It’s Hop-versary time! Time has flown by. It is a year today the 10th of December, since we, the Culinary Hoppers began our forey into blog hopping. Shouldering with zeal, the demands and expectations of working as a team, the culinary hoppers have continued to live up to life’s insistent calls too. The team of 6 which is one of 10 now, with continued ardor, have managed to bring out their best with every hop.
We are Jayashree T Rao from Evergreen Dishes, Piyali Sekhar Mutha from My Tryst With Food And Travel, Padma Veeranki from MasalaKorb, Vani Padmanabhan from Marudhu’s Kitchen, Shubha Acharya from Shubha’s Kitchen, Parvathy V Nair from Crackle And Temper, Shobana Vijay from Shoba’sdelight, Swati Neeraj Goyal from Let’s Cook Healthy Tonight, Poornima Hegde from Poorni’s Easy Cooking, and myself.
From breakfast to desserts, from snacks to drinks, we have covered many a meal choices, from Chinese to Rajasthani, from thalis to singular autenticities, we have set foot on many a cuisine; from holi to ugadi, from diwali to navrathri; there’s not many a festivity we haven’t put our celebration highs towards. Such an enjoyable, enriching, fun learning experience it has been. And yet there’s many a region, many a cuisine, we are yet to uncover!
To commemorate the celebration,we bring to you TWO INDIAN THALIs (a meal made of a selection of dishes), one to represent northern Indian influence on the cuisine and the other to highlight the southern Indian delicacies. Each of us bringing one dish towards each thali.
My first contribution towards this hop-versary thali is Chole-Punjabi Chole Msala-Chana Masala Recipe, chickpeas cooked with freshly roasted and ground spices gravy.
A universal favorite chole masala, with the chickpeas – so endearing to everyone, from kids to grown ups; when prepared with freshly ground spices, is soo delicious. The bite, the aromatic, earthy, heart-warming nature of the dish, makes it a winner. Every gathering, every get-together, I note with delight, that chole becomes one dish which is highly sought after and is the first to get over!
When you consider the protein richness with fiber, chickpeas bring, while being so enjoyable, any effort involved in the process seems worth considering; Be it pairing it with suitable breads or towards the dish itself.
Now, the easy and quick chana masala recipe, I follow, when short of time as some of you might. Where as, when the heart yearns for an authentic bite with the authentic dark color, the aroma of freshly roasted and ground spices, with every morsel, it then inevitably has to be the chole masala from scratch! With mere minimal modifications, I adapted this recipe from Veg Recipes of India. The preparation begins the day before with the rinsing and soaking of dried chickpeas. And then cooked the following morning to be paired with the bread favorites bhature, naan, kulche or even pooris.
I paired it with some bhature prepared the traditional way. The joy on my family’s faces was something to reckon with 🙂 They seem ready for the next round of the same already! Thanks to this wonderful recipe.
Stay tuned for the bhature recipe coming soon 🙂
Method for Chole-Punjabi Chole Masala Recipe:
- FOR COOKING THE CHICKPEAS>>
- 1 cup dried white chickpeas (200 grams)(garbanzo beans, kabuli chana)
- 3 cups of water to pressure cook the chickpeas
- 1 black tea bag
- ½ teaspoon salt
- SPICES FOR ROASTING>>
- 2 black cardamoms (large cardamom pods)
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 4 whole peppercorns
- 2 cloves
- 1 medium sized bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon dry coriander seeds
- ¼ teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
- 1 to 2 dry red chilies ( I used 1 spicy dry red chili)
- FOR THE GRAVY>>
- 1 finely chopped medium sized onion
- 1 finely chopped medium sized tomato
- 2 fat cloves of garlic, finely grated
- ½ inch fresh ginger, finely grated
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder
- 2 to 3 slit green chilies (I used 1½ long green chilies)
- 1½ cups of saved stock from cooking chickpeas or water (I used the stock)
- 1½ to 2 tablespoons oil (if cooking for diabetics, use 1 tablespoon or less for the entire dish)
- ¾ to 1 teaspoon dry mango powder (amchur powder)
- FOR GARNISH>>
- ½ inch fresh ginger thinly sliced
- ¼ to ½ finely chopped red onion
- few quartered slices of lime/lemon
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh coriander
- The previous night, wash, drain and soak 1 cup of chickpeas adding fresh water, enough to allow it to swell up on soaking.
- The next morning, drain the chickpeas. add 2½ to 3 cups of water and pressure cook for 16 to 18 whistles. Turn off the heat.Allow the cooker to release the pressure and cool naturally.
