Rajasthani Jaisalmer Chana

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Last Updated on April 26, 2023 by Chef Mireille

Experience the bold and aromatic flavors of Rajasthan with this Rajasthani Jaisalmer Chana recipe, a classic Indian dish that combines protein-rich chickpeas in a cool yogurt based curry. This easy-to-follow recipe is sure to impress and become a new favorite.

Jaisalmer Chana Recipe

Jaisalmer is a city located in the heart of the Thar Desert in the North Central Indian state of Rajasthan. When I speak to Indian people, often the subject of food comes into the conversation and many of them regardless of what state they originate from, have commented to me on the uniqueness of Rajasthani cuisine. The flavors achieved is something not present in other Indian cuisines. I have experienced this before when I made Dal Batti Churma. I was blown away. I met someone from Rajasthan a few months ago at a party and he told me about this Jaisalmer Chana I must try to experience the best that Rajasthani cuisine has to offer. I immediately went home that night and googled to find a recipe for it.

Additionally, I am always intrigued to learn more about Rajasthan because my family may have originated from there. Most people from the Caribbean are of mixed race – any combination of usually African, European, Indian and/or Chinese. I am no exception.


When my great grandfather left India and settled in Suriname, he broke off all ties to his Indian family. There are different family legends why he did that, but no one really knows for sure. I would love to have asked him why, but unfortunately I never got to meet him because he died the year I was born. However, from his birth certificate, we found out his original name before he changed it and an Indian person once told my mom that it is a Rajasthani name so who knows – I may have some relatives in Rajasthan that I don’t know about. One day, I am going to have to go on Ancestry.com and try to figure it all out. Until then, I’ll just enjoy the cuisine.

My great grandfather

Rajasthani cuisine was developed out of necessity for food that has a long shelf life in the harsh desert climate, with limited access to water and fresh produce. Jaisalmer Chana is a dish from Marwari cuisine. Marwari are an ethnic group of traditionally nomadic traders from Rajasthan. They are pure Vegetarians.

In Rajasthan, average temperatures during the summer months go over 100 F on a daily basis. The yogurt in this chana is a cooling element necessary to combat the environmental factors.

Jaisalmer Chana (adapated by Roz Ka Khana)

Serves 6
Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups black chickpeas (kala chana) soaked overnight
  • 1 1/2 cups yogurt
  • 4 teaspoons chickpea flour (besan)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chile powder (cayenne pepper)
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 3 chiles, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons ghee
  • a pinch asoefetida
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, finely chopped

Cook chickpeas in 4 cups water until peas are tender. Drain, but reserve the cooking liquid. Coarsely mash the cooked peas.
In a bowl, combine yogurt, besan, turmeric, red chile, coriander, salt and garam masala. Mix well. Add chiles and 1 cup of the reserved liquid. Stir to combine.
In a pot, heat ghee. Add asoefetida, chiles and cumin seed. When they start to crackle, add yogurt mixture. Stir to combine.
Add mashed chana and stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.  Add cilantro and adjust salt, if necessary.

Serve with puri or paratha.

 

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Jaisalmer Chana

I met someone from Rajasthan a few months ago at a party and he told me about this Jaisalmer Chana. I immediately went home that night and googled to find a recipe for it.
Servings: 6
Calories: 290kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups black chickpeas kala chana soaked overnight
  • 1 1/2 cups yogurt
  • 4 teaspoons chickpea flour besan
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chile powder cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 3 chiles chopped
  • 3 tablespoons ghee
  • a pinch asoefetida
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves finely chopped

Instructions

  • Cook chickpeas in 4 cups water until peas are tender.
  • Drain, but reserve the cooking liquid.
  • Coarsely mash the cooked peas.
  • In a bowl, combine yogurt, besan, turmeric, red chile, coriander, salt and garam masala. Mix well.
  • Add chiles and 1 cup of the reserved liquid. Stir to combine.
  • In a pot, heat ghee.
  • Add asoefetida, chiles and cumin seed. When they start to crackle, add yogurt mixture. Stir to combine.
  • Add mashed chana and stir to combine. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add cilantro and adjust salt, if necessary.
  • Serve with puri or paratha.

Nutrition

Calories: 290kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 50mg | Potassium: 578mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 497IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 176mg | Iron: 3mg
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Comments

  1. first of all am so glad to know that your grand pa belonged to rajasthan and can see that you love rajasthani food a lot ๐Ÿ™‚ jaisalmer chana looks so yummy and you have made them so prefect ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Wow Mirielle, so your grandfather is from Rajasthan, thats truly very interesting, wish you to find out more about great grandfather soon. Jaisalmer channa looks fabulous with wonderful flavours.

  3. Nice to know that your great grandfather is from Rajasthan, I can see the your love to the Indian cusiine. Delicious Jaisalemer channa, love it, I haven't tried chickpeas in combo with yougurt sure it will great. Thanks for sharing with MLLA.

  4. Nice to read about your family tree Mir. It sure is a small world and as you said you might have distant cousins in Rajastan ๐Ÿ™‚ May be you'll cook better Rajasthani food than them ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Jaisalmer Chana sounds delicious.

  5. The Jaisalmeri Chana looks yummy. The Indian food has some many varieties. Rajasthani food has its own distinct flavours. Memories make us feel nostalgic. Nice to know your Grandfather was a Rajasthani.

  6. Interesting to read about your grandfather and your link…maybe someday you will come down here and check it yourself..:)..channa sounds so good..you can send it for the Side dish mela if you want..

  7. Your family history is so very interesting. Thank you for sharing it. There are lots of Rajasthanis especially Marwaris in this town where I live. You can holler to me for any type of help to find more about Rajasthan.
    Love the chana recipe.

  8. Wow your family is from Rajasthan. Next you will be serving up ghevers ( tell me when you make them I will love to eat them). This chana looks amazing I love the falvours after a lot of Punjabi dishes with chana this one is really what I want.

  9. Wow! the fact that you might have roots in Rajasthan is very interesting! I wish you figure out your long lost cousins and entertain them with the fantastic Rajasthani spread which they would be proud of !!

  10. I loved reading this Mireille…your granpa looks like a true Rajasthani Rajput..and interesting to know that you might have family here..come on over and we shall take a rajathan trip:))…oh ya the Jaiselmeri channa looks super awesome..loved them..

  11. wow Mir, you finding your multi racial roots can be story for readers digest, i am so interested to see u on ancestry…no wonder you have a flair for indian dishes, lovely recipe, i have never heard before

  12. Wow….I saw the picture first before I read the post and I was wondering how your great grandfather looks so much like an Indian!! Now I know…Hope one day you can successfully trace the roots!

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