Chole/Chana (6 servings)

Ingredients

Chickpeas 250 g (soaked overnight)

Dried gooseberry (amla) 2 pieces

Tea leaves 1 tsp

Onion (medium-sized) 2

Tomatoes ( Indian big) 2

Ginger-garlic paste 1 tbsp

Tamarind 2 scales or lemon juice 1 tbsp

Soda bicarb ½ tsp

Cumin seeds 1 tsp

Turmeric powder ½ tsp

Chilli powder 1 tsp

Dhania powder 1 tsp

Cumin powder ½ tsp

Chana masala 1 tsp

Chaat masala 1 tsp

Salt 1 tbsp

Jaggery (powdered) 1 tsp

Cooking oil 2 tbsp

Method

Drain excess water from chana to adjust the volume to 1 or 1½ cups water.

Make a small muslin pouch of tea leaves and amla and drop it to the soaked chana. Add soda to the soaked chana,  half the salt,  and pressure cook for 3 to 4 whistles.  When cooled discard the muslin bag, drain the stock and keep aside. Take a handful of cooked chana and mash well to a paste.

While the chana is getting cooked, grind the onions and tamarind to a paste and keep aside. Also make a puree of tomato and keep it ready.

Heat oil in a wok and when hot enough add the cumin seeds. As the seeds start crackling, add the ground onion past; a minute later add the ginger garlic paste and saute well on a medium flame till the raw smell is gone and aroma emanates. Add the tomato puree and saute well till a thick gravy is formed. Add to the gravy, turmeric powder, dhania powder, cumin powder and remaining salt and stir well on a low flame. If the masala gets dry, add the chana stock to get a pasty consistency. A minute later, add the cooked chana, jaggery, and stir well. Add a cup of water and the mashed chana and stir well. As the mix starts boiling add chana masala and chat masala. Mix well and cook on low flame for a minute. Garnish with plenty of fresh green cilantro leaves.

In case you prefer lemon juice skip tamarind and add lemon juice to the end.

Chef’s note

I prefer to skip  soda as it leaches out the nutrient, but it helps in cooking the chan extra well. So it is optional.

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