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Bengali cook-along: chana masala and kisuri

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  • Chef: Joba
  • Type: Bangladesh
  • Serves: 4
  • Time: Prep: 15 minutes, cooking time: 50 minutes
  • Cost: £3.50 for the whole meal

As part of our series of ‘cultural cook-alongs’ over zoom on Wednesdays, Joba, food ambassador, chef and business owner of  ‘Busy Kitchen’ showed us how to make these classic Bengali dishes: kisuri and chana masala. She explained that these are dishes that she will often cook for her family at Ramadan. Kisuri is a rice and lentil dish (also known as Kishuri in India) and is popular with children because it has a rice pudding like texture.

 

Photo credit: Preeti

 

Kisuri

 

Ingredients

 

1 cup of basmati rice

Half a cup of red lentils

Half a tablespoon of thinly sliced fresh ginger

1 onion

Quarter a teaspoon of turmeric

1 bay leaf

1 to 2 tablespoons of oil

1 teaspoon of salt

 

Method

  1. Soak the rice and red lentils for 10 minutes in cold water. Drain and then place them in a saucepan with 3 cups of water. 
  2. Add the salt, fresh ginger, turmeric and bay leaf. Bring to the boil, turn down to a low heat and stir after 10 minutes. Keep adding about 3/4 of a cup of water at a time, if the rice begins to dry out. You will need to keep stirring until the rice and lentils have dissolved so that it is the consistency of porridge or rice pudding – this will take about 30 to 40 minutes. 
  3. Whilst the rice and lentils are cooking, melt 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan, add the chopped onion and cook on a medium heat until the onion is brown and some of it starts to go crispy. Then stir through the cooked onion into the rice mixture.

 

Chana Masala

 

Ingredients

 

1 tin of black chickpeas (or regular chickpeas if you can’t find)

1 large onion

1 large potato

2 tomatoes, chopped (or half a tin)

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon of ground coriander

1/2 a teaspoon of turmeric

1/2 a teaspoon of chilli powder

1 tablespoon of oil

2 teaspoons of lemon juice (optional)

Handful of fresh coriander, chopped

Fresh chilli (optional)

Salt to taste

 

Method

  1. Heat the oil and add the chopped garlic to the saucepan, stirring for a minute being careful not to burn. Then add the chopped onion and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Chop the potato (you can peel or leave on, whichever you prefer) into small cubes and add this to the pot, alongside half a cup of water. Cook for around 8 minutes. 
  3. Add the tomatoes to the pan and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  4. Add the chilli powder, coriander powder and salt. Then add the drained chickpeas and gently bring to the boil and cook on a low heat for about 25 minutes, stirring every so often. 
  5. Add the fresh chilli and lemon juice if using. Cook for approximately 10 minutes. Stir through the chopped fresh coriander.