Chole (Chickpea) Masala
There are various ways by which chole masala can be prepared. This recipe is simplest and easiest way to make chole masala.
Soaking Time – Overnight
Preparation Time – 10 – 15 Mins
Cooking Time – 30 – 35 Mins
• Chole (Kabuli Chana/Chickpeas) – 1 cup
• Water – 3 Cups
• Bay Leaf – 1
• Cloves – 2
• Black peppercorns – 5 – 6
• Cinnamon – ½ inch piece
• Black cardamom – 1
• Green cardamom – 2
• Star Anise – 1(Optional)
For Gravy –
• Onion (Pureed or grated) – 1 Medium size
• Tomato (Pureed or grated) – 2 Medium size
• Garlic finely chopped – 2- 3 cloves
• Ginger finely chopped – 1/2inch piece
• Oil- 2 – 3 Tbsp
• Red chili powder – 2 Tsp
• Turmeric powder- ¼ Tsp
• Coriander powder – 1 Tsp
• Amchur (Dry Mango Powder) – ½ Tsp
• Chole masala – 1 Tsp
• Garam Masala (All spice powder) – ½ Tsp (Optional)
• Salt to taste
• Coriander leaves to garnish (optional)
Soaking Procedure –
• Rinse and wash chole under running water till water comes clear.
• In a bowl add chole with 3 cups of water along with bay leaf, black peppercorns, cloves, black cardamom, green cardamom, star anise and cinnamon. Cover and soak overnight.
• Do not throw the water used for soaking chole to retain the aroma and flavours of whole spices. Use the same water in next step.
Cooking/Boiling Chole –
• Pressure cook chole in the same water used for soaking. Cook till 10 -12 whistles. This will take about 15 – 20 minutes.
• When the pressure/steam is released completely by itself, open the cooker lid and check if chole is cooked. The chole should be soft enough to mash easily in between fingers or with the help of a spoon but should not turn mushy.
• Drain chole and set aside chole and water separately. Discard whole spices.
For Gravy –
• Heat oil in a heavy bottom kadai or a non-stick pan. Add finely chopped ginger and garlic and cook till raw smell goes off.
• Add pureed/grated onion and cook till brown.
• Add pureed tomato and mix well. Cook till oil starts separating and mixture turns dark red in colour. Keep stirring in between to avoid sticking to the bottom.
• Add red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, amchur powder, chole powder and salt. Mix well.
• Add boiled chole. Stir gently. Add water as per required consistency. Mix well
• Add garam masala. Cover and cook for 8 -10 mins to infuse all the flavours together with chole. Stir in between.
• Garnish with coriander leaves. (optional)
• Serve hot with any of your favourite accompaniments like steamed rice (Steamed Rice recipe), bhatura, roti, chapati, naan or paratha (Ajwain(Carom seeds) Paratha Recipe).
• Tastes best with onion salad.
Tips and Tricks –
• Cooks faster when soaked overnight.
• Do not cover the lid while cooking onion and tomato masala.
• In case you forgot to soak overnight, soak chole in hot water for about 2 hrs and pressure cook for more time.
Facts about chole –
Chickpea can be consumed as snack (roasted chickpeas), dip (mashed chickpeas), salads, hummus, tikkis, falafel, gravies or as an ingredient of numerous salty and sweet dishes. Flour made of chickpea is popular in India.
Nutritional Value –
• Chickpeas are a great source of both soluble and dietary fibre, important for maintaining a healthy digestive system.
• Soluble fibre may assist with reducing the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream and helps maintain blood sugar levels, which may help to reduce the risk of developing heart disease and also aid in managing diabetes.
• The dietary fibre in chickpeas and their low glycemic index (GI) may also assist with weight loss by making you feel fuller for longer.
• Chickpeas contain a huge number of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals including folate, magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin c, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and zinc.
• They are also rich in protein so are a fantastic alternative to meat for vegetarians.
• Stem, leaves and pods of chickpea excrete fluid that contains malic and oxalic acids. These compounds have aphrodisiac properties and can be used in treatment of bronchitis, constipation, diarrhea, flatulence, warts and hypercholesterolemia.
• Cooked mixture of milk and chickpeas is used to alleviate diarrhea in infants in Chile.
Names in other languages –
Kabuli Chana (Hindi)
Chana Sabut (Urdu)
Kothu Kadalai (Tamil)
Granos de garbanzo (Spanish)
Des pois chiches (French)
Egyptian Pea, gram, Kichererbse (Germany)
How to choose best chickpeas –
• Look for bags with whole, unbroken chickpeas.
• The older the chickpeas, the longer it takes to cook them.
• Chickpeas are also available canned, a form which retains the shape and flavor of chickpeas well. Rinse and drain the chickpeas to get rid of most of the sodium before you use them. If using the no-salt-added canned variety, you should still rinse them to get rid of any canned taste.
• There is strong evidence that chickpeas were first cultivated in the Middle East a staggering 7500 years BC. The popularity of the chickpea quickly spread all over the world and they were soon grown and consumed in many ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Greece and Rome.
• India is the world’s number one leader in chickpea production, with a staggering 8,832,500 metric tons reportedly produced in 2013. Interestingly, the country coming in second place was Australia! With 813,300 tons produced in the same year. “Production of chickpea by countries” UN Food & Agriculture Organisation 2014.
Fun Fact –
• Roasted chickpeas were used as a substitute for coffee in the Europe during the 18th century and at the beginning of the 20th century.
• Leaves of chickpea are used for the manufacture of blue (indigo-like) dyes.