I first tasted this tangy, spicy dish when I lived in Malawi for a while after getting married. The Indian community in Malawi spend a lot of time socialising over food. Could be because there’s precious little else to do there except socialise. At the time in Blantyre 12 years ago, there wasn’t even a movie theatre and the biggest shopping mall around was a Shoprite Park. There are plenty beautiful, natural sights to see, but on a day to day basis, if you were not working a job, finding things to fill your time was, lets say……. challenging.
So needless to say the ladies of the Malawi Indian community have perfected the art of cooking to a fine degree. They even published a recipe book, called Spice and Splendour by “The Muslim Ladies Committee Malawi”. Ironically though, it was my mother in law who first made the dish for a dinner function we held. And she’s Zimbabwean, not Malawian. I enjoyed it so much I gobbled up what stayed over out of a bowl with a spoon. The tangy flavours of tamarind mixing with spices, tomato and curry leaves gives you that more-ish flavour that has you unable to stop.
This is a great Meat Free Monday dish and is suitable to serve as a meal. The chickpeas offer protein and the potatoes make this a substantial enough dish that is lovely served with roti and an array of pickles. Here is my version of this tangy vegetarian favourite.
I’ve used canned chickpeas as it just speeds up the whole process. But a cup of dried chickpeas soaked and boiled till soft can also do the trick.
Some of your ingredients
Braise your spices to release their flavours
That tangy gravy…. mmmmmmm
How to make Channa Batata - Tangy Chickpea and Potato Curry
Author: Hungry for Halaal