Masala Chole (Chickpeas)

Bowl of chana masala with flatbread Cuisine Canvas

Chole or Chickpeas are not only filling but also a great food for times of emergencies, it is easily available, a little can feed many, It can be stocked for months if kept in a cool dry place and to top it all it is very nutritious and crazy delicious as well as super versatile.

Masala chole is a basic recipe that can be devoured with naans or jeera rice, and can be prepared with the staples that are usually present in any Indian kitchen. This is a latpata kind of a recipe, but you can transform it into a gravy too. Instructions, tips and tricks are below.

Preparation Time: Overnight

Cooking Time: 30 Minutes

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • Chole: 500 g
  • Water for boiling the chole/chickpeas: 1 litre
  • Oil: 2 tbsp
  • Onion, chopped: 1 cup
  • Bay leaves: 1-2 whole
  • Ginger and garlic paste: 1 tbsp
  • Cumin powder: 1 tsp
  • Turmeric: 1/2 tsp
  • Chilli powder: 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder: 2 tsp
  • Garam masala: 1 tsp
  • Tomatoes chopped: 1 cup
  • Green chillies, chopped: 2-3
  • Yogurt: 2 tbsp
  • Salt to taste

For Garnish

  • Chaat Masala: 1 tsp
  • Fresh Coriander, chopped: 2 tbsp

METHOD:

Soak the chole/chickpeas in water overnight.

The next day Pressure cook the chole/chickpeas with enough water, so that the beans are submerged. Cook for 15-20 minutes on medium flame, upto 4-5 whistles. Drain the chole/chickpeas and keep the stock and the peas aside in two separate bowls.

Check to see if the chole/chickpeas are cooked completely by squeezing a bean between your thumb and forefinger, the bean should come apart between your fingers and you should not feel a hard grain inside whatsoever.

In a saucepan heat oil on a medium flame and add the bay leaves and chopped onions. Cook until the onions caramelize and are a little brown on the edges.

This is when you should add the ginger and garlic paste and cook for 2-3 minutes until the colour darkens a little bit.

Follow up with all the powdered masalas (turmeric, cumin*, coriander, red chilli and garam masala) and cook for a further 3-4 minutes or until you see the oil starts to separate.

Cumin powder can be replaced with cumin seeds. The seeds can be added along with the bay leaf in step one. Additionally cumin seeds can also be grinded into a dry powder and stored for use.

Now add the chopped tomatoes and green chillies, cover and cook them for 2-4 minutes until the tomatoes become soft and are easily dissolved in the masala.

When oil pockets appear in the saucepan, it is a good time to add the chole/chickpeas along with the salt and mix well to ensure each bean is coated all over with masala. Cook for 5-6 minutes to ensure that the flavours of the masalas are soaked by the chickpeas.

Add the yogurt now and stir well to incorporate it completely into the masalas and the chickpeas. Cover and cook for 2 minutes more.

Optional – Add the chickpea stock to the saucepan for the curry, add water if you want more curry. Reduce the curry by an inch in the saucepan by lowering the heat and allowing everything to slow cook. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes, while stirring occasionally.

You will know the masala chole are ready when the aroma wafts through the kitchen. As a final touch sprinkle chaat masala on top and serve with chopped coriander.

Taste the masala chickpea to check for seasoning.

Masala Chole is served best with naans topped with ghee or puris and jeera rice.


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