Chole is the most popular chick pea/garbanzo beans dish of North India not only in India but even abroad. This is a very basic and simplest way of making chole. However, chole can be prepared with many more ingredients to make it unique. Premix chole masalas are easily available in the market as well; however, every brand will have a different mix and proportion of ingredients. This recipe is a great way to learn to make chole, and you can build on this recipe whenever you want to experiment or have more time. But I guarantee that this simple dish will leave you with a memorable taste.
Ingredients (6-8 Servings)
2 cans cooked organic chickpeas, canned without preservatives or 1 cup dry chick peas soaked overnight
1 onion (chopped coarsely)
2 tomatoes (chopped finely)
1” ginger (chopped, mashed)/ 1 tsp ginger paste
1 green chili (sliced longitudinally), optional
½ tsp cumin seeds
1/8 tsp asafetida
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
¾ tsp red chili powder
¼ tsp garam masala
1-2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp kasuri methi, optional
Cilantro for garnishing
3 tbsp oil
Salt as needed
- Soak 1 cup garbanzo beans overnight with 2 cups of water. Next morning, retain the water used for soaking, and pressure cook them on high heat till first whistle and then 10 minutes on low heat.
- Heat oil in a steel pot and add cumin seeds. After they sizzle, turn off the heat and add the green chili only if you would like it spicy. Otherwise, skip the chili. Then add the asafetida and chopped onions. Panfry the onions till they turn light brown on medium heat.
- Then add the tomatoes and dry ingredients except sugar and allow the tomatoes to cook on low to medium heat. When the oil begins to separate add the chickpeas. Add additional 1 cup water, some salt, sugar, and ginger paste. Let the chick peas boil on medium heat for about 5-10 mins. Partially cover the pot with a lid.
- Taste to see if the chole are not too tangy. Tanginess will depend on your tomatoes. Add some more sugar to balance the taste.
- Serve with garnish of coriander leaves with steaming Basmati rice or fresh phulkas or chapatis. However, ideally they are served with deep-fried, extremely delicious small breads called bhature made from all-purpose flour or whole wheat puris. In restaurants it’s also served with naan.
You can vary the recipe by using ginger-garlic paste instead of plain ginger paste. Add a bay leaf to your cumin seeds for tempering or sprinkle about ¼ to ½ tsp of dhania powder along with other dry ingredients. I love to add shredded green bell pepper or chopped spinach to my chole which not only enhances the nutritional value, but the taste and appearance.
If you wish to try out a ready-made Chole masala, you may have to skip or modify the turmeric powder, red chili powder and garam masala. Chole masala includes many different ingredients- corrinader seeds, dried mango powder, crushed pomegranate seeds, garam masala, ginger powder etc. A lot of the Chole recipes also suggest you make the fresh paste using the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, red chili, dried pomegranate seeds, cardamom etc after roasting them. It’s a little bit elaborate- so if you have time and wish to try out a different taste, then do check them out.