Punjabi Cholle

Punjabi Cholle

I love chickpeas and can eat them just plain boiled. This is a very popular North Indian style preparation from Punjab, and is usually served with deep fried bread or ‘bhature’ . I’ve had the best versions of this dish at rural dhabbas or trucker stops in the North, and still recall its spicy deliciousness balanced with the cool lassi that washed my throat every now and then. It is hard to find the larger ‘kabuli‘ channa (as the name suggests it originates in Afghanistan, Pakistan) which has a smooth, thin coat. The ‘desi‘ variety is more freely available – it is slightly smaller and has a rough wrinkled coat and comes from Mexico  Ethiopia, Iran & India.

8 oz. (225 gms) of dry chickpeas (or use a 1.4 lb can of cooked beans)
3 tbsp. oil
¼ tsp. jeera
1 medium onion, chopped, fried till light brown
4 cloves garlic, grated
½” piece of ginger, peeled and grated

¼ tsp. each of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove powder
1 tsp. coriander powder
1 small tomato chopped fine or 1 tbsp. tomato paste (don’t use more)
¼ tsp. pepper
¾ tsp. aamchoor (dried raw mango powder)
½ tsp. black salt.
½ tsp. anardana (dried pomegranate seeds), powdered
For garnish: ghee, chopped cilantro and mint

  • Clean, wash and soak the beans overnight
  • Bring to boil in a pot using the same water, and let simmer an hour until tender. Alternatively you can use a pressure cooker
  • Heat oil. Fry onions lightly and add garlic cloves and ginger. Cook till mixture browns. Add spices and fry for half a minute or so
  • Add finely chopped tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes
  • Add the beans and cook for 10 minutes more
  • Stir in the mango powder and pomegranate seeds, grated ginger and simmer over a slow fire for 10 minutes
  • Before serving, pour 2 tbsp. of sizzling ghee over the beans. Garnish with chopped cilantro and mint

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