Sunday, May 27, 2012

Cook Chole the way I do....

Photo by Amit Agni
1 1/2 cup White Chole(Chick peas)
3 medium size red onions
4 -5 green chilly (ones that i used were not so spicy)
3 medium size red tomatoes
2 inch ginger
4 garlic cloves
Two 1 inch cinnamon stick
4 small green cardamom
4 to 5 cloves 
Coriander for garnishing
Salt to taste
1 tsp Kashmiri red chilly powder
1 tsp Jeera Powder(Cumin powder)
1 tbsp Chole Masala (Indian grocery stores will have this)
1-2tbsp Pure Ghee (clarified butter)....available in Indian grocery for sure
Pinch of carom seeds
4 tbsp canola oil for cooking (you can use sunflower or refine oil also)
2 to 3 tea bags
1 bay leaf
Wash the chick peas and soak it overnight in water. 
Add salt to taste,and tea bags to the soaked chickpeas. Bring it to a boil in a pressure cooker. How long you have to boil this depends.... after the first whistle blew ...I kept it for another 10 mins. After boiling remove the tea bags. The chickpeas should mash easily when you press it between two fingers.
Make a paste of 2 1/2 onions along with ginger,2 chilly's and garlic. Also make a puree of 2 1/2 tomatoes and keep it separately. 

Chop the onion( the left over half). Chop the tomato(the left over half).Heat oil in a pan.When the oil is hot add the cinnamon stick,bay leaf,cardamom and cloves.
Now add the chopped onions to this. Cook for a minute on low heat. 
Add the onion-ginger-garlic-chilly paste. Cook on low heat till the paste turns light brown ( or till the time u think the raw flavors are gone). 
Add the chopped tomato and the puree. Keep cooking on low heat until oil separates.
Now add the red chilly powder, cumin powder and the chole masala powder and cook for another 3 minutes. 
Once done, I pour this mixture into the pressure cooker. Mix well, and pressure cook until 1 or 2 whistles. I do this so that all the masala can mix well with the chole. 
Once the cooker has cooled remove the lid. I like to make the chole with thick gravy so I boil it until the gravy consistency is as per what I want. You can skip this step if the gravy is already thick.
Take a frying pan add the pure ghee to this. When ghee is warm add the carom seeds and also add the remaining green chilly (I slit the green chilly before adding to this). Now pour this ghee into the chole that you have cooked. Garnish with coriander. 
Chole is ready to serve.
Carom seeds is a digestive that I add. I chop half onion and tomato coz it makes a good thick gravy. Tea bags give the gravy a nice dark colour. When I cook the masala I always do so on low heat. I think it cooks nicely and evenly on low heat.
Add 1-2 black cardamom for extra flavour.

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