This Diwali was extra special, as it was just the day after my son’s birthday. So it was double dhamaka for us at home..
After a week of partying for Diwali and of-course my son’s birthday and all the sweets, cakes and the extra calories, it is so difficult to get back to the normal routine. Cooking normally seems almost soo.. difficult after making food for groups of people.
But, finally it’s just us and had to make something decent enough for us. After thinking long ( as my brain refused to think) wanted a simple but decent meal. So decided to make chole. So here it is…
To be roast and ground:
Cardamons – 2-3 nos
Cinnamon stick – 1” piece
Cloves – 3-4 nos
Peppercorn – 1 tsp
Jeera – 1 tsp
Coriander seeds – 1 tsp
Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
Pomegranate seeds (dried) – 1 tsp
Red chillies – 1-2 nos
For the gravy:
Onion (diced) – 2 nos
Tomatoes (diced) – 2 nos
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Green chillies (slit lengthwise) – 3-4 nos
Cinnamon stick – 1” piece
Cloves – 2-3 nos
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Red chilli powder – ½ tsp
Tea bags – 1-2 nos
Chickpeas/ Kabuli channa/ Chole – 1 cup
Wash and soak the chole in water overnight. Add two packets of tea bags to the chole to give it a dark color and musky flavor.
In a small pan, add the whole garam masalas and all the other ingredients to be roast and ground. Roast the ingredients till a fragrance arises. Remove from heat and let it cool. Grind to a powder and keep aside. This is your chole masala.
Cook the chole till they are soft along with the tea bags in it. The chole should not have a bite to it, but should be soft when mashed with your finger. Keep aside.
In a pan, heat oil and add the whole cloves and a piece of cinnamon. Wait for them to sputter.
Now, add the onions and sauté. Sauté till the onions are slightly pink in color.
Add the ginger-garlic paste and green chillies and sauté till the raw smell of the paste goes.
When the smell disappears, add the tomatoes and sauté. Sauté till the tomatoes get soft and mushy.
Now, add the powdered chole masala, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and sauté. Sauté till the oil starts to separate from the sides.
When the oil starts to separate, add the cooked chole along with the water but remove the tea bags and mix well.
Season with salt and cook on a low heat.
Cook till the gravy reaches a thick consistency. You can mash a few chole pieces to give the gravy some body.
When the required consistency is reached, remove from heat and garnish with onion rings, ginger juiliennes and chopped coriander.
Serve hot with pooris or bature.
You can substitute pomegranate seeds with amchur powder.
You can even use canned channa for the recipe.