Edamame, the steamed green soybeans coated with salt, are my standard order at a Japanese restaurant. Even more than the flavour, I like the lingering, casual atmosphere this dish creates as you and your friends dig into the pile of green beans.
Then yesterday, I spotted the green chana at the vegetable market. As childhood memories of stalks of green chana roasting over open fire came rushing back, it stuck me that India has always had its own version of the edmame - the roasted green chana. You only spot these beans for a few weeks, so I promptly bought these back home with me to make the most of the short lived season.
Open fire seemed unlikely as an option so for my Sunday afternoon snack, I present the oven roasted green chana. First off, wash the green chana pods. Drain and wipe with paper towels. Spread in a single layer on a baking tray and pop in the oven heated to 230C. Ten minutes later, bring out the tray and give the pods a stir so they cook evenly. Bake for another ten minutes until they start to brown, then remove from the oven and sprinkle with salt. You can also add chilli powder or any other seasoning you like. Wait a few minutes, then spent a leisurely afternoon cracking open the pods.