Pindi Chole (Chickpea Curry)

This is a typical Punjabi recipe. I have eaten this several times at Punjabi restaurants – though never in anyone’s home. I wonder why? It is a fabulous tasting dish that pairs very well with Indian breads. Or even rice. The mélange of spices makes this dish what it is – a really exotic preparation. But, for some strange reason, this dish is not top-of-mind for me when I think of dals. Probably because it is not typically a dal, more of an accompaniment to bread and dal. But I decided to substitute my regular dal with this dish – and it worked out really well.

Pindi Chole

Ingredients
To Cook The Chickpeas
250 gms chickpeas (kabuli chana, kondakadalai)
3 cloves
2 sticks (1″ each) cinnamon
2 black cardamom (badi elaichi, karuppu elakkai)
2 green cardamom (elaichi, elakkai)
2 bay leaves (tej patta, birinji elai)
1 black tea bag
Salt to taste
To Make The Pindi Masala
3 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
2 tsp coriander powder (dhania powder, kothamalli podi)
1 tsp garam masala powder
2 tsp chana masala powder (roast and grind cinnamon. onion seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, green cardamom, cloves, carom seeds and 2 red chillies)
1 tsp dry mango powder (amchur, ular mampazham)
Salt to taste
1 tsp lemon juice
Method
To Cook The Chickpeas
Soak the chickpeas overnight
Boil the soaked chickpeas with salt, whole spices (mentioned under “To Cook The Chickpeas”) and tea bag in a pressure cooker for 10-15 minutes
If the chickpeas are not tender, boil for a while longer
Drain the chickpeas and remove the spices and tea bag
Set aside
To Make The Pindi Chole
Heat a pan and add the ginger-garlic paste
When the raw smell has evaporated, add all the spice powders
Saute the spices on a low flame
Add the chickpeas and mix well
Add salt and check the seasoning (if needed, add more salt and spice powders)
Cook on low flame for about 7 minutes
Finally, add the lemon juice and mix well
Remove from flame and serve hot with Indian breads or even rice
Enjoy!



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