Stovetop: Spiced Black Chickpea Broth

April 17, 2024

Stovetop: Spiced Black Chickpea Broth

 

THE MOST DELICIOUS SOUP BROTH that you likely never knew existed - the water that you get after cooking black chickpeas. Growing up in a Punjabi household in Pennsylvania, my mom made kala chana (black chickpea curry) regularly. What I looked forward to the most was not the little chewy chickpeas, but the actual broth - spicy and incredibly flavorful. I insist that my curry be doled out in a small bowl to the side of my large heap of freshly-cooked and steaming basmati rice. And, every time my mom would get distracted or turn her back, I would push the chickpeas to the side, scoop the broth over the rice and gobble it up. By the end of it, I'd try to unload the chickpeas onto someone else's plate or resign myself to just eating just enough to appease mom. While I now absolutely love black chickpeas, the memory from those meals is always the broth. Even then, I knew there was something special about the water that comes from cooked black chickpeas - jet black and incredibly fragrant. So jet black, that I had trouble shooting a good photo of it because it constantly reflected my camera, so instead I shot myself leaning over the bowl. 

There are two ways to get the cooking broth - either you cook the black chickpeas with water and spices into a curry and eat them with the broth, or you cook the black chickpeas plain with just water until soft and then drain them to use dry for other dishes like chaat and hummus. This second cooking technique is what I'm talking about. You simply cook 2 cups of soaked black chickpeas - I like to use my Instant Pot - in plain water (you need 2 cups, but I double it to have extra), and then once cooked, drain and store the cooking water. It's this water that can be made into the simple broth below. It's healthy because some of the nutrients from the chickpeas transfer into the water (though the protein and fiber does not). There is very limited official information on this spiced broth out there because honestly it's not a dish - it's truly just something we tend to do in our households. One reference I found says that you can drink this broth in the morning on an empty stomach to help cleanse the gut. I personally love to have it on hand to heat up for a quick cup in-between meals so I stay on track with my eating and don't get tempted to snack. And for those who have my book Instant Pot India, turn to Chapter 3 on page 94 and you'll see my section of legumes cooked to perfection in water. Remember for all of them, this cooking water - called aquafaba - is incredibly valuable and can be used to thicken soups, stews, and hummus. I store it in glass jars in the fridge and add it to beans when I reheat them so as you rehydrate them the flavor stays in tact like for my refried pinto beans. This is important to me because I don't use the microwave to reheat my food and like to do it in small pans on the stovetop. Remember this is the cooking water - not the soaking water. The soaking water is always discarded and is the water that the beans soak in before you cook them. Also keep in mind that aquafaba goes bad quickly in the fridge - within a week, so if you are not going to consume it immediately simply freeze it in ice-cube trays for use later. 

I know there are so many fun ways to make this broth - share your favorite recipe in the comment section below. I might add them in the recipe notes along with your name! xoxo Anupy

 

Stovetop: Spiced Black Chickpea Broth

2 cups black chickpea cooking water (not soaking water)
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1 pinch turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon kala namak, black salt
1/2 teaspoon red chile powder
1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin seeds, ground
4-5 mint leaves
1/2 lemon, juiced

Simply boil all the ingredients together for 2-3 minutes. Don't worry if you don't have some - just use what you have. I also sometimes add a teaspoon of mint chutney instead of the mint leaves. Keep this soup in the fridge, pull it out, heat it up, and drink it like a hot soup in the morning first thing, in-between meals, or ahead of going out as I do to avoid overeating. It works, folks! 

 

[[ recipeID=recipe-8lvlf0qw1, title=Spiced Black Chickpea Broth ]]

 




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Spiced Black Chickpea Broth

Servings:

Keywords:

  • Prep Time: 0 mins
  • Cook Time: 0 mins
  • Total Time: 0 mins

Ingredients

Instructions

Ingredients

  • 2 cups black chickpea cooking water (not soaking water)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon kala namak, black salt
  • ½ teaspoon red chile powder
  • ½ teaspoon roasted cumin seeds, ground
  • 4-5 mint leaves
  • ½ lemon, juiced

Instructions

  1. Simply boil all the ingredients together for 2-3 minutes. Don't worry if you don't have some - just use what you have. I also sometimes add a teaspoon of mint chutney instead of the mint leaves. Keep this soup in the fridge, pull it out, heat it up, and drink it like a hot soup in the morning first thing, in-between meals, or ahead of going out as I do to avoid overeating. It works, folks! Remember the cooking water is obtained by cooking black chickpeas, and then draining. Use the drained chickpeas for other recipes and the cooking water for this recipe.