Any time of the year, we do potluck parties with friends, chole is a must have dish on the menu. Be it Indian house parties or weddings, no festive occasion is complete without Chole.
Chickpeas can be cooked by various methods – chickpea curry, dry chickpea masala, chole bhature or even in form of mouth-watering chaats. Chickpea is also an integral part of mediterranean food, wherein it is used to make salads, soups and hummus.
Like any other legumes such as beans or lentils, chickpeas are known for their high protein and fiber content. Key vitamins and minerals necessary for the benefit of human health, are also found in chickpeas.
My family and my friends are so fond of chole, that we never give it a miss when we meet up together for parties and gatherings. It is well loved by both adults and kids. It is a common practice to put a tea bag or two inside the pressure cooker at the time of boiling. This method enhances the flavor and color of the gravy.
This dish, when paired up with pulao or pooris, makes a delicious and complete meal.
Chickpeas – 1 cup (washed and soaked overnight)
Tea bags – 2
1 medium sized onion – chopped finely
1 large onion – ground to a paste
To be ground to a paste – 5-6 garlic cloves, a small piece of ginger, 3-4 green chillies, 1 tbsp fennel seeds (sauf), 5-6 black peppercorns
2 tomatoes – pureed
Cloves – 4-5
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Bay leaves – 2-3
Coriander leaves – chopped
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tbsp
Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
Chana masala powder – 1 tbsp
Homemade garam masala – 1 tbsp (whole garam masala roasted and ground to a fine powder)
Amchoor powder – 1 tsp
Pav bhaji masala – 1 tsp (optional)
Salt – as per taste
Pressure cook the chickpeas in a pressure cooker with water, bay leaves and 4-5 cloves. Put 2 teabags inside the water. Put on high flame, wait for the first whistle. Then put the flame on low and cook for 20 mins. Once done remove the tea bags.
Put oil in a large pan. Put cumin seeds. Let them splutter. Then add in the chopped onions. When the onions turn golden brown, add the onion paste and the other paste (prepared out of blending ginger garlic chillies sauf and peppercorns). Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder and chana masala powder. Saute everything well till masala paste is well fried and oil starts oozing out. This process will take some time. It is very important to fry the masala well so that there is no raw smell of the onion and garlic.
Then add the tomato puree. Mix well and cover with a lid. Cook well until you can see traces of oil oozing out.
Then add the boiled chickpeas along with the excess water from pressure cooker. Mix well. At this point you can add some more water to get the desired consistency. Add chopped coriander leaves, amchoor powder, homemade garam masala powder. I usually add some pav bhaji masala too but that is optional. Add salt to taste. Mix everything well.
Put the flame on high till the curry gets a boil. Then lower the flame, cover with a lid and let it cook for 5-10 mins. Once done, garnish with chopped coriander leaves.