Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tikki Chhole



Chhole or chana masala, whatever you may call it (I call it chhole).... I have yet to come across any Indian who dislikes chhole, no matter which part of India they may come from.

I have used many different recipes to make chhole but they always failed to hit that "right spot", so to speak. Then, I came across this recipe - believe me, this by far is the easiest and the tastiest way to make chhole.

Of course, there are a few minor changes I have made to the recipe to suit our taste......



Ingredients:

(A)

1/2 cup chickpeas, or garbanzo beans soaked atleast 6-8 hrs (I soak mine for a good 10-12 hrs)
1 onion, grated
1 large tomato, grated
1 tsp each ginger and garlic paste
1 tsp ajwain (carom seeds)
1 tsp chhole masala (I use Everest)
whole garam masala - 4 cloves, 1" stick cinnamon, 6 peppercorns, 1 bay leaf
salt to taste
1 tea bag

(B)

2 tsp jeera (cumin seeds), roasted and powdered
1 tsp anardana powder
1/2 tsp amchur powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
2 tsp dhania (coriander seed) powder
1-2 tsp chhole masala
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp cream, optional
1 tsp chopped coriander leaves
1.5 tbsp oil

Method:

Pressure cook all the ingredients listed under (A) for 5-6 whistles or until the chickpeas are soft and tender. Discard the tea bag and the whole garam masala at this stage.

Heat oil in a wok. Add the jeera powder and the anardana powder and fry for a bit (the oil is used is very less, hence keep stirring constantly to prevent the masala powders from burning), then add dhania powder and red chilli powder.

Now add the cooked chickpeas, followed by the chhole masala, amchur powder, sugar and half the coriander leaves. Adjust the salt and spice as per your taste. (I do this only if I am entertaining - add in the cream at this stage).

Add a cup of water, cover the pan and let the chickpeas simmer (on very low fire) for about 20 mins...the longer you let them simmer, the better it tastes. Stir occasionally. Garnish with the remaining coriander and serve with puris or rice, or as I did, with alu tikkis.

(Psst...this recipe tastes best when served the following day).


For the tikkis:

3 Potatoes, boiled and mashed
1 small onion chopped
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp chaat masala ( I use Mother's Recipe)
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp jeera powder
1/2 tsp sugar
rock salt, to taste
1 tsp chopped coriander
1 tbsp oil for shallow frying

Method:

Mix all the ingredients together and shape into flat discs.

Heat a frying pan and add the oil just so it coats the pan and fry the tikkis till they are browned.

And now putting it all together:

chopped onion*
tamarind chutney
yoghurt
chopped coriander

Set the tikkis on a plate, spoon the chhole over them, followed by tamarind chutney, chopped onions and yoghurt. Garnish with coriander leaves. ENJOY!!

* when using raw onions, chop them about an hour in advance and sprinkle some salt over it. After about 15-20 mins, squeeze out and discard the juice that flows out and then rinse the onions. This effectively takes away the raw and pungent taste while keeping the crunch intact.


By the way, the photo sucks, doesn't it?!! Gotta improve my skills there.....


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