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Punjabi Chole

Punjabi Chole

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.


Posted by on October 26, 2014 in Side Dishes, Vegetarian Dishes


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Mixed Vegetable Korma

Mixed Vegetable Korma

Trying to be a vegetarian the whole of this month (tamil month)…. and it is just not easy with everyone biting and chewing next to you.

When you think of a vegetarian menu, the first thing I can think of is a mixed rice and a korma with the addition of the sides. I have even been mocked at because of this (hope you read this)… but still, being a non-vegetarian this is what I think of first.

Vegetable korma is something I make very often in my house. Especially this korma, which goes well with almost everything.

It does not matter if you haven’t got all the vegies…you just need to have some basic vegetables to add to the korma and still it tastes good.



Potatoes (cubed)                                                                          –              1 no

Carrot (cubed)                                                                              –              1 no

Cauliflower (small florets)                                                               –              ½ cup

Peas                                                                                           –              ½ cup

Beans (chopped)                                                                          –              ¼ cup

Onion                                                                                          –              2 nos

Tomato                                                                                        –              2 nos

Ginger-garlic paste                                                                       –              1 tbsp

Cloves                                                                                         –              3-4 pcs

Cinnamon stick                                                                            –              1 no

Cardamons                                                                                  –              2-3 nos

Bay leaves                                                                                   –              2 nos

Turmeric powder                                                                           –              ¼ tsp

Red chilli powder                                                                           –              1 tsp

To grind to a paste:

Coconut (grated)                                                                          –              3 tbsps

Saunf                                                                                         –              1 tsp

Cashew nuts                                                                               –              8-10 nos

Poppy seeds                                                                               –              ½ tsp

Salt to taste




Chop the onions and tomatoes and grind them to a smooth paste using a blender without adding any water. Keep aside.

Grind the coconut, poppy seeds, saunf and cashew nuts to a fine paste and keep them ready.

In a large pan, heat the oil. When the oil is hot enough, add the whole garam masala’s i.e. the cloves, cardamons, bay leaf and cinnamon stick.

When they sputter, add the ground onions and tomatoes and sauté.

Sauté this for a minute or two and add the ginger-garlic paste.

Keep sautéing till the raw smell of the ginger-garlic goes and then add the dry powders i.e. the turmeric powder, red chilli powder.

Mix well into the gravy and keep frying on a low heat or else the dry masala powders would get burned. Keep frying till oil leaves from the sides of the pan.


Add all the cubed vegetables and mix well. Add a cup of water and close with a lid to cook the vegetables.

Cook on a medium flame till the vegetables are fully cooked.

Season with salt and reduce the heat and cook for further 5 minutes.

If the water has reduced add just half a cup of water and mix well.

When the gravy is bubbling, reduce the heat and add the ground coconut and cashew paste. Mix it well into the gravy.

Let it boil for just a minute or till the gravy thickens and remove from heat.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve garnished with a wedge of lemon.

Enjoy with anything rice, roti even dosai.


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Posted by on September 30, 2014 in Side Dishes, Vegetarian Dishes


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Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk

Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk

Food at Pondicherry is influenced a lot by the Portuguese and French. A lot of their everyday food, have this influence.

I have very fond memories of eating this chicken while growing. It is very mild with very few spices.


This is one of the dishes made at my grandparents place in Pondicherry. I have no idea why my grandmother called this “Egyptian Chicken” but that was what she christened it.

I always keep mentioning my grandmother and her recipes but never mentioned the person who actually made the dishes. It was my “mami”. An awesome, warm person who never hesitated to feed any number of people at any given point of time. Anything my mami made tasted divine.

Love you mami for everything.



Chicken (small pieces)                                                                       –              500 gms

Onions (sliced)                                                                                  –              2 nos

Ginger-garlic paste                                                                            –              2 tsps

Coconut milk (thick)                                                                          –              2 cups ( 1+1)

Black pepper (crushed)                                                                      –              1 tbsp

Green chillies (slit)                                                                            –              3-4 nos

Cinnamon stick                                                                                 –              1 small piece

Cloves                                                                                              –              2-3 pieces

Lemon juice                                                                                      –              1 tsp

Salt to taste





Wash and clean the chicken. Add the ginger-garlic paste and lemon juice for marination and keep aside.

In a medium pan, heat the oil. Add the cinnamon, cloves and wait for them to sputter.

Now, add the sliced onions and sauté. Cook the onions till they turn slightly brown in color.

Add the slit green chillies and sauté for 2-3 minutes.

Add the marinated chicken with all the juices and fry till the chicken turns slightly golden.

Now, slowly add the coconut milk and cook on a low heat covered, till the chicken is done and the gravy is a nice thick consistency.

Season with salt and crushed pepper and cook for  further 5 minutes on low heat.

Remove the chicken from heat and add the lemon juice.

Serve hot with hoppers (aapams) or string hoppers (idiyappams).



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Posted by on September 10, 2014 in Chicken, Non_Vegetarian Dishes


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