I have already posted a recipe for chole a.k.a channa masala here, a quicker & easier version.
Yesterday, it was time for channa masala again! Yesterday 's version was too good that the intensely spiced bright red chole reminded me of what is being served in the restaurants. Incidentally, the day before VJ had chole at one of the North Indian restaurants for lunch and it turned out to be a total failure! So, when I told him that I will be posting this version as "Chole - Restaurant Style", he told me, "Why restaurant style? This tastes a lot better!". Now, that's what I call as a compliment!!!
The dry spice powder mix is the secret for perfect color, taste & texture! Paprika & turmeric gives it an appetizing orangish-red color, while coriander, cumin, red chilli, channa masala powder gives it a hot & spicy flavor base. Amchoor & lime juice adds a wonderful sour note at the end!
Complexity - Medium
Prep time - 8-10 hrs (includes soaking time)
Cook time - 30 mins
Serves - 3
Cooked chickpeas - 3 cups
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Bay leaf - 1 no
Onion - 2 nos (medium sized, minced)
Garlic - 1 clove (minced)
Ginger - 1 inch (grated)
Green chilly - 1 no (minced)
Tomatoes - 4 nos (big sized, ripe)
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Cumin powder - 2 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Amchoor powder - 1 tsp
Paprika - 2 tsp
Channa masala (MTR brand) - 2 tsp (replace it with garam masala)
Water - 1 cup
Salt - to taste
Oil - 1 tbsp
Lime juice - from 1/2 lime
Cilantro - handful (finely chopped)
Soak chickpeas overnight and pressure cook for 4-5 whistles.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil (large enough to cover 4 tomatoes with water), and carefully drop the tomatoes into boiling water. In a couple of mins, you should see the skin of the tomatoes coming off. At this point, remove the tomatoes from hot water and wash them under cold tap water. Peel off & discard the skin, crush the tomatoes and keep them ready.
Heat oil in a large skillet. When hot, saute bay leaf for a second and splutter cumin seeds.
Add onion, garlic, ginger, chillies and saute over medium heat until browned for about 5 minutes. Turn heat down to medium-low and add all of the dry masala powder - coriander, cumin, turmeric, red chilli, amchoor, paprika & channa masala. Cook it for a minute or two, and then, add the crushed tomatoes. Add water, salt and chickpeas and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.
Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with roti/poori/rice.
- Slightly over-cooking chickpeas is the trick to get tastier channa masala.
- Add more or less water depending on how thick you want the gravy to be.