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

Hearty Chole Cheddar

Chickpea is sitting there looking relaxed, refreshed and ready to rumble.

“Would you like some cheddar cheese company?”

“I know it’s Jihva and you are looking for some new ideas. But, what in the world…?”

“Think about it. I will add some vegetables too. It will be a nice combination and a wholesome meal in a bowl.”

“Are you going to add my favorite seasoning, chana masala powder?”

“Yep, I’ll.”

“Chole cheddar! I am game. Cover me with that gooey cheddar…”

Chickpea and Cheddar

Hearty Chole Cheddar
(for two or four, for two to one meal)

1 teaspoon oil
1 tsp each – cumin and minced garlic
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup each – diced carrots and potatoes (1/2-inch thick)
1/2 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
1 teaspoon each – red chilli powder and turmeric
1 tablespoon – chana masala powder
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
2 cups water
2 cups chickpeas (Canned or pressure-cooked)
1/3 cup finely grated sharp cheddar cheese

In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add and toast cumin and garlic to fragrance.

Add the vegetables and cook, stirring often until vegetables soften, about 15 minutes.

Add the seasoning – chilli powder, turmeric, chana masala powder and salt. Also 2 cups of water. To thicken the soup, mash about quarter cup of chickpeas to fine paste in a mixer and add the paste along with the remaining chickpeas. Simmer, stirring occasionally for about ten minutes. Add ¼ cup cheddar cheese and stir.

Ladle into bowls; sprinkle the remaining cheese. Enjoy with paratha or bread.

Chole Cheddar with Ciabatta
Lunch today and for ms’s Jihva Chickpeas

Chole = Chana Masala = Hearty Chickpea Soup

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Cheese,Chickpeas,Jihva For Ingredients (Friday January 30, 2009 at 12:18 pm- permalink)
Comments (43)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

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)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Lauki Chole

Photo Purchase Keywords: Chickpeas, Bottle Gourd
(It takes money, time, effort and energy for food photography. Please don’t photosteal. Click on the links and purchase the photos legally to digital download and to print. Thanks.)

I am sure you must have come across people who constantly fish for opinions. “Should I do this?”, “What do you think about this?”, “Do you think this suits me?” The first few times it’s endearing, and then it starts to get annoying. “I see a head on your neck, don’t you have a functioning brain?” You want to hurl back the questions. Whenever I see such fishing activity in virtual world, I wonder whether this coquettish routine is a clever manipulation for comments or a confused cry for help. Whatever the reason might be, it is always better to avoid such people who act like they need to conduct focus groups for everything.

When it comes to cooking, here is a recipe that doesn’t need a focus group to know it tastes good. Well, the recipe is lauki-chole, and it has silk like lauki also known as bottle gourd and smooth tasting chickpeas. Chickpeas are one legume that can stand on their own in taste department. They can pamper other ingredients without pandering to them. That’s a good company to have.

Bottle Gourd, Sorakaya, Lauki, Dudhi
Bottle Gourd (Lauki, Sorakaya, Dudhi), Chickpeas and Tomato

(for two, for two meals)

1 tablespoon – ghee
1 onion- finely chopped
4 tomatoes – finely chopped
1 small bottle gourd (lauki, Dudhi, Sorakaya), about 6-8″
3 cups chickpeas, pre-soaked in water
1 tablespoon chana masala powder (homemade or store-bought)
Chilli powder, turmeric, salt, and lemon juice – to taste
1 tablespoon – kasuri methi

Cook chickpeas to tender in salted water. Drain. Separate about half cup and puree to fine, for a low-calorie chole thickener.

Lightly scrape the bottle gourd’s (lauki) skin, cut to middle lengthwise. Scoop the seeds out and then cut the white part to bite-sized cubes.

Heat ghee in a big pot. Add onions and tomatoes. Saute to soft mush. Add the cubed bottle gourd. Saute to tender. Add the chickpeas and the chickpea paste. Also stir in the spices – chana masala powder, chilli, turmeric powders, and salt. Add about a cup of water. Mix well. Simmer, covered for about 15 to 20 min. At the end, sprinkle the kasuri methi and lemon juice. Mix and serve right away.

