Punjabi Chole Masala


White chana – 1 cup

Water – 6 cups + for rinsing

Salt to taste

Tea bag – 1

Coriander seeds (dhaniya) – ½ tbsp

Fennel seeds (saunf) – ½ tbsp

Cumin seeds (jeera) – ½ tbsp + 1 tsp

Bay leaf (tej patta) – 1

Dried red chilli – 1

Black cardamom – 1

Cinnamon stick – one-inch piece

Clove – 1

Black peppercorn – 3

Dry pomegranate seeds (anar dhana) – ¼th tbsp

Tomatoes (cut into half) – 2

Ginger (grated) – 1 tsp

Garlic (peeled) – 3 cloves

Oil – 2 tbsp

Onions (chopped) – 1 cup

Red chilli powder – 1 tsp

Ajwain – 1 tsp

Green chilli (chopped) – 1 tsp

Coriander leaves (chopped) – for garnishing

How to Prepare

Add the soaked chana with the water in a pressure cooker. Add 2 teaspoons of salt.  Add a teabag and allow it to boil for 2 minutes on a high flame. Once it boils, remove the teabag. Add 2 cups of water. Pressure cook it for up to 8-10 whistles and allow the pressure in the cooker to settle.

Meanwhile, add dhaniya in a heated pan. Add saunf and jeera. Then, add the bay leaf and dried red chilli. Add the black cardamom, cinnamon stick and clove. Add black peppercorn and dried pomegranate seeds in the pan. Dry roast them for a minute until the raw smell goes away. Transfer into a mixer jar and grind into a fine powder and keep it aside.

Add tomatoes in another mixer jar. Grind it into a puree and keep it aside. Add the garlic cloves in a mortar. Add a teaspoon of grated ginger.Add a pinch of salt and pound it into a paste with a pestle.

Add oil in a heated pan. Add a teaspoon of jeera and allow it to turn brown.Add chopped onions and sauté until they turn light brown. Add the ginger-garlic paste and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the tomato puree and stir well.  Allow it to cook for 7-8 minutes, until all the water is evaporated and the oil separates from the masala. Add a tablespoon of the ground masala. Add red chilli powder and ajwain; mix well. Add the chopped green chilli and mix well.Allow it to cook for 2-3 minutes.

Meanwhile, open the lid of the pressure cooker.Make sure if the chana is cooked properly by pressing it with your fingers. If it smashes, then the chana is cooked properly. Add the chana to the masala. Mix it well and allow it to cook for 2-3 minutes, until it becomes a little thick. Transfer it into a bowl. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

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