CHHOLE CHAAWAL:- This is one of our first choices for comfort food. It's hearty, full of protein, rich in flavours and truly a beautiful curry.
Start off with dried Chickpeas, around 250gms. and soak them in lukewarm water for around 3-4 hours. When you squish the pea, the skin should come off easily.
Now add the chickpeas to a pan, cover them with water, add a good amount of salt, put a tea bag and make small Potli(bag) of spices in a cheesecloth or muslin cloth including dried Amla (Indian Gooseberry), Cinnamon, Bayleaf, Cloves and Peppercorns. Amla adds a tangy kick to Chhole. Boil them till they are tender enough to be squeezed between two fingers.
In a wok or a deep pan add 3-4 tbsp. of Ghee (clarified butter)and warm it up. Add Cumin Seeds, Bayleaf, Slit Green Chillies and let it sizzle. Add Ginger-Garlic Paste. Once the raw smell disappears, add two finely chopped medium sized Onions and two finely chopped medium sized Tomatoes. Let it all settle with each other and start adding powdered Spices, ½ tsp. Turmeric Powder, 1 tbsp. Coriander Seed Powder, 1 tbsp. Garam Masala Powder, ½ tbsp. Chilli Powder, Salt to taste keeping in mind we have added salt in our Boiled Chickpeas as well, and let it all saute until the mixture starts releasing fats (ghee in this case) by the edges.
Now remove the tea bag and spice bag from the Chhole and add the boiled chickpeas to the gravy. Do not throw away the water from the boiled peas. Thoroughly mix the curry while crushing a few peas with the back of the spoon to attain the desired consistency. Add the water from the boiled chickpeas to adjust the consistency and colour of the dish. Let it all simmer for a good ten-fifteen minutes and add around half a cup of chopped coriander, squeeze a lemon wedge and add some crushed Kasoori Methi (Dried Fenugreek). Check for salt.
Mix it up and serve it with freshly cooked jeera rice and a lemon wedge. Our Chhole recipe passed on to us by Anjani Kalkar which we have modified a bit. And it tastes fabulous!!!
Make sure you serve it hot. :-)
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