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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.

Ajwain Paratha

Paratha is an Indian flat-bread. It could be round, square or triangular. They could be plain or stuffed. Mostly stuffed parathas are served with pickle and yoghurt. Plain parathas could be served with vegetables , meat, chicken and paneer dishes. The sky is the limit when it comes to parathas. They are very versatile. One can be very creative when it comes to making stuffed parathas. You can have endless possibilities. But I guess by and large aloo(potato) parathas are the most popular.
Ajwain is also known as carom seeds or Bishop's weed and they are mainly used as they help in digestion.

Ingredients :

3 cups wheat flour

2 tsp ajwain


1 tsp oil

1 cup of water (to knead the dough)


1) Mix all the ingredients and knead the dough for the parathas. Now for someone who is trying to knead the dough for the 1st time. Slowly add the water to the mix and keep on kneading. Keep on adding water till the dough is not too sticky or not too hard. You would need a little more than 1 cup of water. But if you add too much water the dough would be too sticky to roll the parathas.
Now keep it aside for 15-20 minutes.
2) Now to roll the parathas. Divide the dough into golf size balls. Roll it into a small circle. Apply some oil to the circle. Now fold the circle into a semicircle. Fold it again and it would become a triangle shape. Apply some flour and roll over the triangle gently to the desired size.
3) Heat a tava( griddle) and roast the paratha on medium heat with ghee , oil or butter. Cook on both sides until they are golden brown.
4) Serve hot with yoghurt and pickle or as an accompaniment to a main course dish. This would make around 10 -12 parathas.