I like chole. The chickpeas in chole are good with vegetable combination, and they make filling meal with minimum effort. This type of vegetable chole satisfies any grain – rice, chapati, pasta, millet and even the toasted bread.

Lauki Chole
Lauki-chole with Rice, Lemon and Pickled Pepper ~ Meal Today

Lauki in Ayurveda, Lauki at backyard garden
Bindiya’s Kashmiri recipe with lauki


Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Chickpeas,Sorakaya(Dudhi,Lauki) (Thursday January 17, 2008 at 9:09 pm- permalink)
Comments (17)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Crispy and Crunchy Chickpeas

Fried Chickpeas
Fried Chickpeas ~ A Tasty Snack on a Cold, Rainy Day

It has been so dreary cold here lately. Soup like dal-rice combo has been my main meal most of the days. Worn-out of my routine tomato dal, I thought of dazzling it a bit. That started a craving for crispy, crunchy chickpeas. A cup of rehydrated chickpeas, 20 minutes in front of hot oil. Now, I remember why I don’t make these often.:) Next time I will simply buy or bake.

For those of you who would like to try the recipe, here we go:

Soak dried chickpeas in water to plump.
Drain and then pat them dry using a kitchen towel.
Deep-fry in batches, in hot peanut oil to crisp.
Prepare spice mixture: Heat a teaspoon of ghee. Add and toast curry leaves, chilli powder, amchur and salt to taste. Toss and coat the chickpeas in spice mixture.

The fried chickpeas are great to jazz up the dal and sambar rice. Also to munch on, and to add to salads.

What’s This?

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Chickpeas (Tuesday November 20, 2007 at 11:12 pm- permalink)
Comments (22)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Chole with Punjabi Tinda

The mere mention of chole, the famous Punjabi recipe with chickpeas, elicits feelings of comfort and good eats. Bring in the Punjabi tinda, the chole becomes extra special.

The food I prepared today inspired by two Punjabi specialties “chole with Punjabi tinda” turned out to be excellent. Along with Punjabi tinda, I also added tomatoes and potatoes to chickpea chole. Few teaspoons of kasuri methi livened up the chole with wonderful aroma.

A harmonious, energizing and filling meal!

Punjabi Tinda, Tomato, Cooked Chickpeas
Tomato, Punjabi Tinda, Cooked Chickpeas

(for two, for two meals)

1 tablespoon – ghee
1 onion- finely chopped
4 tomatoes – finely chopped
1 Punjabi tinda – Peeled and the white flesh cut to cubes
1 potato – peeled and cut to cubes
3 cups chickpeas (cooked to tender)
(Separate ½- cup chickpeas and puree to smooth. Added to thicken the chole)
1 tablespoon – chana masala powder (homemade or store-bought)
Chilli powder, salt, and lemon juice – to taste
1 tablespoon – kasuri methi

Heat ghee in a big pot.
Add onions and tomatoes. Saute to soft mush.
Add Punjabi tinda and potatoes. Saute to tender.
Stir in chickpeas, the chickpea paste, chana masala and chilli powders, and salt.
Add about one cup of water. Combine. Simmer, covered for about 15 to 20 min.
At the end, sprinkle the kasuri methi and lemon juice.
Mix and serve right away. Great with chapati/roti and rice.

Chole with Punjabi Tinda, Dahi Mirchi, Roti, and Persimmon with yogurt ~ Meal Today

Punjabi tinda is a small variety squash native to North India and prized for its pleasant taste.
Features: green skin and white colored flesh, firm texture, mildly sweet taste, size about an apple.
Available at local Indian grocery shops during Oct-Nov(seasonal), and also frozen and in tins.
Kasuri Methi = Sun-dried fenugreek leaves

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Chickpeas,Indian Vegetables,Punjabi Tinda (Tuesday October 30, 2007 at 1:40 pm- permalink)
Comments (16)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Series of Sprouts ~ Chickpea Sprouts

Chickpea Sprouts

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Chickpeas,Sprouts (Molakalu) (Monday July 30, 2007 at 10:54 am- permalink)
Comments (8)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Methi Chole (Fenugreek~Chickpeas Curry)

“One remarkable thing about Rajasthani recipes is, without the usage of Onions and Garlic, the dishes that are prepared are remarkably tasty. One such dish which stole my heart is Methiwale Kabuli Chhole (Chick peas with fenugreek leaves). This curry is prepared both in dry and gravy version. But my suggestion is to prepare semi gravy version. If you taste this once, you would love to try this out again and again.”

