Chole (Chickpea curry)

Anytime I say the word Chole, my Hubby’s eyes light up. This is probably our most favourite vegetarian curry ever. All I can say is just try it and you won’t be disappointed.

This dish took me years to perfect – literally! I have tried homemade masalas and many other brands, but MDH Kitchen King and Badshah Chole Masala were the winners. Yes, it’s so much better to make fresh masalas, but life has become so busy these days and we all need quick recipes.

Traditionally originating in North India, this mouthwatering dish has seen many variations as it spread through the world – it’s no secret that everyone has added their own touch.

The boiled chickpeas is key to this recipe. Even though I used canned ones, boiling them for 5 minutes make them tender (thanks for the tip, Mom!). The mashed chickpeas component gives the gravy a thick texture (otherwise it will be watery) and the potato absorbs the flavours of the delicious gravy!

This dish pairs well with my Kachumber Salad and Raita. For a healthier option, serve it with Roti instead of Naan.

Interestingly enough, I just learned how to make Roti a few weeks ago. I always thought it was complicated and too much work, but it really isn’t! What triggered me to learn how to make Roti was when my Mom questioned why is it that I know how to make Khandvi (one of the most complicated Gujarati dishes), but not know how to make Roti?! So that’s when I came to my senses and realized it’s probably not as hard as I assumed it would be.

So now, in our home, that’s all we eat with Indian curries. Yes, it’s a lot easier to take out those frozen parathas/naans from your freezer, but trust me on this one – it’s a game changer. An extra set of hands is what you need. My Hubby flips the Roti while I roll them – teamwork makes the dream work! And don’t be so stressed about making those Rotis round.. they really don’t have to be perfectly round. It will still taste the same! (Sorry, Mom).

Ok that’s enough of my Roti lecture. I guarantee you will love this CHOLE dish (if you like Indian food).

Servings: 6

Ingredients:

•2 tbsp oil
•1/4 tsp turmeric
•1 tsp cumin seeds
•3 bay leaves
•1 inch cinnamon stick
•1 green chili, chopped (I usually add a wee bit more – I like it spicy!)
•2 medium onions, finely chopped
•2 tbsp pureed ginger
•2 tbsp pureed garlic
•2 cans of chickpeas (incl. ½ cup for mashing)
•3 cups chopped plum tomatoes (roughly 3-4 tomatoes)
•1 1/2 tbsp Badshah Punjabi Chole Masala
•1 tsp MDH Kitchen King Masala
•1 tbsp salt or to taste
•1 medium sized potato, peeled, chopped into 1 inch squares
•1 1/2 cup water

1. Drain out the chickpeas in a colander, rinse and place in a medium sized pot. Add enough fresh water to cover the chickpeas and bring to a boil on high heat. Remove as soon as it comes to a boil. This should take about 5-7 minutes.

2. Drain and set aside. Take ½ cup of the cooked chickpeas in a bowl and mash with a potato masher. Add a wee bit of water to help with the mashing. Set aside. Do not use an immersion blender.

3. Heat oil in a large pot on medium high heat. Add cumin seeds, bay leaves and cinnamon stick.

4. Once the seeds start to crackle, add the onions and green chilies. Continuously mix to avoid sticking.

5. As the onions start to slightly brown, add the ginger and garlic. Lower the heat so the ginger and garlic don’t burn. Cook for 2 minutes.

6. Add the chopped plum tomatoes.

7. Add the chole masala, kitchen king masala and salt. Mix and cover and cook for 3-5 minutes on medium low heat.

8. In the meantime, cook the chopped potatoes with some water in a microwave safe bowl for 3 minutes. The potatoes don’t have to be fully cooked – it will finish cooking in the pot.

9. Add the boiled and mashed chickpeas to the pot.

10. Add 1 ½ cup of water and the potatoes (along with the water you cooked it in). Let it cook on medium low heat, covered for 15-20 minutes, occasionally mixing.

11. Add salt to taste. Cook for another 5-10 minutes.

12. Garnish with cilantro and serve with Rice and/or Naan.

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