IntroductionBlack Soybean Churkani is a popular dish of Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. Black Soybean is a nutritious bean (a type of pulses) and contains good amount of protein and minerals.
Nutritionally speaking, half a cup of black soybean has about 8 grams of total carbohydrate that comprises of 1 gram carbohydrate, 7 grams fiber, 11 grams protein as well as 120 calories. This black variety is considered to be higher in phytonutrients including antioxidants.When prepared, the color changes to greyish black which is considered to be a main characteristic of this dish.
IngredientsThe quantity of ingredients is mentioned below and this will be sufficient (along with other main course items) for about 2-3 persons.
Cooking time is about 40 minutes.
MethodTake a pan or karahi and put it on medium flame. Pour oil in it and when the oil is heated up, add half of the cumin seeds, half of the turmeric powder and half of coriander powder to it. Mix well and as soon it starts giving smell of these spices, add black soybean to it. Mix well and roast it for 5-6 minutes till soybeans just start roasting. A few soybeans may crack or splutter also. Then transfer the roasted soybean to a pressure cooker and mix 3 cups of water to it. Now cook it for 2-3 whistles time and remove from the flame. See whether soybeans are cooked well. If not then give 1 more whistle.
Meanwhile clean the onion, remove it's outer thin layer and grate it and keep aside. Remove the skin of garlic cloves and chop them in small pieces. Chop green chilli also in small pieces. Remove the cover of big cardamom and untangle the seeds.
Now, keep the pan on medium flame and put the Ghee in it and spread it with the help of spatula. The Ghee will heat up and as it starts slightly smoking, add coriander seeds, cumin powder, red chilli powder, black pepper powder, remaining turmeric powder, remaining cumin seeds and remaining coriander powder. Mix well and then add onion, garlic and chilli pieces. Add salt to taste.
Saute for 1-2 minutes and then add wheat flour, bay leaves, cloves, big cardamom and chopped coriander leaves. Mix well and after 2-3 minutes when flour is starting to roast, add the contents of the pressure cooker to the pan.
This mixture is now to be further cooked for at least 10 minutes on low flame. When it is complete, check for the consistency and if required slightly dilute by adding 1/2 to 1 cup of warm water.
The Churkani is ready and can be transferred to a serving bowl.
ServingServe the Churkani in bowls. It can be relished with rice or chapati though with rice it is tastier. It can be taken in lunch or dinner time. It is a main course item and to be taken along with other items prepared for lunch or dinner. Churkani is generally taken as steaming hot to appreciate it's full flavor.
Variations and Precautions
ConclusionChurkani is a delicious dish made from black soybean and is to be taken along with main course items and it is specially very tasty with the rice.
The author has given a unique recipe of Uttarakhand state and for a change, we can try it.
Just for the information, I want to add that almost a similar recipe of black soybean is very famous in Brazil and some of my friends who have visited there a few years back during some international football matches informed this to me.
It is a bit surprising that an almost resembling dish to 'Churkani' is famous in a country so far away. It is a nice coincidence.
When I was studying in Uttarakhand area I had tasted a variation of this dish in which the cooking time is more and the soybeans are removed aside and only the soup part is served. There is a bit more addition of some spices like black pepper, cloves, ginger etc which make it more hot and tastier.
This is a typical Kumanoi/Garwahli/Pahadi dish. The cusine of this region is very earthy, simple, nourishing and delicious. One of my cousin is married to a girl who is originally from Nanital. And whenever I visit them in Delhi, she cooks these traditional meals, typical of the region.
I have eaten the dish described in the article, it is also called bhatt ki churkani, where bhatt means black beans. These beans are grown locally, and not easily available in other parts of the country. Interestingly, I have also eaten bhatt ki khichdi and bhatt kae pakodae.