Recipe for Chaura Na Poora (Black-Eyed Pea Pancakes)


1 1/2 cup dried black-eyed peas
1 3/4 cube of fresh ginger - (peeled)
5 garlic cloves; peeled
2 hot green chilies - (seeded if desi; red)
1 1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon minced cilantro
1 vegetable oil


Rinse the peas, drain them, and pick out and discard any foreign objects or bad peas. Place peas in a large container and add water to cover by a couple of inches. Let soak overnight.

The next day, remove skins from peas by rubbing them between your hands. You can do this right in the bowl of soaking water, occasionally draining off water and skins and replacing with fresh water. Drain completely.

In a food processor or blender, mince the ginger, garlic and chilies. Add the drained peas and process until pastelike. Add 1-1/3 cups water, the salt, turmeric and minced cilantro. Process again to form mixture into a thick batter. Transfer batter to a bowl.

Have all cooking paraphernalia ready and at hand. You will need to have near your skillet: 1/4 to 1/2 cup of vegetable oil in a cup or bowl with a small spoon, a larger spoon to spread the batter, the bowl of batter with a 1/3-cup measuring scoop/cup, a metal spatula for turning the pancakes, and a plate on which to place the finished pooras after they are cooked.

Pour 1 teaspoon of oil into the skillet and tilt to distribute evenly. Heat the skillet over medium-low until oil is hot. Stir the batter before pouring 1/3 cup of the mixture onto the center of the hot skillet. Working rather quickly, use the large spoon to spread the batter in a spiral motion, until the pancake is about 6-7 inches in diameter. Turn pancake after 2 minutes and cook another 2 minutes on the other side. Remove pancake to plate and repeat with remaining batter, adding only enough additional oil to the skillet as needed to keep surface evenly greased. I found that about 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon for each pancake was plenty, but your milage may vary.

Serve right away, or reheat (wrapped in aluminum foil) in a 450 F. oven for 15 minutes.

Serve with relishes, pickles, chutney, or cooked vegetables.

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