– Writes cooking guru Sri Hemant Trivedi in his introduction to chickpea-fenugreek curry. As weather turned to cold and gray, kitchen and food have become my source of warmth and comfort, among other things. Chickpeas are one of my favorite winter comfort foods and I am always on the lookout for new recipes to try with this wonder legume. The methi chole recipe from Trivedi’s fabulous website sounded interesting and I gave it a try last weekend.

Of course I had to alter the recipe to suit my tastes. I have added onions, omitted ginger-garlic, and I prepared the curry with fresh green chickpeas. Trader Joe’s, the nearby grocery shop carries fresh green chickpeas in frozen section. One-pound packet was available for $1.99. Like freshly shelled peas, fresh green chickpeas taste good, and when combined with potent fenugreek, they made a great combination. Chana masala infused with fenugreek magic is methi chole. Give it a try.

 Fresh Green Chickpeas, Fresh Fenugreek (methi) Leaves, Ripe Tomato
Fresh Green Chickpeas, Fresh Fenugreek (methi) Leaves, Ripe Tomato


2¼ cups of green chickpeas (chana, green garbanzos)
(of which ¼ cup removed and pureed to smooth paste – to thicken the sauce)
2 cups of fresh methi leaves (fenugreek leaves)
4 big, ripe, juicy tomatoes – cut to small pieces
1 onion – finely chopped
1 tablespoon of chana masala powder
Salt, chilli powder, turmeric, jaggery (or sugar) and amchur powder – to taste or ½ teaspoon each
1 teaspoon of ghee

In a big saucepan, heat ghee on medium heat.
Add and saute onions to soft.
Add fresh methi leaves and cook for about two minutes, until leaves collapse.
Add the green chickpeas and tomatoes. Stir in the pureed chickpea paste, and all the seasoning. Add about 2 cups of water.
Cover and cook for about 20 to 30 minutes, stirring in-between, on medium heat, until the chickpeas become tender. Serve the methi-chole warm with chapatis.

This recipe can also be prepared with dried chickpeas (soak and cook them to tender first and follow the recipe steps mentioned above).

Pot of Methi Chole and Chapatis on the Side
Pot of methi chole and chapatis on the side ~ Our Weekend Meal

Green Garbanzo Beans – purchased at Trader Joe’s, frozen section.
Fresh Methi (fenugreek leaves) – purchased at Indian grocery shops
Recipe source and adapted from – Sri Hemant Trivedi and from ‘Spice is Right’

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Chickpeas,Hara Chana(Green Chickpeas),Menthi Kura(Fenugreek) (Monday November 13, 2006 at 12:42 pm- permalink)
Comments (35)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Brussels Sprouts, Potatoes & Garbanzo Curry

Lonely Brussels Sprout
Brussels Sprout

If cabbage has a mini me, it would definitely look like a brussels sprout, I think. To compensate what they lack in size, they got lot of that cabbage sp(t)unk. Somehow this tiny, tightly wounded veggie brings out the bad in people here. Blah, eew, yuk, is what you hear often with the mention of brussels sprouts. Blanching them whole and buttering them up, I would say yuk too. My way of preparing brussels sprouts is different and cooking curried way makes this winter season vegetable pleasantly pleasing.

For our lunch today, I saut?ed the brussels sprouts with potatoes and fresh green chana (garbanzo/chickpeas). Little bit of chillie and little bit of garam masala, together with sweet taste of green chana – one tasty curry was ready for chapatis.

Brussels Sprouts, Cooked Potato and Fresh Green Garbanzo (green chana)


15 fresh brussels sprouts – outer leaves removed and finely chopped lengthwise
2 medium-sized potatoes – Boiled to tender, skin removed and quartered to cubes
½ cup of fresh green garbanzo beans (green chana/chickpeas)
1 red onion – finely sliced lengthwise
Green chillies to taste or 6 – finely chopped
Garam masala, coconut powder, turmeric and salt – to taste or 1 tsp each
Popu or Tadka Ingredients:
Cumin, mustard seeds, curry leaves – ½ tsp each

In a big skillet, add and heat a teaspoon of peanut oil. Add and toast tadka ingredients first. One by one add and saut? onions, green chillies and garbanzo beans. Add in brussels sprouts. Stir in garam masala, coconut powder, turmeric and salt. Mix. Cover and cook for few minutes until the sprouts start to wilt. Add in cubed potatoes. Cook covered for another 10 to 15 minutes on medium heat, stirring in between, until the sprouts reach the tenderness you desire. Keep in mind just like cabbage and cauliflower, brussels sprouts also release unpleasant odor on overcooking.

