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Winter Recipes: Make The Most of Green Chickpeas, Peas and Sorghum

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Winter Recipes: Make The Most of Green Chickpeas, Peas and Sorghum
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Come winters and the market is flooded with diverse produce depending on your geographical location. Apart from the leafy vegetables, peas, green chickpeas, a variety of beans, tender sorghum, pigeon peas are available.

This is the time to make most of these greens that add taste, flavor, and variety to your plate. A diet rich in vegetables has numerous health benefits. A WHO/FAO report recommends eating 400g of fruits and vegetables (excluding potatoes and tubers) daily to prevent chronic diseases like heart diseases, cancer, diabetes, and obesity.


Choliya (Green Chickpeas)

Green Choliya
(Photo: iStock)

Green gram or choliya comes to the market in December and January. It is rich in protein, vitamins A and C and helps to boost immunity in the winters. It also contains folate that can fight depression triggered by seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Choliya is eaten raw, roasted, boiled, or sautéed. Place a heavy pan on gas and add the kernels. Stir continuously until brown spots develop. Roasted choliya is ready to eat.

You can sauté green chana in oil with mustard cumin, salt and green chillies. Cook until it is 80 % done. Increase the flame and stir constantly. Remove from heat, add chopped onion, lemon juice and salt.

Substituting peas for choliya to make dry veggies is another way to include it. Here is an interesting recipe for you to try.


Green Chana Spread


  • 1.5 cups of green chickpeas

  • 2 green chillies

  • ½ tsp of black pepper powder

  • 1 cup chopped coriander

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • Salt to taste

  • 2 tsp oil


Grind the chickpeas to a fine paste by mixing all the ingredients except oil.

Heat a pan. Add oil and when it is heated add the paste and stir continuously. Cook until the mixture starts leaving the sides. Cool and use as a spread for sandwiches or as a dip.

Green Arhar (Pigeon Pea)

Tender pigeon pea
(Photo: iStock)

Tender pigeon pea, ooli tur, Tuvaram paruppu or hari tuvar is available in this season. It comes in pods like peas and needs to be shelled. Just as peas you can make a dry or curried vegetable with potatoes and other vegetables.

Recipe: Green Arhar Steamed Koftas


  • 3 cups fresh arhar kernels

  • 1 cup chopped fenugreek/spinach leaves

  • 1 tbsp ginger, green chillies and garlic paste

  • 3 tsp rice flour

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder

  • 2 tsp coriander powder

  • Salt to taste

For Curry

  • 3 tomatoes (Puréed)

  • 1tsp cumin seeds

  • 1 tbsp garlic ginger paste

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

  • 1 tsp chilli powder

  • Powder 2 tbs coriander seeds, 4-5 peppercorns, 2 pieces of cinnamon, and 1 black cardamom

  • Salt to taste


Blend the kernels to a fine paste. Add everything and mix well. Make small balls and steam for 15- 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let them cool.

Heat oil and add cumin seeds. Add tomato puree and cook for 5 minutes. Then add the spices, ginger garlic paste and salt. Cook until the oil separates. Add the steamed koftas and boil on a slow flame. Add chopped coriander leaves. Serve with roti or paratha.

You can make a nice teatime snack by steaming the kernels and mixing them with chopped onions, tomatoes, green chilies, black salt, lemon juice and chaat masala.


Mattar (Peas)

(Photo: iStock)

Peas are used in many dishes from vegetables, pulao, khichadi to samosas and kachoris. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, peas can the strengthen immune system. They contain the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin that help to maintain eye health.

Peas go well with potatoes, cabbage, and cauliflower. Fenugreek leaves and peas sautéed with garlic make a delicious combination.

Recipe: Pea Dhokla

An interesting recipe is green pea dhokla.

Steam shelled peas and grind finely. Add 2 tsp gram flour for one cup of pea mixture, turmeric powder, ginger paste cumin seeds, salt. Add water as and if required. The batter should not be very thin. Mix well. Add ½ tsp soda. Mix well and steam immediately for 20 minutes. Temper with mustard seeds, cumin seeds and green chilies.


Tender Sorghum (Jowar)

(Photo; iStock)

These grains are available from November to December. Ponk, hurda or tender Sorghum is popular in Gujarat and Maharashtra. This snack is made by roasting the grains, tossing with sev, a variety of dry chutneys and lemon juice. The juicy chewy grains are a delight to eat. These are rich in fibre and keep the gut healthy. It helps to regulate blood sugar, insulin levels and cholesterol.

It is also gluten-free making it a good choice for people with gluten intolerance.

Tender Shorgum Vadas


  • 1 cup tender sorghum grains

  • 1/4 cup chana dal soaked for 6 hours

  • 1 tsp rice flour

  • 1 onion finely chopped

  • 2 tsp ginger garlic paste

  • 2 chillies finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves

  • 1 tbsp coarsely crushed coriander seeds

  • 1 tsp chilli powder

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

  • Salt to taste

  • Oil for frying



Blend the grains with chana dal coarsely. Add the rest of the ingredients except oil. Mix well. Heat oil. Shape the batter in flat and round vadas and fry on medium flame until golden brown. Serve with chutney.

These vadas can also be added to any curry of your choice to make a sabzi. Try it with leftover vadas the next day.

Eating seasonal and local is a sustainable way of life. It helps to explore the rare greens that might be unknown. Farmer markets are good to procure these greens. Talking to farmers can lead you to recipes and traditional ways of cooking that you may be unaware.

Including the unknown foods in your diet exposes kids to new tastes and the rich seasonal diversity which may soon become extinct if ignored. It helps the small farmers as the demand encourages them to cultivate local and seasonal produce to maintain the diversity of food crops.

(Nupur Roopa is a freelance writer and a life coach for mothers. She writes articles on environment, food, history, parenting, and travel.)

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