Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Pindi chole ~ Pindi chana ~ Vegan Chickpeas Curry

Pindi chole is a type of curry made with chana/ chickpeas with a light coating of spices/ gravy. It tends to be a tad bit drier than the conventional chole or chana masala. While I was reading up about this chole I came across various sources that mentioned that this chole originated in Rawalpindi. I also came across a few that stated that this kind of chole originates from villages in northern India known as pind, hence the name.  I am not sure about the origin of this chole , but I am sure about about one thing this is one amazingly tasty chole variety and I am always happy to have this on my menu :)

Just as for so many other recipes, this chole too has a lot of versions, some with onions, some without, some with tomatoes and some without,  so on and so forth. I have tried a few versions myself, but this version is the one I like the most and make most frequently.  Cooking the chickpeas with spices and tea infuses it with a light flavor and aroma from the spices and a lovely hue from the tea leaves. Try this delicious chole with some rotis/ kulchas / phulkas or even some puris/ bhatura if you are not counting calories and enjoy :)

Click here for a printable view of this recipe

Ingredients and Method to make Pindi choley ( Adapted from this recipe)
1 and 1/2 cups chickpeas/ kabuli chana
1 onion cut fine ( pyaaz)
1 cup tomato purée ( I needed 2 med tomatoes for this ) ( tamatar )
2 Thai or Indian variety green chilies cut fine ( or to taste ) ( hari mirch)
1 and 1/2 Tbsp oil
1 tsp  ginger garlic paste ( adrak / lehsun)
1/2 tsp chili powder (or to taste) (lal mirch)
2 tsp chana masala ( or to taste)
Salt to taste

For the spice bag
1 and 1/2 tsp loose black tea ( chai patti)
1 and 1/2 stick of cinnamon ( dalchini)
2 black cardamom ( badi elaichi)

A thin muslin cloth/ cheese cloth to make the spice bag

Soak chickpeas/ chana overnight in sufficient water. Make a spice bag/ potli with cinnamon, black cardamom and loose tea.  That is, place the spices in a thin muslin cloth, or 2 layers of cheese  cloth and make into a small bag by bringing opposite sides of the cloth and making a knot in the center. Keep this aside.

Drain chickpeas, fill with  fresh water, add 1 tsp salt and spice bag, close with a lid, place in a pressure cooker and cook until soft. It usually takes me about 4 to 5 whistles in the pressure cooker.  Allow pressure to subside before opening the cooker. Discard the spice bag and keep the cooked chickpeas aside.

Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed pan. Add onions and green chilies and sauté until onions turn translucent. Add ginger garlic paste and stir a few times.

Add tomato purée, chana masala powder and stir until the mixture thickens a little. Add cooked chickpeas along with any water it was cooked in, adjust salt to taste and simmer until gravy thickens just enough to coat the chickpeas.

I forgot to take a pic of the chole just as it got done, will try and update it when I make it again :) 

Remove from heat and serve hot with phulkas / puris / bhaturas / Indian bread

If you are looking for recipes with chickpeas/ chana here are a few more

Chana Masala ~ Vegan Chickpeas curry

Chana Palak ~ Spinach and Chickpeas Curry

Chana Poha ~ Beaten rice flakes with chickpeas

Aloo Chana Chaat ~ Potato and Chickpeas Snack
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