Punjabi Chole

An authentic dish from Punjab –  pungent and a blend of different flavours,  makes it a very interesting dish.The rare combination of tea and dried pomegranate seeds; makes it a rather rare combination. A must try, for those who love Indian spices.

Before I share the recipe; here are some tips on how to cook chickpeas:
To shorten their cooking time and make them easier to digest, chickpeas should be presoaked. There are two basic methods for presoaking. For each you should start by placing the beans in a saucepan and adding two to three cups of water per cup of beans.
The first method is to boil the beans for two minutes, take pan off the heat, cover and allow to stand for two hours. The alternative method is to simply soak the beans in water for eight hours or overnight. Before cooking them, regardless of method, skim off the any skins that floated to the surface, drain the soaking liquid, and then rinse them with clean water.

To cook chickpeas, you can either cook them on the stove top or use a pressure cooker. I prefer to pressure cook as it takes lesser time. Punjabi chole is cooked in a slightly different manner…

for cooking chickpeas
200gms of channa/chickpeas/garbanzo bean
4-5cups of black tea/tea bag (1no.)

for wet massala
2 cups of finely chopped onions
1 cup of finely chopped tomatoes
2 green chillies, diced
2 tsp of ginger, diced
2nos bay leaf
1tsp amchur powder (dry mango powder)
2tsp dry coriander powder
1tbs oil/ghee (I used ghee)
cilantro for garnish
salt to taste

for dry spice ( to be powdered in the grinder)
1/2tsp garam massala
2tsp roasted jeera
6 roasted cloves
1tsp roasted black pepper corns
1 roasted cinnamon stick
4tsp dried anardana seeds (dry pomegranate seed)

Soak the chickpeas overnight. Boil/pressure cook the chickpeas with black tea/tea bag and some salt. Tea is used for colouring purpose. Take care not to overcook them. Once cooked, keep it aside.

Heat ghee/oil in a pan and bay leaf and fry onions till brown.Add tomatoes and some water and cook till the tomatoes are soft. Add chickpeas, powdered dry massala and salt if required. Add ginger, amchur and dry Coriander Powder.If the curry looks too thick then add some water.Allow it to cook for 15 minutes.Mash some of the chole by pressing it with a spatula to give it a thick consistency like thick cream.

Garnish with cilantro and green chillies and serve hot with puri or tortilla.

This is my submission to this month’s Flavours of Punjab, hosted by Pari from Foodelicious and Nayan from simply.food and to My Legume Love Affair, hosted by Divya from Dile Se.. and Susan from The Well Seasoned Cook.

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