Masala Chhole (Spiced dry Chickpeas) – More like a child’s play!

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Hello friends! I know some of us like to cook and are willing to spend hours in the kitchen just to get that perfect intricate dish that no one else you know would dare to try! Well, some of us are just not cut out for it! However much I enjoy eating and cooking, I gravitate towards recipes which are easy to prepare, get ready in no time and are delicious like hell! I am sure many of you would identify with me on this. Sure, there is no better satisfaction and joy than accomplishing a delicious step by step biryani or maybe a cheesecake, but trust me when I tell you that the happiness of making a quick and easy yet yummy dish very closely matches it! When I get compliments on such a dish, it almost makes me want to have the ‘devil laugh’, if you know what I mean! Because I was probably watching TV the whole time as the dish only took half of the expected time!

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Haha, so let me tell you about this dish a little. This is a very simple spiced indian dish made with chickpeas/ garbanzo beans which are called ‘chhole’ (pronounced as chho-lay) in India. If you are a novice like me, this is the answer to your prayers! What you do is, you take about a cup of chickpeas and soak them overnight in water. In the morning, they would have swelled in size. Soaking time is directly proportional to how fluffy they become (which is a good thing!). You boil these chickpeas and mix a few dry spices in them and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes and voila!! The dish is ready to be enjoyed.

Lets get the complete recipe,

Ingredients:

1 cup white chickpeas or chhole

2 tablespoons chhole masala/ chana masala (easily available at Indian grocery stores)

1 teaspoon red chilli powder

1 tablespoon coriander powder

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 tablespoon dried mango powder (amchoor, easily available at Indian grocery stores)

1 teaspoon garam masala (easily available at Indian grocery stores)

Salt to taste

1 big tomato, chopped into big pieces

1 inch ginger, julienned

1 teaspoon carom seeds/ ajwain (easily available at Indian grocery stores)

4-5 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)

Recipe:

  1. Soak the chickpeas overnight in water. In the morning, boil them till they become soft (15-20 minutes cooked in a pressure cooker). In this step, you may add tea bags tied in a muslin cloth and some Indian gooseberry (amla) to give them a brownish color. But since, I did not have either of them, I decided to cook without them.
  2. Drain the chhole (keep the water for some other recipe). Add all the dry spices in the chhole and mix well. Add the chopped tomato and the ginger to this mix. Transfer to a pan on medium heat.
  3. Side-by-side, heat about 5 tablespoons of ghee in a separate pan till you see a small amount of smoke rising from the ghee. Immediately, add the carom seeds and transfer to the pan containing chhole.
  4. Mix the ghee well into the chhole and cook for about 4-5 minutes till the spices get roasted in the ghee. You don’t need to cook the tomatoes all the way through.
  5. This is essentially a dry dish but if you want to make it with a little gravy, you may add water at this step and cook till everything looks well combined. Otherwise, the dish is all ready to be enjoyed! You can serve these with pooris (as shown in the pictures), chappatis or even rice.

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In this recipe,  white chickpeas can be substituted for black chana (black gram) also.

Do try this recipe and if you have any queries, please let me know in the comments box below. Your suggestions are also welcome..!

Happy cooking!

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