Serve hot with chapati or with rice.

Brussels Sprouts, Potato, Green Garbanzo Beans Curry

Fresh, green garbanzo beans – Frozen section, Indian grocery & Trader Joe’s
Recipe Source: My own creation

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Brussels Sprouts,Chickpeas,Potato (Wednesday November 8, 2006 at 9:22 am- permalink)
Comments (42)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Chickpea Guggullu ~ Black and White

Black Chickpea Guggullu
Black Chickpea (Kala Chana, Sanaga) Guggullu with Tomatoes and Fresh Coconut

Temple prasadam, beach fare and yogi diet – guggullu (sundal) is a comforting, quick snack item and quite easy to prepare at home also.

Soak the chickpeas overnight in water; cook them until tender and prepare ‘guggullu’ by quickly sauteeing them in few drops of oil, with lot of curry leaves, finely chopped red and green chillies. Sprinkle turmeric and salt to taste. Fresh coconut gratings, sometimes finely chopped tomatoes, onions and green mango are also added just before serving.

Chickpea, (Dubba Sanagala) Guggullu
Chickpea Guggullu with Fresh Coconut

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Chickpeas,Chickpeas-Black (Monday July 24, 2006 at 7:56 am- permalink)
Comments (26)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Baingan Chole (Eggplant-Chickpeas)

Baingan Chole and Chapatis
Baingan Chole with Chapatis

Hummus and baba ghanoush got together and baingan chole is born. In plain language, chickpeas and eggplant are cooked together with super fabulous results for a Punjabi style chole. Recipe is simple and almost same as chole preparation.

Soak, Cook and Puree:
– Soak 2 cups of chickpeas in water, overnight.
– At morning, pressure-cook chickpeas in enough water until the chickpeas are tender, but not mushy.
– Drain Water. Separate half cup of chickpeas and puree them into smooth paste. Keep the remaining aside.

Jumbo (Italian) Eggplant

Cut, Chop and Prepare Masala:
– Wash and cut big eggplant into bite sized cubes.
– Chop 1 onion and 2 tomatoes into small pieces.
– Make a smooth paste of 2 garlic, few springs of fresh cilantro and small piece of ginger.(GGC Paste)
– Prepare one tablespoon of cloves-cinnamon-cumin-coriander seed powder. (CCCC Powder)

Saute, Stir-in and Cook:
– Heat one teaspoon of peanut oil in a big pan. Do the popu or tadka.
– Add and saute onion, tomatoes, GGC paste, CCCC powder and eggplant cubes, in that order.
– Add the pureed chickpea paste and pressure-cooked chickpeas.
– Stir in 2 cups of water, one teaspoon of each – salt, red chilli powder, amchur powder and turmeric.
– Close the lid and cook on medium heat for about 20 to 30 minutes, stirring in-between.
– Serve warm with chapatis or with rice.

Lunch Scene at Singari's Home - Cartoon
Lunch Scene at Singari’s Home

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Chickpeas,Eggplant (Tuesday May 9, 2006 at 2:45 pm- permalink)
Comments (37)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Wild Rice with Eggplant-Chole

First time I tasted wild rice was at a restaurant in Houston. For main course there was an entry with wild rice. I’ve heard good things about wild rice and I wanted to give it a try. Try we did. The restaurant version of wild rice was full of butter and had some toasted pine nuts. The portion was small, but we loved it so much, decided to cook it at home. Then we found about the price; wild rice is not cheap, I can tell you that. It’s an indulgence for us and I like to cook it once in a while.

