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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Chole or Chana Masala

It's also called Kabuli chana , chick peas or Garbanzo beans. Chole is a staple in north Indian households. Chole goes best with bhature. Hence the name Chole Bhature . You could even serve this with roti, paratha, naan, jeera rice and even bread.

2 cups soaked Chick peas or Canned Chick peas (500 gms)
2 medium size red onions
4 tomatoes
2 tsp of garlic
2 tsp ginger
3-4 green chillies
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp red chilli powder
2 tsp coriander-cumin powder
2 black cardamoms
1 stick cinnamon(dal chini)
salt to taste
2 tbsp oil
Fresh Cilantro for the garnish

1. Now the traditional way is to soak the Chole overnight. I guess thats the best way. But if you are pressed for time then you could even soak the chole in hot water(almost boiling) for around 30-40 minutes .
2. Now pressure cook the chole with enough water, turmeric and salt for upto 4-5 whistles. If you were to use canned chole you skip this step.
3. In the meanwhile you could chop the vegetables. I make 3 kinds of purees . One for the onions , one for the garlic/ginger/green chillies and the last one is the tomato puree. Now for the onions I don't grind it too fine, just leave it a bit course so it adds a good texture to the chole masala. Its like a finely grated texture. You could even just grate the onions.
4. Now take oil in a pan. Once it warms up add the cardamom and the cinnamon stick. Next add the onion paste. Saute the onion till it becomes golden brown . Now add the garlic/ginger/green chilli paste. Saute for about 2 minutes and then add the tomato puree. Fry for another 2 minutes and then add the red chilli powder and the coriander-cumin powder. Let it cook until the oil leaves the surface (about 5-6 minutes). Now add the chole with the liquid and let it simmer covered for about 20 minutes.
5. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and serve with parathas with thinly sliced onions and a piece of lemon on the side.

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