Every family has a different recipe for chhole. Some people like a thin gravy while others make the ever popular Amritsari chikad channe, some add tomatoes, some make them like any other sabji but for me, punjabi chhole evoke so many childhood memories that I cannot help but associate them with a special meal.
I know folks who make their own chhole masala from scratch but its just a long process, one that I really want to avoid. If you want to try making masala, check out this post at the Mad Tea Party.
Ideally, you must soak white channa (chickpea, garbanzo beans) overnight. It reduces the cooking time and the chickpeas incorporate the masala flavor better. Want to give the bazaar-ish look to your chhole? Boil two cups of water and add a teaspoon of tea leaves. Strain and add this to the chickpeas when soaking them. If you are adding warm water, give the chickpeas 5-6 hours to take on the color (which is why they are best left overnight).
I forgot to take pictures while making chhole and chutney! Sucks.
Punjabi Chhole (makes enough for four):
2 cups chickpeas/garbanzo beans
2 cups water
3 large onions
4 green chillies
8 garlic cloves
2 tejpatta leaves
2 pieces black cardamom
1 stick cinnamon
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 piece mace (javitri)
2 tbsp chana masala (I used MDH)
2 tbsp amchoor powder (MDH)
1/2 tbsp ginger powder
1/2 tbsp garam masala
Salt to taste
Chop the onions, garlic, chillies, and ginger. Heat two tbsp mustard oil in a pressure cooker. Add the chopped mixture to the cooker and saute till onions are golden brown. If the mixture becomes too dry, add half a cup of water. Mix the chana masala and amchoor powder into a thick paste and add to the onions. Cook for five minutes on high flame.
Add in the soaked chickpeas, whole spices, and salt. Put on the pressure cooker and cook on a high flame for 20-25 minutes. Serve hot with puris or kulchas.
3 tbsp tamarind paste
4 tbsp crushed jaggery
2 tbsp ginger powder
1 tbsp red chilli powder
1 tbsp cumin powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups water
In a pan, add water and then all the remaining ingredients, except ginger powder. Cook on medium flame for ten minutes, add ginger powder and cook for another 30 minutes. Can be stored in the refrigerator for a month.