Thursday, 21 March 2013

Chole/Channa Masala (Spicy Chickpeas curry)

Chole/Channa Masala is a spicy chickpeas curry usually mentioned as a Punjabi dish. Although, usually Chole/Channa is associated with Batura (fried unleavened flat bread), they are great with any Indian flat bread or even pita bread and tortillas. You can use dried channa/chickpeas to prepare this (& is usually cheaper to do this) if you have time and can plan ahead. But you can also use canned channa (like I did) if you want it asap. If using dried channa, make sure to soak them over night and pressure cook them for 20-25 mins until soft. As far as the recipe goes, this dish is prepared in a wide variety of ways that, each household probably has their own recipe with slight changes and differences to suit their taste. Here is the one I use.

You will need:
2 cans of chickpeas-drained (350 grams of dried chickpeas cooked) - Kabuli/white channa
2 small pieces of cinnamon stick
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 bay leaves (fresh/dried)
1/2 onion chopped
1 tomato chopped
1 tsp tomato puree
2-3 tsps of cooking oil
1 small cup of tea brewed for 3 mins (yes, you read it correct!) - optional
2 tbsp coriander leaves chopped coarsely

For grinding to paste:
2 fresh green chillies
1/2 medium sized onion
1 tomato
2 inch ginger (peeled)
3-4 cloves of garlic
2-3 tbsps of chickpeas from above

Dry Masala/spices:
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp clove powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp channa masala powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder (use more or less according to taste)
1/2 tsp black pepper powder
salt to taste

For garnish:
A wedge of lemon
Fresh green chillies
Fresh onion cut into rings

Grind the ingredients listed in "to grind list" to a thick paste (add as little water as possible) in a blender. Using few tbsps of the chickpeas helps with thickening the gravy without changing taste.

 Heat oil to medium in a kadai/wok. Add cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks and bay leaves and allow the cumin seeds to splutter.

Add the chopped onions and fry until it just starts to turn brown. Add chopped tomatoes next.

Add a pinch of salt and cook covered for another min until tomatoes get soft.

Add the ground paste and

all the dry masala/spices. Lower the heat to medium-low, mix well and fry until the raw smell disappears (around 1-2 mins).
Add the tomato puree & tea and mix well. First time I saw my friend use tea I thought that she had lost it! But I was pleasantly surprised by the flavor and color the tea adds to the channa masala. If you are not comfortable using it you can skip it altogether. Those who are using dried channa, you can boil/pressure cook the channa in tea water to infuse the chickpeas with the flavor and also add some color to them directly.

Add the cooked/canned channa, mix well. Cover and cook until soft. For already cooked channa, it will just take 5-6 mins. For canned channa, cook at least for 10-12 mins. Add more water if needed to achieve gravy consistency. Turn off the stove and add coriander leaves and mix well. Pick out the bay leaves and cinnamon sticks and discard.

Serve warm with your choice of flat breads. The chole is usually served with a wedge of lemon, green chillies and onion rings. Each person then uses them according to taste. You can add lemon juice directly to the chole if you prefer.

1 comment:

  1. Wow 1 That's a fab combo... First time to ur space... Keep Rocking !


Thank you for visiting and taking the time and effort to leave a comment.