It was raining cats & dogs here for the past 7 days and I was craving badly for… Nay! you guessed it wrong this time..not hot fritters, but a bowl of hot & lip-smacking Punjabi chole with hot ghee (clarified butter) parathas (Indian flatbread pan smeared in clarified ghee)..oh! yes, this recipe acquired all its oomph from my home-made chole masala…oh so good that I am at a total loss for words to describe the aroma & the flavor. My whole house smelled so good.
The Punjabi chole recipe brought the desired sunshine in my life that I was hankering for a very long time since this week my soul was bogged down by the grey cyclonic weather. The weather was so sad it infused teeming shades of gloom in my soul. Wretched me, all dallying the day with wearisome thoughts. You know eventually, you start craving for things that you had once upon a time at some know or unknown place.
The first thing I did was dial-up mom and ask for cheerful recipe suggestions, you know not the ones that make you sadder but the ones that drag you out from that grey zone. Ufff the weather, I began cursing the rain and did not like a lot my mom’s recipe suggestions. Memory browsing is one of my favorite past time & this time my memory rang a bell, and I started badly craving for the Punjabi Choley that I had once upon a time at Niagara Falls. It was served to us by a small family run Joint by a Punjabi family. The food was beyond good or best. It was hearty and left a trail in my heart, I will never forget the food that I had at that restaurant, gosh! I don’t remember the name of the joint! Memory can play foul games sometimes, look at me I just remember the chole & the location of the restaurant where I had it but not the name! Funny right? Whatever…
When asked about the recipe the owner was kind enough to share some tips and those are the tips that I have decided to bring forward to you today. Let’s look at the recipe that cheered me up and brought some sunshine into my life during the dreary weather days.
First things first…*WARNING* This particular Chole recipe acquired the onliest taste from my home-made chole masala (spices mixture) that I prepared by blending an array of whole spices. Guys if you skip this step then be assured that you can never get this authentic Punjabi chole taste. If you decide to go with the market bought chole masala then you will definitely end up with a chole gravy in your bowl but it won’t be THIS chole recipe! You won’t have that sui generis moment when you take your first spoonful. So, my earnest request to you is that check your pantry first for the availability of the whole spices before attempting this recipe, otherwise just bookmark it and hop onto some other recipe on my blog…Lol!
These days I use my Insta pot a lot, and this time too I first prepped my garbanzo beans or chole in my insta pot, it gets cooked so fast even faster than a pressure cooker! Win-Win! If you are wondering how to get that gorgeous dark colored garbanzo beans or chole then let me share a trick with you today, just add a tea bag or two while boiling your chole or garbanzo beans and let the magic happen. Later strain the tea bags and enjoy your gorgeous dark colored absolutely Dhaba style chole. Hey, don’t throw the stock away, preserve that and use it in your curry, you will be awed as to how dramatic your Punjabi chole recipe looks ~ rich, dark and absolutely fantastic.
Unfortunately, my pantry had no black tea bags & hence, I ended up using the very mild American tea bags that I bought from the American supermarket. As a result, I didn’t get that rich dark colored garbanzo beans or chole that I was dreaming for; but somehow managed to extract a lit bit of color from the mild tea bag! If you do not keep tea bags at your home, n worries at all just make a small temporary muslin cloth pouch and add 2 teaspoons black tea that you use at your home to prepare chai, tie the end of the pouch and add it while boiling the chole. Voila! Why I didn’t do that? Well, the answer is simple I even ran out of black tea for chai! Sigh!
Punjabi Chole Recipe | Garbanzo Beans Curry - Vegan + Gluten Free
INGREDIENTS FOR THE CHOLE MASALA
INGREDIENTS FOR THE PUNJABI CHOLE GRAVY:
- 1-1/2 Cups Garbanzo beans or chole ((unsoaked).)
- 1-2 Black tea bags.
- 4 Small onions (( made into a paste))
- 3 Small tomatoes ((made into a paste))
- 3 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
- 5 Green Chilies (according to taste (optional).)
- 3 Green Cardamoms
- 2 inches Cinnamon Sticks
- 5 Cloves
- 1-1/2 inch Ginger Juliennes.
- 5 Green Chilies ((de-seeded & sliced))
- 1/2 tsp Carom seeds.
- 1 tbsp Ghee ((clarified butter).)
- 2 tbsps Canola oil or any oil of your choice.
- Salt (to taste) (according to taste.)
- 2 tsps Turmeric Powder
- 1 tsp Kashmiri Red Chili Powder
- 1 tsp Cumin Powder ((jeera powder).)
- 2 tbsps Home-made chole masala or more according to your preferences.
- Salt (to taste) (according to taste.)
THE CHOLE MASALA
- Dry roast all the whole spices mentioned above on a non-stick skillet over medium-high flame until fragrant.
- Allow them to cool for a few minutes.
- Grind them in a blender into a fine powder.
- Store in an airtight container.
- It keeps good until 2-3 months.
PUNJABI CHOLE GRAVY
- Soak the chole or the garbanzo beans overnight.
- Next day pressure cook them for 10 mins in insta pot or just pressure cook them in a regular pressure cooker until well done. Add 1-2 black tea bags while pressure cooking.
- The chole should smash easily when pressed with fingers.
- Strain and preserve the stock. Throw the tea bags away.
- Heat a pan on medium-high heat.
- Add 2 tablespoons oil.
- Next gently add the green cardamoms, cloves, and the cinnamon sticks. Saute for a few mins.
- Next add the onion paste. Saute until the raw smell of the onion disappears.
- Add the ginger garlic paste. Saute for a few more minutes until the raw smell of the ginger garlic paste disappears.
- Now add the tomato puree. Saute for a few minutes.
- Cover and cook because tomato paste splatters a lot.
- When the tomato paste starts to change color add all the dry spices like turmeric powder, roasted cumin or jeera powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, salt and the home-made chole masala.
- Give them a very good mix and saute until everything starts to smell wonderful and the oil starts to ooze out.
- Next add the cooked garbanzo beans or the chole, give everything a good mix.
- Pour in the reserved stock. Cover and cook on low flame for 10-15 mins.
- In the meantime heat 1 tablespoon ghee or clarified butter in a skillet over medium heat.
- When hot add the carrom seeds, the ginger juliennes and the deseeded and the slit green chilies.
- When the chole gravy is ready add this mixture to the gravy and stir to mix.
- Enjoy with hot parathas, chapatis, rice, bhaturas or even potato patties.
- To get rich & dark colored garbanzo beans do use tea bags while boiling the chole. If you don't have any tea bags at home, just make a temporary pouch with a clean muslin cloth & 2 teaspoons regular black tea that you use at home to make chai.
- The garbanzo beans should be fully cooked and you will know that by pressing them in between your fingers. When fully cooked they will smash up.
- Do not throw the stock away, instead use it all up in your gravy. This will enhance the color of your gravy as well as add so much more nutrition.
- You may use store bought chole masala instead of making your own but this will drastically affect the taste of this gravy.
- The home-made chole masala makes all the difference and adds so much taste and flavor to the gravy.
- The home-made chole masala can be stored in an airtight container for 2-3 months.
- While cooking the gravy do not add everything together and saute. Add each ingredient as mentioned and saute them for a few mins so that the raw smell completely disappears and each ingredient gets well infused to the gravy.
- If you want some tang in your chole gravy do add dry pomegranate seeds. Add them while grinding the onions.