Chole, the quintessential dish from north of India is one of the most popular curries in India. This is a curry made with chick peas and Indian spices. As with any popular curries, this too has many names and variations. Chana masala, pindi chole, or Punjabi chole are just a few to name. Chickpeas are known to be rich in fibre and Iron and are a healthy choice as a part of your daily meal.
I learnt this from my Punjabi friend Kriti who doesn’t cook much but when the she cooks its finger licking good J This is when I stopped using the chole masala that is sold in super markets and started relying on fresh ingredients and I just love this version.
Best part about this curry is that it goes well with anything; rice, paratha, puri, bhatura, kulcha or even with bread. I like it as a filling for my sandwich. Try grilling a whole wheat sandwich with this curry and a slice of cheese, you will surely enjoy this high fibre Punjabi sandwich. Here is a slightly modified version of chole that I learnt from my friend.
- 2 cups chick peas (Garbanzo beans/kabuli channa/chole) soaked overnight and boiled
- ½ cup coarse paste of boiled chick peas
- 1 tsp tea leaves (tied into a small muslin cloth to form a pouch/or a tea bag) optional
- 4 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 5 cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- Coarse paste of 2 inch piece of ginger, 2 green chillies, and 3-4 pods of garlic
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 tomato finely chopped
- 2 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves (optional)
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander
- 3 tsp red chilli powder
- 4 tsp coriander powder (dhania)
- ½ tsp dry mango (amchur) powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder (cumin seeds roasted and powdered)
- salt to taste
- 1 ½ cup water in which chana was boiled
Wash chick peas 3-4 times in running water before cooking. Add salt, tea pouch (if using) and pressure cook the soaked chick peas for 3-4 whistles on a low flame. It should be soft but not mushy.
Do not discard the water in which the chick peas were cooked. Drain the chick peas and keep aside.
Heat oil in a heavy pan. Add cumin seeds, cloves and bay leaves. Add ginger, garlic, and green chilli paste and saute for a min. Add onions and fry for 1-2 mins. Add tomatoes and little salt and cook for 2-3 minutes or till tomatoes become soft and can easily be mashed with the back of a spoon.
Add red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, amchur, garam masala, and little salt. Mix well and cook till oil separates.
Add 1 cup water in which chick peas were boiled, chick peas and the crushed chick peas paste. Check for salt and seasoning at this point. Cover and cook for 3-4 mins. If you find the consistency too dry add remaining ½ cup of water. Remove the cover and cook on low flame till the gravy is almost dry. Add chopped mint and coriander leaves. Mix well.
Serve with jeera rice, paratha, bhatura, puri or roti.