Food & Drink Magazine

Manipur -- Kelli Chana (Spicy Chickpea Snack)

By Pavani @napavani
Blogging Marathon# 39 - Indian States: Day 17
State: Manipur
Dish: Kelli Channa
We are going to Manipur, one of the seven sister states in the North Eastern India. Manipuri cuisine is simple, organic and healthy. Dishes are typically spicy foods that use chili pepper rather than garam masalas. Most of the dishes do not use oil for cooking.
The staple diet of Manipur consists of rice, variety of leafy vegetables and fish. Manipuris typically raise vegetables in a kitchen garden and rear fishes in small ponds around their house. They cook dishes based on the seasonal produce and the dishes taste very different from mainland Indian cuisine because of the use of the various aromatic herbs and roots that are unique to the region.
Today's Dish: I found this simple to make Manipuri Street food, Kelli Chana here and even though it had ingredients native to Manipur, I thought I would give it a try. Thankfully this Manipuri blogger described the ingredients and gave some substitutions to the herbs and spices that she used in the dish. I went ahead and made some of my own changes, but the final dish was quite delicious.
Manipur -- Kelli Chana (Spicy Chickpea snack)
Kelli Chana is a popular street food in Manipur. It is said that a old lady named Kelli used to sell this addictive snack under a tree and people from all over Manipur started flocking around the tree to buy her chana. She never disclosed the recipe to anyone and apparently took it to her grave. Lot of people have tried to recreate her recipe, but failed to make it taste like the original.
With all my substitutions, I'm sure this is nowhere close to the original, but I still liked it. I served it as snack with some biscuits/ cookies and tea.
Manipur -- Kelli Chana (Spicy Chickpea snack)  Recipe adapted from OpenChallenge: Ingredients: Chickpeas - 2cups, cooked (or use 1 16 oz. can, rinsed and drained)
Onion - 1 medium, chopped
Tomatoes - 2 medium, chopped
Ginger - 1" piece, grated
Garlic - 2 cloves, minced
Red chili powder - 1tsp (adjust as per taste)
Green onions - 2, chopped
Chinese Chives - 3tbsp, chopped
Black sesame seeds - 2tbsp, roasted and ground
Cilantro - 1tbsp, chopped, for garnish
Salt - to taste
  • Heat 2tbsp mustard oil in a pan; add onions and cook until they start turning lightly brown around the edges. Add the ginger and garlic; cook for 1~2 minutes.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until mushy. 
  • Next add the red chili powder and salt. Mix well. Add some water if the mixture looks too dry. Cook for 3~4 minutes.
  • Add the chopped Chinese chives and ground black sesame powder; cook for 2~3 minutes.
  • Finally garnish with chopped green onions or cilantro and Enjoy!!

Manipur -- Kelli Chana (Spicy Chickpea snack) Manipur -- Kelli Chana (Spicy Chickpea snack)
Lets check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked today for BM# 39.
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