- Meanwhile, heat a pan, dry roast 2 black cardamoms, 1 inch cinnamon stick, 4 whole peppercorns,2 cloves,1 medium sized bay leaf,1 teaspoon cumin seeds,1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- teaspoon dry coriander seeds, ¼ teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain), 1 to 2 dry red chilies ( I used 1 spicy dry red chili). roast the spices until they turn a darker shade of brown.
- But take care not to burn. Transfer the roasted spices to another plate. Allow them to cool.
- Once cool, powder the spices using a spice grinder or a coffee grinder. Keep this ready.
- By now the pressure cooker would have cooled.
- Open the pressure cooker, remove the tea bag. Drain the chickpeas. SAVE the stock* in which it was cooked.
- In a pan, heat the oil.
- To this add finely grated ½inch piece of ginger and 2 garlic pods. Stir and cook for about ½ a minute or until the raw smell goes away.
- Now add 1 finely chopped onion, sliced green chili, stir and cook until it softens and becomes translucent.
- Add 1 finely chopped tomato, stir and cook until you notice droplets of oil separating at the sides.
- Now, add the spice powders - the freshly roasted and ground spice powder, ½ teaspoon red chili powder, ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder. Stir.
- Following this add the cooked chickpeas, Combine everything well adding salt to taste and 1½ cups of saved stock* or water.
- Bring to a boil, simmer for 5 to 7 minutes. The gravy will thicken slightly. You may cover and cook.
- Using the back of a spoon/ladle, mash some of the chickpeas. This will add to the thickening of the gravy.
- Serve garnished with sliced ginger, finely chopped coriander and finely chopped red onion(optional).
- Enjoy with bhature or naan or even pooris or steaming hot rice.
If cooking the dish for diabetics, do cut down the quantity of oil used to 1 tablespoon or less and pair it with low fat, whole grain, fiber rich flat breads.
If you are on a gluten-free diet, then serve with your favorite gluten-free flat bread.
Pictorial Method for Chole Masala Recipe:
Firstly, the previous night take 1 cup of dry chickpeas in a bowl.
Wash with fresh water.
Adding 2 to 3 cups of fresh water, soak the chickpeas overnight or for 8 to 10 hours.
The following morning, you will notice the chickpeas have swollen up.
Again wash/rinse the soaked chickpeas with fresh water and drain.
Place the chickpeas in a pressure cooker. Add 3 cups of water and a black tea bag.
Add 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix.
Pressure cook the chickpeas for 16 to 18 whistles or until the chickpeas are softened well and yet not mushy. If you cook them for any lesser amount of time, they will not be as soft but may still be cooked.
Spices for roasting – 1 inch cinnamon stick, 2 black cardamom pods, 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, 4 whole peppercorns, ¼ teaspoon carom/ajwain seeds, 2 cloves, 1 bayleaf, 1 spicy dry red chili.
Dry roast all the above whole spices at medium heat until they turn dark brown. This will take 2 to 3 minutes. Take care not to burn them.
Once roasted transfer them to another plate to cool. Then using a coffee grinder or spice grinder, powder the spices.
Cooked chickpeas, nice and soft as below. They have turned a shade darker too.
Remove and discard the tea bag.
Strain the cooked chickpeas and save the stock.
In a separate pan, heat the oil. Roast the grated ginger and garlic until they turn very slightly brown.
Add in the 1 chopped onion, sliced green chili (2 to 3 or as per tolerance, since whole peppercorns, dry red chili have also been used) and saute, cook until the onions soften and turn translucent.
Add finely chopped tomato
Cook the tomato until soft and mushy and droplets of oil are seen along the edge. Now add the spice powders, the freshly roasted and ground spice mixture, ½ teaspoon of red chili powder, ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder, ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder. Combine everything well.
Now, add the cooked, drained chickpeas.
Mix well, adding salt to taste.
Add 1½ cups of reserved stock. Combine and bring this to a boil.
Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. The gravy will thicken slightly as it cooks. Also using the back of a spoon/ladle, mash some of the chickpeas. This will contribute to the thickening of the gravy too.
Chole Masala is cooked and ready.
Garnish with fresh chopped coriander, red onion, sliced fresh ginger. Serve with bhatura, kulcha, naan or poori. If serving to diabetics, serve with whole grain flat bread. If you are on a gluten-free diet, then serve with your favorite gluten-free flat bread.
The rest of the North Indian thali offerings from the Culinary Hoppers:
Piyali Sekhar Mutha’s Badami Paneer Pasanda
Jayashree T Rao’s Veg Cheese Croquettes
Padma Veeranki’s Paneer Capsicum Paratha
Vani Padmanabhan’s No Yeast Bhature
Parvathy V Nair’s Panchmel Dal
Swati Neeraj Goyal’s Kale Aloo Pakodas
Shobana Vijay’s Soya Chunks Meal Maker Pulav