Its Day 4 and I am elated. I got to know about so many nice blogs, bloggers and food writers on the blog scene. Its going great. Best part was the way bloggers cajole and motivate each other irrespective of timezones, tastes, choice of food. Thanks Nupur for hosting this event!
More often than not, if I go by statistics and patterns, I tend to eat loads of Punjabi Chole during winter. Well, this was just a silly observation. Come winter, its time for cakes and bakes, soups and warm finger food, spicy and chaat items. I had bought a packet of Garbanzo beans or Chickpeas a month back. There were still lying neatly in my Foodgrains rack begging to be used. I am on a pantry cleaning spree, so want to work towards optimising my resources and capitalise on all what I can benefit from (Now that's a little Management style of thought delivery). We both wanted a "proper" dinner. That's the term P uses when he wishes to be adamant about tagdaa khaana. I soaked the Chickpeas in the morning, since time was less vis-a-vis overnight conventional soaking for 10-12 hours I dropped in a pinch of baking soda and soaked in warm water (Mom's valuable tips come handy during such times).
This is the method I adopt to make Chole, the shortcut method with the basic tomato-onion-ginger gravy, a tea bag dipped in Chole for the blackish color and all the masala's required under the sun. This time around, I decided to settle for the authentic brown color and omit tea bag. I had Everest Chole Masala, just a few spoons left. Thought would use them as well. I also liked several versions of Chole, one of Srivalli's and the other of Anita's. Both are nice and quite authentic.
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Chickpeas or Garbanzo Beans - 2 cups
Onions (chopped) - 2 onions (large)
Tomatoes (chopped) - 1-2 tomato (medium)
Ginger (grated or minced) - 1" piece
Oil - For frying
Everest Chole Masala or any other brand - 2 teaspoons
Everest Garam Masala or any other brand - 1/2 teaspooon
Red Chilli powder - 1/3 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - Just a pinch
Salt - As per taste
Green Chillies - 2
Baking soda - a pinch
Tea Bag (optional) - 1
Water - For curry consistency
Cilantro (chopped) - 6-8 sprigs
Onions (chopped) - 1 small onion or 1/3 cup
Pre-soak Chickpeas in water for 10-12 hours. If you forgot just the way I did, then plonk a cup of chickpeas in warm water with baking soda and leave for 6-8 hours. Wash the chickpeas thoroughly to eliminate any traces of soda and pressure cook for 20 minutes with salt, tea bag and one teaspoon oil. Once done, smash them lightly and leave aside. The Chickpeas would be salty and blackish at this stage.
Heat oil in a pan. Fry grated ginger and green chillies and thereafter add onions and tomatoes. Fry, fry and keep frying till they wilt, turn more translucent and ooze out oil. Add the masala's and Turmeric powder at this stage and adjust salt and water as per requirement. I like my Chole little thick with no-running gravy on the plate. Bring to boil and simmer on low flame for 5-10 minutes. Turn off flame and garnish with chopped cilantro leaves and onions. You could also add the garnish while serving on individual plates. Serve with Rotis or Pooris on side.
Note: Garnishing with Onions renders a unique aroma and taste. Add the tea bag while boiling Chickpeas, you will get restaurant style Chole which is blackish and bit bitter-y. My proportions are very low on spice, increase or decrease proportion as per taste and requirements. Use Indian Red Onions, do not use Spanish Onions or White Onions if you wish for that authentic Punjabi flavour.