Aloo Channa Shorba Salan – Soupy Potato and Chickpea Curry

Potatoes and chickpeas in a Shorba (soupy) curry may seem like a peasants dish due to it’s lack of exotic or meaty ingredients – but don’t let that fool you into thinking it isn’t one delicious meal. This dish, alongside the Indian Subcontinent’s favourite Daal Chawal (rice and lentils) is an example of simple but hearty comfort food at it’s best. This Shorba Salan served with a warm plate of steamed basmati rice and some cutlets, perhaps an Aloo Ki Tikki, is my idea of perfection after a busy day.

Aloo Channa Shorba Salan - Potato And Chickpea Soupy Curry - A Pakistani Recipe

One thing I’ve been taught about Shorba Salans is that a lot of love and labour goes into making the masala, the tomato and onion base of the curry. In order for the Shorba to be rich, flavourful and at the perfect consistency, the onions and tomatoes need to be as dissolved into the water as much as possible. This requires a lot of slow simmering, stirring, sauteing and patience. Some small bits of onions and tomatoes will inevitably remain, but our aim is to break down about 90% of them for a smooth soup. The modern option is to use a food processor, but I don’t recommend this unless you’re severely pressed for time – it’s the slow cooking with the cumin seeds, the ginger, the garlic and the spices that give this Shorba Salan it’s depth and flavour. I, for one, don’t want to skimp on that.

At the moment, the month of Ramadan is upon us and my husband likes a Shorba Salan for Suhoor (pre-fasting meal) with some sweet yogurt and a paratha. It’s what his Mother would cook for everyone at his house, so now it’s something I’m carrying forward. So, I’ve been making Shorba Salans more frequently than usual this month for his Suhoor and also because I like breaking my fast with something soupy. I just feel it’s easier on the stomach after a 19 hour fast. This Shorba Salan also goes divine with some plain basmati rice, as mentioned, and also with pooris (deep fried chapattis) for an indulgent breakfast.

Enjoy, with love x

Aloo Channa Shorba Salan - Potato And Chickpea Soupy Curry - A Pakistani Recipe

 

Aloo Channa Shorba Salan - Potato And Chickpea Soupy Curry - A Pakistani Recipe
Aloo Channe Shorba Salan - Soupy Potato and Chickpea Curry
Print Recipe
Servings
4 servings
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings
4 servings
Cook Time
1 hour
Aloo Channa Shorba Salan - Potato And Chickpea Soupy Curry - A Pakistani Recipe
Aloo Channe Shorba Salan - Soupy Potato and Chickpea Curry
Print Recipe
Servings
4 servings
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings
4 servings
Cook Time
1 hour
Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small piece ginger, minced
  • 2 small tomatoes
  • 1 cup potatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 2.5 tsp cumin powder
  • 3 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 0.5 tsp black pepper
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Firstly, chop the potatoes and soak them in cold water till needed. This step is optional but it removes some of the starch from the potatoes, meaning the Shorba won't become thick and startchy after a few days.
    Aloo Channa Shorba Salan - Potato And Chickpea Soupy Curry - A Pakistani Recipe
  2. In a pot, heat the oil and add the chopped onions, minced garlic, minced ginger and cumin seeds. Heat this on low for about 15 minutes, till the edges are browning and the onions soften and reduce. Stir occasionally.
    Aloo Channa Shorba Salan - Potato And Chickpea Soupy Curry - A Pakistani Recipe
  3. Add the tomatoes, all the spices and 3/4 cup water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on low, stirring occassionally.
    Aloo Channa Shorba Salan - Potato And Chickpea Soupy Curry - A Pakistani Recipe
  4. Once most of the water has dried out and the mixture is beginning to come together, uncover and turn the heat to high. Saute, stir and mash this mixture whilst on high till all the water has dried out. Our aim is to mash most of the onions and tomatoes completely. If after drying out all the water you feel they haven't mashed sufficiently, add 1/2 cup of water and continue to saute and stir till he water dries off once again.
    Aloo Channa Shorba Salan - Potato And Chickpea Soupy Curry - A Pakistani Recipe
  5. Once the masala is completely dry from water and is 90% or more mashed, add 4 cups of water, the chickpeas and the potatoes.
    Aloo Channa Shorba Salan - Potato And Chickpea Soupy Curry - A Pakistani Recipe
  6. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes have cooked.
  7. Aloo Channa Shorba Salan is done! Serve as a soup, with rice or with your bread of choice
Recipe Notes

If you're short of time or don't want to make the masala as described, here is a shortcut (the results won't be as tasty as the recipe though). In step 2, instead of adding 3/4 cup of water, add 1/4, beat the tomatoes with your spoon and allow this to cook for 2-3 minutes. Then, transfer this mixture to your food processor and blend till 90% smooth. Transfer this back to your pot and continue with the recipe from step 4.

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2 thoughts on “Aloo Channa Shorba Salan – Soupy Potato and Chickpea Curry

  1. I’d like to do this in the pressure cooker—if starting from dry chickpeas (unsoaked), would it be feasible to pressurize them with the tomato mixture, then remove, mash up the gravy, then add chole back in with the potatoes and pressure for a few minutes more? I’d be using the Instant Pot, in case it matters. 🙂 Thanks!

    1. Hi Sairah! I’d be inclined to pressure cooking the chickpeas separately, as they take much longer to cook than the tomato mixture. You could pressure cook the chickpeas and tomato mix together, but it would be a hassle removing the chickpeas, no? Just what I think! 🙂

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