Pindi Chole is one of the easiest and yummiest curry made with Chole (Chickpea) from Punjabi Cuisine which is synonymous to deliciousness. It is a dry curry and does not involve any onions or tomatoes to make it. But, it has many dry spices and herbs which not only gives amazing taste but also helps in digesting the heavy bean.
Dry Chickpeas are soaked overnight and cooked with tea leaves and few aromatic spices until done. Tea leaves gives color and a hint of flavor. Then the chana/chole is wrapped in some more wonderful dry spices like anardana (dry pomegranate seeds) and amchur (dry mango powder) and tempered with ginger and garlic. All these spices give robust flavor and that Punjabi punch to the curry. It will not take much time if you have pre-cooked the chickpeas or you can use canned chickpeas too. I served them with Ajwain Parathas (Indian flat bread flavored with carom seeds) for quick weekday dinner and some onion rings. Do try this recipe and enjoy the Punjabi punch in simplest way!!
Pindi Chole (Curried Chickpea)
Dry Chole/Chickpea: 2 cups
Tea Leaves/Powder: 2 tsp
Bay Leaves: 2-3
Cloves: 1 tsp
Cinnamon: 2 inch stick
Green Cardamom: 5
Black Cardamom: 2
Salt: 1 tsp
Baking Soda: 1/4 tsp
Water: 7-8 cups
Dry Masala/Spice Powders:
Red Chili Powder: 1 tbsp
Turmeric Powder: 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder: 2 tbsp
Cumin Powder: 1 tsp
Roasted Cumin Powder: 1 tsp
Saunf (Fennel) Powder:1 tsp
Ginger Powder: 1 tsp
Aamchur(Dry Mango) Powder: 2 tsp
Anardana (Dry Pomegranate Seeds): 1 tbsp
Garam Masala: 1/2 tsp (Use more if store brought)
Salt: 1 tbsp
Oil: 3 tbsp
Hing (Asafoteda): 1/4 tsp
Ajwain (Carom seeds): 1 tsp
Ginger: 1 knob, finely chopped
Garlic: 4-5 Large cloves, finely chopped
Green Chili: 4-5, sliced
Coriander Leaves: a few
Onions Rings: a few
Lemon Wedges: a few
- Soak the dry chickpea in plenty of water and baking soda for at least 5 hours or over night.
- In a muslin cloth, add tea leaves, bay leaves, cloves, green and black cardamom, cinnamon stick and tie it tightly. This is called potli masala or bouquet garni.
- Rinse well the soaked chickpea. Boil the chickpea with salt and potli masala in ample water for 1 hour or until the chickpea is well cooked. You can even pressure cook the chickpea for 3 whistles. Remove the stock and set aside for later use. Remove the potli masala and discard.
- Mix all the dry spice powders mentioned in the ingredients list and spread on the top of cooked chickpea.
- In another small pan, heat oil for tempering. Add hing and ajwain. When ajwain is fragrant, add ginger, garlic and green chili. Pour this oil on the spice powders spread on chickpeas. This hot oil will cook all the spice powders.
- Mix well and cover cook on medium flame for five minutes.
- Add some chickpea stock or water if it is too dry. Mash a few chickpeas with back of the spoon to thicken the curry.
- Adjust the seasoning and add coriander leaves. Serve hot with rotis or parathas along with onion rings and lemon wedjes.
- You can boil the chickpea or any lentils (dal) or any other beans and store in refrigerator for 1 week. Or freeze for 6 months in ziploc bags. I usually cook the lentils with little turmeric and store in refrigerator. I scoop out as much required and give fresh tempering or make quick curries like this Pindi Chole for quick meals.