Friday, 4 May 2012

Punjabi Chole (Chickpeas curry - North Indian/Punjabi Style)

"Punjabi Chole" or "Chana Masala" is a very popular side dish in North Indian cuisine.
Chickpeas or  Garbanzo beans or Chana, provide an excellent source of of protein, as well as minerals such as iron, copper, zinc, and magnesium. As a good source of fiber, garbanzo beans can help lower cholesterol and improve blood sugar levels. This makes them a great food especially for diabetics and insulin-resistant individuals. 
This "Chole" is best eaten with Puris or Jeera Rice and also used as an evening snack in "Aloo Tikki Chole".


Ingredients:
Chana/chickpeas/Bengal gram/Garbanzo beans-200 gms
Oil - 1 tsp
Onion - 2 - finely chopped
Tomatoes - 2 - finely chopped 
Ginger - 1/2 inch - finely chopped
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Dried Mango Powder/Amchur - 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Black Salt - 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek powder - 1/2 tsp
Black pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Cloves - 1
Black Cardamom - 1 ( Optional)

Method:
Soak Chickpeas overnight with extra water. Next morning boil the Chickpeas with 1 tsp salt  in a cooker for about 30 mins or until soft. Drain and keep the Chickpeas aside. Keep the water for later use.
Take about 2 tbsp of drained chickpeas and blend them in a blender along with the drained water to form a semi thick liquid. This will be used to add thickness to the Chana masala/gravy. This technique I learnt from a very skilled Chef. The gravy gets a good consistency in addition to retaining the smell and taste of the Chickpeas.
Take a heavy bottomed pan, keep on low heat, add oil, fry cloves and black cardamom till they give out a nice aroma (a few seconds). Now fry onion till golden brown. Now add tomatoes and ginger and fry well. Now add all the other spice powders one by one taking care to see that they do not burn. So add each spice without any gap and stirring continuously. 
Now add the boiled chickpeas along with the blended water and chana and bring to boil.
Garnish with chopped green chillies and chopped coriander leaves.
Serve hot with puris or Jeera rice.


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