Friday, August 31, 2012

A Punjabi recipe shared by a Kannada & prepared by a Bengali .. Punjabi Chhole Masala

Punjabi Cuisine has been a hot favorite amongst foodies all over. Be it the evergreen Parantha’s  with gallops of homemade butter, the lip smacking Chicken Tikka Masala or the Chhole Masala which is to be eaten with its inseparable counterpart, the Bature or be it a glass of homemade Lassi – the variety is diverse & assorted. Heavy on the heart (well, literally), tummy & the mind – Punjabi cuisine has it all.

I was contemplating a dish, nice and warm for today’s Lunch since last night – with not too much of hustle bustle. Suddenly the thought of a nice Chhole which I had recently had, lingered in my mind. Once P, a friend and a colleague had got it to work, which was delightful. Hence I asked her for the recipe and she was more than willing to share. She emailed the guidelines in no time and I decided, Chhole it is then. I did make minor modifications as per my taste and here is the final recipe :

Ingredients : (The following proportions will serve 4-5 people)

·         Chhole / Chickpeas / Garbanzo beans : 250 gms
·         2 teabags
·         4 cups of water

Wash the Chickpeas. Boil the 4 cups of water with a couple of teabags in it (I Microwave-d it for 5 minutes). Pull out the tea bags and soak the Chickpeas in the liquor overnight. (6-8 hours). NOTE : Adding the tea bags in the water gives a nice dark shade to the Chickpeas once they are soaked, the color I wanted in the final dish. If you want them in their natural color, soak them in regular water.

·         Onions – 2 Medium-chopped
·         Tomato – 1 large-chopped
·         Garlic – 10 cloves
·         Ginger – 1” piece
·         Green / Red Chillies – 5

In a blender, make a paste of the Ginger, Garlic and Chillies with a little water and keep aside.

For tempering :

·         Sesame seeds – ½ tsp
·         Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
·         Bay Leaf – 1
·         Green Cardamoms – 4-5
·         Cloves – 4-5
·         Cinnamon – 1” stick

Other Ingredients :

·         Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
·         Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
·         Chhole Masala – 1 tbsp (I used Suhana Chhole Masala as advised by P and it was perfect, use whatever you like)

·         Salt to taste
·         Sugar to balance
·         Cooking Oil
·         A dash of lime
·         Some freshly chopped Coriander leaves to garnish.

How I did it :

·         I cooked the Chickpeas along with the liquor in a Pressure Cooker for 3 whistles and kept aside. Do not drain the liquor.
·         Heat Oil in a Pan and add the Whole Garam Masalas, Sesame seeds and Cumin seeds and let them splutter.

·         Add the chopped Onions and sauté them.

·         Add the Ginger-Garlic-Chilli paste, sauté for about 2 minutes.

·         Let the Onions brown a little.

·         Add the chopped Tomatoes, increase the heat and let them cook.

·         The Tomatoes release a lot of water which needs to be dried up.

·         Once done, add the Turmeric Powder, Red Chilli Powder, Chhana Masala Powder and Salt and mix.

·         Once mixed thoroughly, add the liquor first and then the Chickpeas and bring to a boil.

·         Let it simmer.
·         Once desired consistency is reached, pour into a bowl, squeeze some lime on top, add coriander leaves to garnish.

This is what the final dish looks like if you do not use the liquor to soak the Chickpeas overnight

·         Serve with Bature. It was a weekday and I had no choice, so had them with Whole Wheat Rotis.. 


  1. ummmm i luve dis blackish chhole/chhana.. just perfect 4 me

  2. @ Scratching Canvas : Thank You! I got the color with the help of the tea bags, they work just right :)