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Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Instant Masaledar Chole (chickpeas) Punjabi style

A mid week holiday is a special treat. It just beats everything else hollow.
You have the pleasure of treating the previous evening like a Saturday evening and staying up late. You reset your alarm for an hour or more later than the usual and then you have the pleasure of a  leisurely breakfast and a lazy lunch with a siesta thrown in for good measure.
So this Tuesday was a midweek holiday. I got up shouting JAI MAHARASHTRA!! and gloating over the privilege of having this special holiday by virtue of currently residing in Maharashtra. It gave me vicarious pleasure to call up people in other states and tell them that we had a holiday because we were so special.
 In some cases this didn't really work because it was May day as well and some other fortunate beings outside Maharashtra were off too.
Anyway I got off to a lazy start. The man of the house handled breakfast - with that blessed thing called MTR upma mix.
On my part - the only thing that was close to becoming edible that day was a bowl of chickpeas (safed chane) that I had been industrious enough to soak the previous night.

But making Chole was no mean task. I didn't want to chop and had not chopped on the weekend (that I had spent shopping) and so I had none of the mandatory chopped tomatoes and onions available.
With the holiday laziness refusing to budge from my person I decided that it was time to experiment.
The results of my experiment were fabulous to say the least. The whole bowl was wiped clean (much to my chagrin because I would have to cook again) and I had a new recipe to share

Instant Masaledar Chole ( Chickpeas /Kabuli chana) Punjabi style.

  1. Soak a katori of (Chickpeas/ Kabuli chana) overnight in a lot of water. At least 7-8 times the amount of water, because they absorb a lot of water.
  2. Wash the chole well after soaking until the rinsed off water runs clear.
  3. Put the kabuli chana in a presuure cooker with at least 8 times the amount of water
  4. To the water add 1 tsp of ginger garlic paste, and salt to taste
  5. Close the cooker and cook at full flame for the first whistle and then reduce the flame and cook for half an hour at minimum flame.
  6. Allow the cooker to cool and then open it
  7. In a seperate kadhai, heat 2 tablespoons of oil .
  8. Add 1 tsp of ginger garlic paste and 2 tsp of chole masala (available commercially from Everest and many other brands).
  9. Fry for a minute and then add the cooked chole with their liquid to the kadhai.
  10. Mash some chole on the walls of the kadhai with a ladle (this thickens the gravy)
  11. Allow the gravy and chole to simmer for 10 minutes on minimum flame.
  12. If you like the chole very very masaledar , add another tsp of chole masala at this point along with a slit green chilly.
  13. I like my chole slightly tangy and I like to add some lemon juice at the very end. However I frequently find that on occassions like this - there are no lemons in the house or that those available have shrunk and dried. My quick fix answer to this is vinegar and I find that a tablespoon of vinegar gives the same taste.

It was such a relief to hit upon this ultra simple recipe. Try it. It really works.

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