Saturday, August 2, 2014


Chole is essentially a spicy flavorful Indian main dish made from chickpeas. This North Indian delicacy is sometimes served as breakfast with fried bread, Bhature; or more commonly in lunch or dinner with breads like Bhature or Kulcha, spicy potato cutlets(tikki), onions, carrot pickle,chutney and achaar.

2 cups raw chickpeas
2 cloves garlic finely minced
1/2 inch ginger, cut into julienne
1 onion diced finely
2 tomatoes, puréed 
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
A pinch of asafoetida
Curry leaves
1-2 bay leaves
5-6 cloves 
1 inch bark of cinnamon 
5-6 black pepper 
2-3 cardamom 
Condiments ( red chilli powder, turmeric powder, dhania powder, salt, sugar) 
Chole Masala 
Cilantro, Lime juice 

Soak the chickpeas overnight or atleast for a few hours. The quantity will increase upon soaking and further on boiling, so take the raw chickpeas accordingly. After the chickpeas have soaked, pressure cook them with water which has cinnamon, cloves, pepper, turmeric and salt added. Let them cook till they are soft, depending on the pressure cooker you use. 

Take a big saucepan, add oil and mustard seeds. Once they pop, add cumin seeds, followed by cinnamon, cloves, pepper and cardamom. Next put in the curry leaves and green chillies and sauté them for a minute. Throw in the garlic and ginger and cool till it is soft. Add finely diced onions, and salt and cook till they are transparent. Once cooked, add the red chilli powder and Chole Masala and increase the flame. Ensure the mixture does not burn. After it has sizzled for a minute or so, add about 2-3 tbsp. of water and mix well. This helps in bringing out the red color of the chilli powder. 

Now, add in the tomato purée and mix well. Let the mixture come to a boil and you will see the oil separating from the gravy, and the gravy also turns red. This indicates that the gravy is cooked well. At this stage add the haldi, dhania jeera and sugar. Mix the boiled chole and let the mixture simmer on medium flame for 10- 15 minutes. 

After the chole has simmered, it will become thick. Adjust the water to get the required consistency and add salt if required. Depending on how sour the tomatoes are, add little lime juice and turn down the flame.

Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with onion rings, pickle and raita. This tastes good with kulcha as well as bhatura. Chole is often served with aalo tikki and topped with sweet and sour tamarind Chutney and onions.

The recipe for Garlic Kulcha is here.

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