Monday, July 18, 2011

nenua chana daal ...sponge guard and split chickpea , another traditional fair...

Another desi subzi for the summers. Sponge guard is a watery summer vegetable with a sweetish taste that combines very well with chickpeas and mild spicing. The guards have so much water that you don't need to add any additional water to get a gravy if you use fresh guards .

( 2-4 servings depending on serving size)
sponge guards 400 gm
onion 200 gm
split chickpeas (chana daal) 100-150 gm
green chillies 3-4 or as much you like
finely chopped ginger 2 tsp(optional)
cumin seeds 2 tsp
turmeric powder 2 tsp
salt to taste
mustard oil 1 tbsp


Soak the chana daal for 15 minutes or till you clean and chop the vegetables.

Slice the onions and the green chillies ...

Peel and slice the sponge guard too.

Heat oil in a kadai and throw in the cumin seeds. Wait till the cumin splutters and then add the chopped ginger (if using) , the green chillies and as soon as the green chilly wriggles, tip in the sliced onions too....

In the meanwhile microwave the soaked chana daal for 5 minutes or boil in a pan on the other burner.

Fry the onions till they turn lightly pink and a bit shiny...adding salt makes it quicker.

Now add the partly cooked chana daal...

Mix well and add the turmeric powder and salt to taste ...

Add the sliced sponge guards too and mix well .

Cover and cook on low flame till the sponge guards release water and the slices becomes limp and mushy. The chana daal will be done by this time too.

Some people like the sponge guard completely mushed up and the soupy gravy dried up too , but i like the sponge guard greenish and holding their shape . They retain their unique flavor better this way .

This curry is very mildly hot as the green chillies and ginger just give a hint of heat to the otherwise sweetish curry. Sponge guards and onions both lend a nice sweet taste to this curry. The chana daal complements the sweetness well and makes the curry suitable plain boiled rice....recipe for a simple frugal meal.

The curry will be liked with chapatis or parathas too and i usually make a kadai full of this curry so that i can enjoy it with rice and roti both.

How many of you have grown up eating this tori chana daal ki subzi or nenua chana daal  ki subzi as it is called in the eastern parts of Uttar pradesh.


  1. lovely and droolworthy recipe.

  2. yummy recipe!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Healthy and tasty curry..Looks great!

  4. Healthy and delicious recipe.. looks perfect. thanks for sharing dear :)
    Indian Cuisine

  5. Looks yummy. What altenative vegetable do you suggest incase sponge gourd is not available?

  6. @ madhu...this curry can be made with lauki (bottle guard) too , the traditional UP version with lauki uses some garam masala and tomatoes too. This exact version will be good with zuchhini too ...let me know how you liked that.

  7. Absolutely love it ~ haven't made it since a really LONG time, thanks for the reminder :)
    US Masala

  8. Thank you Sangeeta for visiting my blog and leaving wonderful comments:)
    Nenua chana dal and nenua with kala chana used to be one of my favourite veggies growing up...
    I see so many of my favourite native dishes on your blog. Happy following you :)

  9. Hey dear first time here..but I think I know u ...u hv a bful blog with stunning pics..wonder how I missed it...
    Anyways would love to hear a word from u too...
    this looks delicious.I love making this with lauki too..any leftovers pls.?..Yummo
    Following u..

  10. to get a tangy flavour u can even add tomatoes to it.....