The Amritsari Chole Masala recipe of my friend, Shivani Kumar has been a treasured recipe from her childhood passed on to her by her grandmother and then her mother.
The delicious spiced chick pea specialty is a traditional Punjabi dish whose origins trace from Amritsar, India, the world renowned place of the Golden Temple.
Over history Chole Masala traveled the routes throughout Indian cuisine altered only by slight variations in spice combinations and methods of preparation according to varying regions.
One special key to the distinct flavor in Shivani’s Amritsari Chole Masala includes what she treasures most in its preparation, the chat and chole masala spices which have been prepared by the local women in Chandigarh the city located in the Punjab region in North India where Shivani is from. The women prepare and sell their own unique blend of fresh spices along the streets of the city and so Shivani always returns home with full batches following an annual visit to her native place in India.
Shivani’s Chole Masala is a much-enjoyed dish in her family including with her husband, Sumit and their children, Saanvi and Sunveer. Prepared in the household at least once every couple of weeks, Shivani typically serves the dish with her delicious homemade Bhature, a fried flatbread made from maida (soft wheat) flour and yogurt.
Shivani has also agreed to share with you her recipe and method for Bhature preparation so stay tuned for the lucky recipe preparation which I assure you, under the direction of the lovely Shivani, is fairly straightforward and easily managed in its attempt.
The Amritsari Chole Masala not only serves as a regular family meal but also suits well for the Kumar’s gatherings with friends, and even on special holiday festivities, including Diwali.
- • 1 cup dried white chickpeas
- • 3 cups of water
- • 1 teaspoon salt
- • 2-3 tablespoon cooking oil or ghee
- • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- • 1 large bay leaf
- • 1-inch ginger, peeled and grated
- • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
- • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- • 1 teaspoon chat masala
- • 2 teaspoon chole masala
- • 2-3 green chilies
- • 2-3 tablespoons tomato puree
- • 1 small onion, sliced for garnishing
- Rinse dried chick peas in water a couple of times, drain.
- Transfer washed peas to a pot, cover with water and soak overnight.
- Drain chickpeas, rinse, then transfer to a pressure cooker.
- Cover chick peas with water, add in the salt and cook until just tender through, around twenty to twenty-five minutes. (A regular soup pot may alternatively be used covering the chick peas with water, adding in the salt and cooking with an extended ten to fifteen minutes or until the peas are just tender through.)
- Once the chick peas are cooked, reserve the cooking water draining it into a separate pot.
- In a separate large- sized sauté pan, heat the oil or ghee, add in the cumin seeds and bay leaf and fry until the oil becomes fragrant. Add the grated ginger and cook until it changes color, around a minute. Sprinkle in the red chili powder, coriander, chat masala and chana masala. Spoon in the tomato puree and sauté well for one minute. Tumble in the cooked chick peas (chole) stir and cook another minute or two. Pour in the reserved water. Simmer on low heat for ten to fifteen minutes until the curry thickens. Check the seasonings adding more salt if desired. Garnish chole with green chilies and cilantro. Chole may be served alongside onion slices, julienned fresh ginger, and deep fried potato chunks accompanied with Bhature, Chapati, or Poori’s Indian breads, and rice.
Spices may be obtained at Indian Markets