My version is very simple. For 1 cup of wild rice, usually I’d add 2 and half cups water, a quarter teaspoon of salt and ghee. I cook it just like regular rice in a rice cooker. The result is very fabulous, nutty, chewy wild rice. Though it looks like ‘Basmati gone black’, the taste of wild rice is unique. It has its own unique smell and texture. You can’t gobble up, each grain beckons you to slow down and enjoy it. Try it, if you haven’t already.

Wild Rice with Eggplant-Chickpea Curry (Brinjal-Chole)
Wild Rice with Eggplant Chole ~ Our simple lunch today.

Eggplant Chole: Recipe Replace aloo (potatoes), with jumbo eggplant cubes. I’ve got the idea of cooking eggplant-chickpeas together from Mika’s blog.
Wild Rice Nutritional information – click here.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Biyyamu (Rice),Chickpeas,Eggplant,Wild Rice (Friday April 14, 2006 at 3:10 pm- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi:

Cornmeal-Cabbage Muffins

Williams-Sonoma, the kitchenware shop that sells quality kitchen stuff, has a series of cook books – Like their shop, the cookbooks are very clean, organized, not a lot of recipes, but have an excellent presentation and gorgeous photos. The book size is not too big, not too small; they are like short notebooks with color photo on every page. Each book focuses on one topic. So far, Cookies, Cakes, Muffins, Breads and Risotto – these are the cookbooks, I borrowed from my local library and flicked through. More than anything, they are eye candy.


Stephanie of Dispensing Happiness, my blog friend is blogging recipes from ‘Muffins‘ cookbook. When she mentioned last week that she was going to try cornmeal-jalapeno muffin recipe, I wanted to join in and made a baking date with her. After two renewals and before returning the book to the library, I wanted to try at least one recipe. FInally last weekend, I baked cornmeal muffins from the book.

I followed the recipe mostly and also added some extras, because I was preparing these muffins for our supper. In addition to corn meal, all purpose flour, butter milk and baking powder etc, I have also added cabbage, shallot, chickpeas sauté to the cornmeal dough, so that the muffins baked would be more dinner worthy. They turned out, I can’t say excellent, but acceptable, even after all these extras. I can’t imagine the taste if I tried them bland with only just cornmeal and chillies.

cornmeal-cabbage dough in muffin pan - all ready for baking

(For 11 muffins)

1½ cups of yellow cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour (maida)
1½ cups of buttermilk
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 teaspoon of each – salt, sugar and baking powder
Some cheese gratings to top the muffins
Veggies I added
3 cups of finely chopped cabbage (I used red cabbage)
3 shallots and 6 green chillies- finely chopped
½ cup of chickpeas (soaked overnight)

First I sautéed the veggies together for few minutes, until they are cooked. In the meantime, I mixed all other ingredients together thoroughly without any lumps. I stirred in the sautéed veggie mixture to the dough. Greased the muffin pan with little bit of oil, leaving one muffin cup empty and filling it with water to prevent warping (following the book suggestion). Filled the muffin cups with cornmeal-cabbage dough. I also sprinkled cheese on top of some. Baked them in a preheated oven at 400 F (200C) for about 25 minutes, until they are golden.

They tasted like baked versions of cabbage bajjis (you know the kind, bajjis/pakoras – veggies mixed in a gram flour-jowar flour-rice flour dough, then deep fried — almost like that).

Cornmeal Cabbage Muffins - One with cheese sprinkled on top and the other with no cheese topping
Cornmeal-Cabbage Muffins

Recipe Source: Adapted from ‘Williams Sonoma-Muffins’, page 46
Things I skipped adding (from the book’s recipe) are 2 eggs, another 1 ½ tsp of baking powder and more oil – reason for my flat muffin tops.

On a blogging break. See you all in a few days.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in All-Purpose Flour(Maida),Cabbage,Chickpeas,Corn Meal,Shallots (Tuesday February 28, 2006 at 2:07 pm- permalink)
Comments (34)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Chole with Potatoes (Aloo Chole)

I think in availability, price, food value, versatility and taste, chickpeas are without any match. There is no better way to prove this to the uninitiated than by sampling a few dishes that make use of this tasty and nourishing legume.

For people who are always searching for a new dish to add variety to their meals, one day, they will discover the hearty Punjabi fare, chana masala or this aloo chole; and when they do, I am sure they’ll turn into ‘Choleacs‘ like us. We Love Chole!

