If you ever find somebody who doesn’t eat Indian food, make them taste a Punjabi dish and you have a convert. Punjabi cuisine is food from the Punjab region of northwestern India and eastern Pakistan. Punjabis are large-hearted, and known to live life to the fullest. Their food reflects this attitude too.
One of the world-famous Punjabi dishes happens to be Channa Masala/Chole Masala. This is usually teamed with Batura but you can also eat it with any Indian bread like roti, naan or kulcha. Tried it out at home and it came out wonderfully. We had it with whole-wheat paratha. Just sharing my experience and the recipe here.
The recipe requires channa masala powder which can be brought from stores. I didn’t have the masala powder neither did I have amchoor powder and Pomegranate seeds to make it at home so I used Garam Masala powder + Coriander powder + cumin powder instead. And tamarind paste + lemon juice instead of amchoor and pomegranate for tanginess. The result turned out to be pretty good so I think I can repeat the process whenever I don’t have the channa masala powder
The main ingredient here is the channa/chickpeas which needs to be soaked overnight or upto 6-8 hours.
Pressure cook the Channa. You can also add a tsp of tea powder/ 1 tea bag in the cooker to get the nice dark color. You need not throw away the water after draining. You can use the same while cooking. My drained water looked like this.
Calcutta Channa/Chole/Chickpeas – 200 gms
Onion(finely chopped) – 2 medium
Tomato(finely chopped) – 3 medium
Green Chilli(finely chopped) – 2-3
Garam Masala – 1 & 1/2 tbsp
Coriander powder – 1/2 tbsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Hing/Asafoetida – a pinch(optional) – Hing is an essential ingredient in our kitchen
ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
lime – 1/2 medium
Salt – to taste
Oil – for tadka
Fresh Coriander leaves/Cilantro – for garnishing
Heat oil in a deep sauce-pan and add cumin seeds. Once they splutter, add hing and ginger-garlic paste and sauté. Add Onion and green chilli and sauté till the onion turns golden brown.
Now add turmeric and tomatoes. Let the tomatoes cook nicely. And then add salt and all the other dry powders to it. Saute for a minute.
Now add the channa to the above and mix. Later add the drained water to the mixture. Add tamarind paste and lime. Cover it and let it cook for 5-6 minutes. Once it is cooked take it out in a serving bowl, garnish with fresh coriander leaves and a dollop of cream.
Tips: Make sure your channa is cooked properly in the cooker. If it is half done you wont be able to cook it properly later.
You can also garnish with chopped onion and a wedge of lime as it traditionally done.