Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Chickpea ~ Chestnut Chili (Chole)

Due to severe winter storm and repair works, internet service at our place got disconnected last Thursday. Four days of no Net, and I survived. Sincere thanks to my dear friend Anjali for keeping the Mahanandi alive with her gorgeous Kokum and Sol Kadhi photo-article, and to my dear husband Vijay for taking time from his busy schedule to check on the website during my absence.

Instead of worrying about IS/ISO certification for Mahanandi to appease the latest blight – the “quality concerned” visitors, I simply spent time on things that really matter, which of course invariably led to food. One of the recipes that I prepared last weekend was very unusual and rather substantial meal with chickpeas and chestnuts.

Chickpea chili with chestnuts happened due to my desire to experiment with chestnuts. I like chestnuts, and I can get quality chestnuts, already roasted, shelled and packed at low prices here in Seattle. The local Vietnamese and Chinese grocery shops offer a delightful variety of packed chestnut goodies ready for consumption. I was little bit anxious during the chili preparation, being the first time and all. But the sweet tasting, starchy chestnuts simmered happily in tomato-onion sauce, and made good companion to chickpeas. I am glad I tried this Indian inspired chickpea-chestnut chili or chole.

Chestnuts and Chickpeas


1 tablespoon peanut oil
Pinch each – cumin and mustard seeds
1 cup diced onion
3 cups finely chopped juicy tomatoes
2 cups chickpeas, cooked to tender
1 cup roasted or boiled chestnuts, cut to bite sized pieces
1 tablespoon CCCC powder (aka garam masala)
½ teaspoon each – red chilli powder and salt
¼ teaspoon – turmeric
Lemon juice or amchur to taste (for tangy flavor)
Chopped herbs to taste – cilantro or dried fenugreek

Heat oil in a deep skillet or saucepan. Add cumin and mustard seeds. When seeds start to pop, add the onion. Saute to gold. Stir in the juicy tomatoes. Cook them on high heat to mush.

Add chickpeas, and chestnuts. Also stir in the seasoning, the CCCC powder, chilli, salt, turmeric, and lemon juice or amchur. Add about one to two cups of water. Mix. Simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Garnish with herbs and serve the chickpea-chestnut chili or chole hot, with a dollop of yogurt or raita on the side with chapati or paratha.

Chickpea-Chestnut Chili with Chapati
Chickpea-Chestnut Chili (Chole) with Chapati and an Orange

CCCC Powder – Cumin, Coriander, Clove and Cinnamon Powder
Chili with one ‘L’ is American version of our kurma. Chili contains tomatoes, beans, meat and/or vegetables with spices, and sometimes rice is also added.

– Indira

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Chestnuts (Marrons),Chickpeas (Monday January 28, 2008 at 8:36 pm- permalink)
Comments (21)

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21 comments for Chickpea ~ Chestnut Chili (Chole) »

  1. Wonderful blog indira. I visit your blog everyday for healthy recipes.
    Since you mention about ayurveda in so many posts, I wondered whether you have any special recipe or natural medicine/suggestions for kidney stones? I know that plantain tree stem is a good medicine but I don’t get them here,any other?

    Comment by anitha — January 28, 2008 @ 9:11 pm

  2. Paired CC (chickpeas and chestnuts) seems to be made for each other. I’m tempted to try it soon.

    Anitha… drinking Tender Coconut water on empty stomach and having an antibiotic will be a remedy it seems. Recently i happened to hear from a nutritionist, on a TV show.

    Comment by Lavanya — January 28, 2008 @ 10:09 pm

  3. “Quality Concerned” !!!!!
    “ISO Certification” ????????????
    It is ISO or IIO (AyyaayoOO)

    Your blog is FANTASTIC. Well organised , well presented, and a feast to all the senses. Maybe not the nose but that is rectified when we follow your recipes.

    Comment by Fathima Begum — January 28, 2008 @ 10:58 pm

  4. Such an innovative combination! I am going to try this. I am puzzled about what possible complaints the ‘quality concerned’ could have about your blog. Boo to them!

