cumin Powder, Ginger & Sugar. Mix well and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
8. Add in the Channas and mix and cook till the Squash is cooked all the way.
9. Also do the taste test and get the balance between the sweet, the salt and the Red Chili.
10. Turn off the flame and it’s ready to serve.

Tips:

Seeds that go into Panch Puran:
Fenugreek Seeds / Methi Dana
Cumin Seeds/ Jeera Dana
Mustard Seeds/ Rai
Onion Seeds/ Kalonji
Fennel Seeds/ Sauf

Things to do with the water from the cooked Channas:
-make dough
-make soup
-use in daals
-use in gravy dishes

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