It is time for Tea Lovers like me to get excited, this dark vibrant Amritsari Chhole is cooked along with tea and spices.
Would I skip the chance to have TEA for lunch? Probably not!
When a recipe calls for Tea as an ingredient, I'm more than likely to try it out. There was no way I'd skip making this wonderfully vibrant Amritsari Chhole.
Chhole has always been a house favorite. When we go to any North Indian restaurant or may be just the food court at the mall, Raj consistently orders Chhole-Bature. Just to prove he isn't this predictable, he toys with available options, but eventually we do end up with a bowl of dark Chhole and a spaceship sized Batura on our table. That man, so predictable, I say!!
So come weekend, I made this dark spicy Amritsari Chhole with soft fluffly Puris. To make Amritsari Chhole, you need to soak the dried chickpeas or kabuli chana/chhole overnight. The next day cook it along with spices and a tea bag. It is this Tea that gives it that wonderfully dark handsome look.
I love to try out different types of teas - Green Tea, Darjeeling Tea, Fennel Tea and what not. But when it comes my daily cuppa Chai or Tea, it has to be Assam Tea. That dark bold tea boiled with milk and sugar, sometimes with added ginger is what I crave every morning and evening. It is this kinda tea, dark bold Tea that works best with this recipe as well. Light teas will not impart color or the depth of flavor that Amritsari Chhole is made up of.
If you don't have tea bags at home, just tie up regular tea powder or tea leaves in a small piece of muslin cloth and add it while cooking the chhole. You can make a similar pouch of the spices too and add it to the chhole.
Anardana or dried Pomegranate seeds powder is added for sourness in Amritsari Chhole. If you don't have it (I usually don't), just replace it with Amchur (dried Mango Powder) or tamarind juice. Also, in this recipe I have not used any ready made store bought Chhole Masala Powder, but I've used the Spice Powders that are available in every Indian Kitchen.
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If you liked this, you may also like:
- Chhole Palak - Chickpeas cooked in a palak / spinach based gravy.
- Rajma - Red kidney beans cooked with a spicy tomato based masala.
- Corn Tomato Bharta - Curry made with grilled or roasted tomatoes and sweet corn.
Amritsari Chhole is made by cooking Chickpeas/ kabuli chana along with tea, spices, tomato and onion.
Recipe Type: Main Course
Cuisine: North Indian
Prep Time: 8 Hours (Includes chickpea soaking time)
Cook time: 60 minutes
Yield: 2-3 Servings
1 cup dried Chickpeas / Kabuli Chana
2 medium Onion
2 medium Tomato
4-5 cloves Garlic
1" piece Ginger
1 Tea bag
1 Bay leaf / Tej patta
1" piece Cinnamon / Dalchini
1-2 Green Cardamom
1-2 Black Cardamom / Badi Elaichi
1 tsp Jeera / Cumin seeds
2 Tbsp Pomegranate seeds / Anardana or 1 tsp Amchur / Dry Mango Powder
2-3 tsp Coriander powder
2-3 tsp Cumin powder
2 tsp Red chilli powder
2 Tbsp Oil
1 Tbsp Kasuri Methi
Salt to taste
Water as required
A handful Coriander leaves
Soak the kabuli chana in 2 cups of water overnight.
Pressure cook the chana along with 2 cups water,tea bag, bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon, green cardamom, black cardamom and around 1 tsp of salt until soft. It took me around 3-4 whistles or around 10-12 mins.
Drain the cooked chana and preserve the water. Discard the tea bag, cloves, cinnamon and bayleaf.
Dry roast the anardana and grind into a coarse powder. If you don't have anardana, you can use amchur.
Grind the onion along with the ginger and garlic
Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds
Once they brown slightly, add the onion paste. Fry until all the water has evaporated and the onion turns slightly brown
Grind the tomato into a paste and add to the pan
Add all the spices to the pan and cook until the oil separates or around 8-10 mins on low flame
Add 1 cup of the water the chana was cooked in to the pan and simmer for 2 mins
Add the chana and salt. Add more of the cooking water if needed and simmer for another 5 mins.
Add kasuri methi and simmer for 1 minute.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves
Enjoy hot with puris or roti