Kala chana – Ashtami Prasad is a quick and easy meal that packs tons of flavors and is so simple, yet so tasty. Pair it with sweet semolina pudding and deep-fried pooris to make a lip-smacking meal!!
It’s again this time of the year when Navratri (festival of nine nights) is coming to an end and every household is prepping up for Ashtami or Navmi pujan.
The eighth day of Navratri is celebrated as Durga Ashtami which also marks the end of fasting period for several devotees. On this day, devotees offer prayers to Goddess Durga and perform Kanchike or Kanjak.
What is Kanjak?
Kanjak means young girls within the age of birth – 9 years of age and these girls are ceremonially worshiped.
This puja also referred to as Kanjak Pujan or Kanya pujan ( worshiping a girl child) and is celebrated either on Ashtami (the 8th day) or Navmi (the 9th day) of Navratri.
How is Kanjak Pujan done? Kala chana – Ashtami Prasad
People welcome young girls in their house.
- Wash their young feet,
- Apply kumkum on their forehead and
- Tie roli (a sacred thread) on their little hands.
- Perform the young girl’s aarti, touch their feet and seek their blessings.
- Then the girls are made to sit in a row and
- Later they are served Kala chana – Ashtami Prasad, Sooji halwa and puri – a delicious and favorite KANJAK food.
- When they are done eating and ready to leave people shower them gifts in the form of money or toys.
Durga Ashtami is the most auspicious day of the year, and people celebrate it with great zeal and enthusiasm.
Each family follows their tradition as some worship Ashtami, and some do puja on Navami.
Now on to the recipe!
Soak kale chole overnight. In the morning pressure cook for 8-9 whistles. Cooking time may vary depending on whole old the legumes are. Once legumes are thoroughly boiled and soft (as shown in the pic above) cook them in oil and mild spices.
From here on the recipe is straightforward and needs no fancy ingredients. Just the regular spices and a couple of tablespoons of oil and there you go – delicious and tasty sookhe kale chane are ready.
Feel free to add/delete spices to your liking. Adding a teaspoon of amchur (mango powder) will add some tanginess to this chana recipe.
Since this prasad is consumed mostly by young girls, I prefer leaving out on the green chilies and cilantro, but feel free to experiment.
Black chickpeas are incredibly healthy as they are –
- low in fat,
- high in dietary fiber,
- also rich in vitamins and minerals.
It’s a great addition to your daily diet, and it can be a reasonably versatile recipe.
If not using it as a prasad then add some chopped onions, green chilies, chopped cilantro, chaat masala, and some sev and munch it as an evening snack with your tea.. yum yum yum….
This is what we relished as children, and now my kids do the same with leftover Ashtami prasad 🙂
HAPPY ASHTAMI TO ALL OF YOU!!
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Kala chana - Ashtami Prasad
- Clean, wash and soak chana overnight.
- By the morning they will swell and double in size. Drain through a strainer and wash again.
- In a pressure cooker add chana along with water. Add salt and haldi, mix and close the lid. Pressure cook for 8-9 whistles. Once the steam is out, open the cooker and check if chana is cooked.
- After the pressure is released from the cooker, open the lid and spoon out some chana and press the grains in between your fingers. If they mash up easily without pressing too hard - they are cooked. Set them aside.
- Meanwhile, assemble all the spices.
- Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and when they start to crackle add in all the spices one by one.
- Carefully, add boiled chana to this pan.
- Bring it to a boil till all the water has dried out.
- Cooked chana.
- Serve hot with poori and sooji halwa. Happy Ashtami!!
- Start by boiling soaked chole first and while they are boiling, prepare sooji ka halwa.
- Meanwhile, knead the dough for poori.
- When kale chole are done boiling and the whistle is out, prepare its tempering/tadka and finally add chole.
- While the chole water is evaporating, roll out and fry the pooris. This way all the work is done in 45 - 50 minutes.