    Comment by Rainee — January 28, 2008 @ 11:31 pm

  5. Looks and sounds delicious Indira! I have not really tried chestnuts except for the ones in the mixed nuts boxes (like the planters etc.). I’m not even sure if i can find the kinds u are mentioning here. Will be sure to look out for them. I really want to try the home roasted ones like u had posted some time back…
    And sometimes forcefully having no access to the Internet can be good thing for blog addicts like us 🙂 Keep warm!

    Comment by Latha — January 29, 2008 @ 6:01 am

  6. Wonderful idea. Adding the roasted chestnut to the dish

    Comment by Happy Cook — January 29, 2008 @ 7:35 am

  7. Thats a lovely idea, nice twist with regular chole. 🙂 .
    Somehow I hate to go to Chinese grocery stores sue to the smell in the stores….. Now i think i will dare to go now and catch some chestnut quickly ,:)) .

    Comment by Pooja — January 29, 2008 @ 7:50 am

  8. Hi Indira,
    Never tried chestnuts before.
    looks delicious .thanks for sharing.

    Comment by vineela — January 29, 2008 @ 8:52 am

  9. Lovely post.

    Comment by Mythreyee — January 29, 2008 @ 9:26 am

  10. Innovation at its best! Cheers, Indira, for such a yummy combo!

    Comment by musical — January 29, 2008 @ 9:47 am

  11. Indira, what a fantastic idea! Bet it was delicious. Will try it soon.

    Comment by mandira — January 29, 2008 @ 10:39 am

  12. Hi Indira,
    I have had the roasted chestnuts sold outside Uwajimaya but have`nt tried them in Indian Gravies. I will try this one.

    Comment by Sarada — January 29, 2008 @ 11:07 am

  13. Great job,Thanks for sharing

    Comment by dhivya — January 29, 2008 @ 11:58 am

  14. Lovely recipe Indira… Very much innovative…

    Comment by AnuSriram — January 29, 2008 @ 1:44 pm

  15. Your recipe sure is innovative, would try sometime.

    Comment by Delicacies — January 29, 2008 @ 3:04 pm

  16. chestnut and chole……..boy sounds cool.wonderful post thanks for sharing.

    Comment by chandana — January 29, 2008 @ 5:31 pm

  17. Thanks all for your crisp notes on this recipe.

    Hello Anitha: The most effective way to prevent kidney stone formation is drink water, atleast 6 to 8 glasses a day daily. and eat fruits that are rich in juice like watermelon and also like Lavanya mentioned coconut water. Hope this helps.
    Please pay the consultation fee at “Support” button.:) Thanks.

    Hi Latha: Roasted chestnuts are addictive kind of neat snacks. I think you are going to like them too.

    Pooja: I am really sorry about RP event. I planned so many things, but due to bad weather I wasn’t able to access the Net. Definitely next year!

    Comment by Indira — January 29, 2008 @ 6:31 pm

  18. Hi Indira: Is that your reflection with camera sort of, vaguely seen in the plate? 🙂 SS

    Comment by SS — January 30, 2008 @ 2:00 am

  19. Hi Indira,

    You come up with such great recipes, especially with chole. I have tried the baingan chole recipe and it turned out excellent. Just seen another baigan chana recipe on Shilpa’s blog.

    Comment by vimmi — January 30, 2008 @ 7:51 am

  20. Ofcourse Indira, I will,as i have used/still using lots of your recipes for my everyday cooking.Its time to pay the ‘consultation fee’;-)
    (as one of the poster has mentioned about your vague image on the plate,people here are dying to see your face;-)

    Comment by anitha — January 30, 2008 @ 10:45 am

  21. Many thanks for the recipe, I cooked it this afternoon. We tend to get fresh chestnuts here (Scotland – UK) in November. We always have some handy as we have a wood burning stove in our kitchen on which they quickly provide a warming winter snack.
    I cooked a kale curry to go with your dish, although I think it was maybe a little too rich as a meal (kale has coconut milk in), no matter, eaten and enjoyed
    Thanks for all your work on the site, it has become a favourite
    Kind regards

    Comment by Chools — February 3, 2008 @ 10:45 am

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