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Tropical Channa Bowl

This protein-packed fusion bowl mixes the aroma of curry leaves, the crispness of fresh carrots and cucumbers, and the sweetness of mangos. Inspired by traditional ingredients like mustard seeds and asafoetida, it makes a perfect to-go lunch favorite!

Makes 4 servings


  • 1 cup dry black gram (kala chana) or 3 cups cooked

  • 1 English cucumber

  • 3 carrots

  • 1/2 cup cilantro

  • 1 tsp mustard seeds

  • 1 tsp asafoetida

  • 1 tsp turmeric

  • 10 curry leaves

  • 1 tbsp red chili powder

  • 1 tbsp peanut oil

  • 6 tbsp shredded coconut (dry or fresh)

  • 4 tbsp Karuveppilai Podi (curry leaf powder)

  • 2 cups arugula

  • (optional) 1 ripe mango

  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds

  • 10 pecans

  • 10 leaves basil

  • 1 lemon

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Soak black gram overnight. Pressure cook with 1/2 cup of water as per Instant Pot instructions or on high for 5 minutes. Let cool and drain.

  2. Shred carrots and cucumber. Finely chop cilantro. Mix the three together and add salt and pepper to taste. Add 3 tbsp shredded coconut and half of the lemon juice.

  3. In a small pan, heat up the oil. Add mustard seeds and let them pop! Add curry leaves, asafoetida, red chili powder, and black gram. Add salt to taste and turmeric, then stir. Add the remaining shredded coconut.

  4. In a bowl, toss together the channa, the shredded vegetable mixture, and Karuveppilai Podi.

  5. Chop the mango. In a separate bowl, toss arugula, basil leaves, mango chunks, sunflower seeds, pecans, pepper, and the remaining lemon juice. Add salt to taste right before serving.

  6. Make a bowl with the mango-arugula salad and the cucumber-carrot-tempered chana. Enjoy!

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