Chanya Ros is a delicious vegan white vatana gravy from the Goan cuisine. Mostly prepared during religious occasions, its best served with bread/rice.
If you too like me thought that Goan cuisine was all about seafood, then you are highly mistaken! I am just so glad that I busted that myth. My obsession to read and explore Indian and world cuisines is a very rewarding and enriching experience. That is how I come across recipes that may be long forgotten today or have been covered under a pile of more popular recipes from that particular cuisine. That is how I came across this Chanya Ros or Chana Ros recipe. It immediately caught my attention as all the ingredients in it called out to me. I began making a mental note of what all ingredients I already have and what I need to get. Meanwhile, I also texted my Goan friend asking him about this recipe. He told me that it very much existed in his growing up years and that my message had now made him hungry and homesick! Oops! That was clearly not my intention. Since he couldn't come over for dinner that night, I promised him a batch of Chanya Ros the next time we met.
Once it was confirmed that I had all the components required to put together this Chanya Ros, I went ahead with the recipe. Before we jump into the recipe, I thought you may be interested to know more about Goan cuisine. This was my first time attempting this cuisine and here is what I discovered. Goa is an Indian state located along India's west coast on the shore of the Arabian Sea. Being an extremely popular holiday destination due to its pristine beaches, the food scene is very famous. Seafood, rice, local spices, kokum, coconut, and vegetables are some of the main ingredients used in Goan cuisine. Being located in the tropical zone, the flavors and spices are very intense. Now Chanya Ros is a dish prepared with dry vatana or white beans. I also discovered that this dish had different names. Chanya Tonak or Chana Ros or Chanya Ros is similar to the South Indian style korma with coconut in it. My friend also mentioned to me that this was a dish his mom prepared on days when they had to be vegetarian or on religious occasions where meat/seafood was not allowed.
Now a little bit about why vatana or dried peas are good for you. Not only can dried peas help lower cholesterol, but they are also of special benefit in managing blood-sugar disorders since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal. They also provide protein, minerals, and dietary fiber with almost no fat. Ain't that great? I had only used vatana/dried peas to make Sundal and Ragda Pattice or sometimes even Dahi Ragda Puri. So this recipe was very refreshing to me and the coconut-based gravy appeared tempting enough for me to try it out. To get a head-start with the recipe, we first need to prepare the masala base. In a pan, add oil and once it's hot enough add and roast dried red chilies, peppercorns, coriander seeds, cloves, and fennel seeds. Take it off the pan after a minute. Again add oil to the pan and fry onions, ginger, and garlic. Once the onions turn translucent, take it all of the pan too.
Next, add shredded coconut to the pan and dry roast it till they begin to brown. Be careful to not burn it. Cook it on low-medium flame. Take it off the pan and allow them all to cool down completely before grinding it to a smooth paste by adding enough water and turmeric powder to it. Soak vatana overnight (preferably) and then boil it in turmeric + saltwater. I normally boil it in my pressure cooker and give it about 4-5 whistles. Heat oil in a pan, temper mustard seeds, and cumin seeds. Once they begin to crackle, add the curry leaves, asafoetida, and slit green chilly. In about 30 seconds, add the boiled vatana to the pan. Mix it well and then add the freshly ground paste. Add water to get the desired consistency and salt as required, mix and bring it to a boil on a medium flame. Garnish it with chopped cilantro and take it off the flame.
Chanya Ros is ready! Serve it with toasted bread or even rice. Both pair well with this dish. I also heard that Chanya Ros is a popular breakfast in Goa and I surely plan on checking it out on my next visit. KR has never ever been to Goa and that saddens me. I mean, you have to visit Goa if you are from Bombay, it's almost a crime if you don't! Sorry for that digress, but you at least make it part of your itinerary when you visit India. It's worth the visit. Anyways, talking about this vegan dish, I would even recommend having a bowl of Chanya Ros for dinner and that should keep you full. I did that and I simply loved it. This one is surely going to make frequent appearances in my kitchen. It makes a great dinner recipe, brunch recipe, lunchbox recipe, and/or weekend binge recipe! Whatever is your need, it will deliver. Do give this dish a try, I assure you that you will love it. The coconut base masala does full justice to this dish making it a lip-smacking one.
To prepare the masala
To cook the vatana
- Soak the watana in water overnight or for 8 hours.
- Drain and then boil them in salt and turmeric water for 20 minutes. I pressure cooked it for 4 whistles in the traditional Indian pressure cooker.
To prepare the masala
- In a pan, add oil and once its hot enough add and roast dried red chillies, peppercorns, coriander seeds, cloves and fennel seeds for 2 minutes on medium flame. Transfer to a plate.
- Again add oil to the pan and fry onions, ginger and garlic. Once the onions turn translucent, Transfer to the plate.
- Next add shredded coconut to the pan and dry roast it till they begin to brown. Be careful to not burn it. Cook it on low-medium flame. Transfer to the plate.
- Once all the roasted ingredients have cooled down, grind it to a smooth paste by adding water.
To prepare the curry
- Heat oil in a pan, temper mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Once they begin to crackle, add the curry leaves, and a slit green chilly.
- Add the boiled vatana to the pan. Mix it well.
- Then add the freshly ground paste. Add water to get the desired consistency and salt as required, mix and bring it to a a boil on a medium flame. Chef Tip - Add water gradually to get the desired consistency. You can also skip adding water if you feel the consistency is right.
- Garnish it with chopped cilantro and take it off the flame.
We love cooking with legumes and beans and I do have a collection to boast of. Some of my favorites are Black Chana Chaat, Punjabi Chana/Chickpea Masala, Peshawari Paneer Chole Recipe, Chickpea Stir Fry/Tawa Chole, Shahjahani Dal | Royal Chickpeas Stew, Rajma/Kidney Beans Enchilada Mini Casserole, Kidney Beans Indian Stew/Rajma Masala With Spinach, Potato Chickpea Curry and Vegan Black Eyed Peas Chili.