I am fretting and fussin over a name. An apt name for this wonderfully aromatic royal north Indian beans usually eaten with puffed deep fried pooris or bhaturas. They are made in a host of different ways hence we have names for every kind.
What I have here is a dark semi thick gravied version, usually made in Punjab, a northern state in India. Lot of spices are used, some whole, some ground. The end result is spicy, earthy and extremely flavorful. Love for these beans is eternal in my house. They sit happily waiting for their meal to arrive! Bliss, when you have happy faces to feed.
Over the years I’ve had little problem with Chickpeas. They usually turn out well. Having changed recipes several times, and now finally zeroed in on a cross between a couple of formulas, my tryst with these beans is here to stay.
My grouse lately is what to accompany this curry with. Traditional pooris and other deep fried stuff is out of our menu. Husband is happy with plain old chappathis. But I find it almost belittling to serve this curry with phulkas… just doesn’t seem right. Bread or ready made whole wheat kulchas are a better option. They somehow justify this royal dish 🙂
For me, I almost always make some rice. Chole chawal is a regular in many north Indian homes. Roast a papad, cut up some salad, drizzle salt and lime juice – and you have a very tempting plate in your hands!
Chickpeas are usually white to light brown in color, and post boiling they turn a pale yellow. So, to deepen/darken the gravy, we have a very rustic old way to do so. A spoon full of tea leaves bundled in muslin cloth is dropped into the pot of boiling chickpeas. This darkens the beans and imparts an earthy flavor to the gravy. Mother also added whole spices into the bundle sometimes. Made it easier for her to remove the spices after their work was done, she says.
- 1 and half cups kabuli channa or dried big chickpeas, soaked overnight.
- 2-3 tbsp channa dal, soaked along with the chickpeas
- 2 tsp ghee or oil
- 2 whole cardamoms,
- 1 bay leaf, 2/3 cloves, a small stick cinnamon
- 3 garlic pods
- a tiny piece of ginger
- 1 big onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup leaves of mint and coriander leaves
- 2 medium sized tomatoes, ground
- 1 tsp anardana or dried pomegranate seeds
- 3 tsp chole masala, store brought or home made
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder
- salt to taste
- 1 tsp tea leaves tied in a muslin cloth
- Garnish: Julienned ginger, onions, tomatoes, french fries and coriander leaves – optional.
Boil chickpeas and channa dal along with the bag of tea leaves, crushed garlic and salt. Keep aside.
Grind chopped onions, ginger and leaves of mint and coriander to a fine smooth paste.
In a big wok, heat ghee or oil. Throw the whole spices – bay leaf, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon. Saute for a minute. Add and fry the onion-coriander mint paste till the oil leaves sides. To this add ground tomatoes along with anardana, chole masala, coriander powder and red chili powder. Mix well and fry the paste very well till the fat separates. Now mix in the boiled chickpeas. Give it a final mix and boil. Garnish.
Serve with pooris/bhature/bread/kulchas/rice.
Note: You can add the whole spices while boiling the chickpeas.
Note: Oil or any butter can be used, but I prefer ghee. It adds to the aroma and richness of the dish.
Comin back to the name. Ah a name! Since the method leans more towards the ambarsariya kinds, mother advised me to call it Amritsari Channe. And so I do as I am told. Its mothers day after all. 🙂
Hey Nams, great to see you back with a post. Gorgeous pictures here. The rice plate looks extremely tempting. I am following your recipe next time I make channa. Keep those posts coming dear. We miss you.
Thanks Chaaru. So want to be regular but something or the other keeps coming up.
So Nice to see you back Namrata… Allow me the liberty of telling you this is your best post according to me… Awesome pictures (as i keep repeating), great writing and a cracker of a dish. Also, I must say, that is a dainty little Kadhai that you have got there 🙂
🙂 Elson! Really, you have a way with your words! :)Thank you.
Lollll!!! Thanks Namrata 🙂
Lovely post, Namrata!
🙂 Thanks Aruna
I loved your recipe Namrata. Have never used Chana dal with Chhole but I can see it adds to the texture. Am saving ths recipe for keeps. The pictures…what can I say? Rustic and gorgeous.
Channa dal and chole are mixed, when boiled the channa dal merges to form a thickish gravy around the chole. Like you figured, it elevates the texture 🙂
Hi Namrata – this looks really good and this recipes is so different than mine (more like the Punjabi version). The tea leaves bit is so interesting too. Pinning this to try later!
Yea mine is a hotch potch of two recipes. But it comes out really well… I have the added bonus of home made chole masala.. will try putting the recipe for you guys.
homemade masala? thats a great idea, please post soon!
That’s such a lovely dish, Namrata. I’ve temporarily banished chickpeas because we were bored with the same set of recipes. I will try this. And lovely pics too!
Yes, I went through the same thing, but husband and girlie like it so much, they keep comin back to it.
Hey Namrata! What a lovely post. The channa served with rice pic looks too tempting. Delish! 🙂
🙂 Thanks Sadia. Your pics are inspiring.
What an awesome recipe! The ‘bag of tea leaves and whole spices’ idea is excellent. I will try it. 🙂
Tea leaves bag idea is an old method, many punjabi houses have been doing it for ages now. Please try and let me know if it makes a difference.
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Wow! My mouth has started watering.. what more can i say?? Your pics look amazing! One of my favs.. 🙂
thank you Radhika
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