Chickpeas(Channa, Garbanzo Beans, Ceci, Hummus) and Red Potato for Chole


3 cups of dried chickpeas
(soaked in water beforehand then pressure cooked to tender)
A fistful of cooked chickpeas made into smooth paste

2 potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1 large onion and 4 ripe tomatoes finely chopped
1 tablespoon – readymade chana masala powder(any brand will do)
1 teaspoon – garlic-ginger-cilantro paste
½ teaspoon each – red chilli powder, salt and turmeric
For garnish – finely chopped cilantro and lime wedges

cooked chickpeas, chickpea paste, onion, tomatoes, chana masala powder, red chilli powder, turmeric, salt and fresh cilantro
Ingredients for Aloo Chole

Heat one teaspoon of ghee or peanut oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add and toast quarter teaspoon each – mustard seeds and cumin, wait till they start to dance; then add ginger-garlic-cilantro paste and onions, saute for few minutes until onions soften.

Add the ingredients – potatoes, tomatoes, chickpea paste, chana masala powder, red chilli powder, salt and turmeric, along with 2 to 3 cups of water. Cook them covered for about 15 minutes, until potatoes are slightly tender.

At this stage, stir in chickpeas. Turn the heat to medium-low, and simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until the curry thickens. (When curry served on a plate, it shouldn’t spread like flodding river.) Garnish with finely chopped fresh cilantro and serve.

My favorite way to have this curry is with limejuice squeezed and few finely chopped onions (washed beforehand in water) on the side with parathas.

Paratha, Chole with Potatoes (aloo Chole), Lime wedge and finely chopped onions
Aloo Chole with Parathas – Creating Indian restaurant kind of meal at our home ~ Our weekend brunch.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Chickpeas,Potato (Tuesday November 22, 2005 at 6:44 am- permalink)
Comments (37)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Chana Masala (Chole Batura, Chickpeas Curry)

November, when weather changes from colorful and crispy to dark and gloomy is the month of comfort food at my house. Comfort food of India almost inevitably call for some type of lentils/legumes. Among all, my favorite is the famous “Chana Masala or Chole” – this homey and hearty Punjabi fare will make even the most doubtful person worship Indian food. No wonder, it continues to be the most popular food item in Indian restaurants worldwide.


Soak 4 cups of chickpeas in water overnight or atleast 6 hours. Take them in a pressure cooker, add salt, one teabag(optional) and water and pressure cook them until they are just tender. Take care not to overcook. Drain the water and separate one cup of cooked chickpeas. Blend these separated ones into into thick, smooth paste with little water.
2 cups of finely chopped ripe, juicy tomatoes
1 onion, finely chopped lengthwise
1 tablespoon of premade Chana masala powder (Badshah or any other brand from an Indian store)
½ teaspoon of red chilli powder and salt
¼ teaspoon of turmeric
Fresh cilantro and lime juice – for garnish

Cooked Chickpeas, tomatoes, pureed chickpea paste, cilantro, onion, red chilli powder, salt, chana masala powder(Badshah brand) and turmeric


1. Heat one teaspoon of peanut oil or ghee in a large pot over medium heat.
2. Add and toast ¼ teaspoon each- cumin and mustard seeds.
3. When seeds start to pop, add the onion, and cook until translucent.
4. Add the tomatoes and cook on high heat until the tomatoes turn to soft. Press with a spatula and mush them.
5. To this tomato sauce, add the cooked chickpeas, pureed chickpea paste, chana masala powder, salt, red chilli powder, turmeric and one to two cups of water. Stir to combine.
6. Have a taste and adjust the spice levels to your liking. Keep the heat on medium and cook for about 20 to 30 minutes, until the curry thickened. (The curry should not spread like a flooding river when served on a plate.)
7. Just before turning off the heat, stir in finely chopped fresh cilantro and lime or lemon juice to taste.

Enjoy the chana masala with rice/roti (chapati) or with puris. Keep the leftovers refrigerated. The curry tastes very good next day.

Chole Batura - Chana Masala with Puris
Chole Batura – Chana masala with Puris.

How to prepare Puris : Recipe

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Chickpeas,Tomato (Monday November 7, 2005 at 10:33 am- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi: