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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Punjabi Chhole

Chana masala or Chhole masala is a popular vegetable dish in Indian cuisine. The main ingredient is chickpeas. It is fairly dry and spicy with a sour citrus note. The dish is found throughout South Asia, and is particularly popular in northern India and Pakistan.
Along with chickpeas, the ingredients typically include onion, chopped tomatoes, turmeric, coriander seed, garlic, chiles, ginger, dried mango powder, crushed pomegranate seed and garam masala.
It is popular mainly in the Punjab region of northern-India, and also notably in the regions of Sindh and Gujarat. In Gujarat and Rajasthani areas, it is commonly cooked dry, with tangy spices.

In India, it is often eaten with a type of fried bread and is known as chole bhature. It is commonly sold by street vendors but also can be found in restaurants.

In many parts of India and Pakistan Aloo tikki Chole (chickpeas and potatoes patties) are available as a street snack in major cities.


2 cups of dry Chick peas
Water to soak these overnight
3 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoon of baking soda
2 tea bags
4 cups Water to cook the chick peas

3 tablespoon of vegetable oil
2 teaspoon of cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon of asafetida
3 bay leaves
3 onions chopped
1” piece of ginger chopped
5 cloves of garlic
1 and half cup of crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoon of black roasted and ground cumin seeds
2 teaspoon of regular roasted and ground cumin seeds
You can roast them together in a shallow pan on medium heat (see picture, when brown turn the heat off and let them cool, when cool, grind them together to powder in coffee grinder)
1 table spoon of chhole masala (recipe on this blog) or you can buy this readymade at local Indian grocer.
1 teaspoon of tamarind paste
1 teaspoon of black salt

For garnish:
One Jalapeno pepper chopped
One onion chopped
¼ cup of fresh cilantro chopped


• Soak chick peas overnight totally submerged in water

• Transfer chick peas in pressure cooker cooking container add salt, baking soda, and tea bags.

• Cook them in pressure cooker; be sure to follow instruction to use pressure cooker. When all the steam is out of pressure cooker, open the lid, take out the peas, add chhole masala , ground cumin seeds, black salt and tamarind paste to it and set aside.

• In a food processor finely chop onions, garlic and ginger.

* In a sauce pan, heat oil, when hot add cumin seed, when these crackle, add asafetida and bay leaves.

• Add onion, ginger and garlic, sauté them for 5 min on medium heat, with occasional stirring.

• Once light brown, add crushed tomatoes, and cook for another 3 min.

• Add boiled chickpeas with all the spices and cook for 1-2 more min.

• Garnish with chopped chili peppers, cilantro and chopped onions.

• Serve with Naan or chapatti or Basmati rice.

Recipe by Surekha (modified from different sources: my mom, friends, and family)
Photographs by Surekha.

Source for description of chhole:

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