When I posted a picture of our lunch plate of the Chole Bhatore, a couple of days back on Instagram, like I usually do, and wrote that I intend to make a post on it too sometime but if anybody wants to try it immediately, they can send me a DM, I had no idea that I would get so many messages almost immediately.
I had no good pictures except for the one that I clicked with my phone for insta and all the bhatores were over.
But I did have the chole. And the launji too.
And so decided to make a post after all.
Typing with my injured wrist is a problem now .... hence if I am typing at all, it is better that it is for a post here ... where everybody can refer to at one go.
I make chole very often at home. B is a big fan of chole.
And I make the chole both ways ... with onion and garlic and without too.
With readymade masalas and with homemade ones too.
There is no particular or single recipe for the chole. What is important is that the flavours should be good .... if possible rustic and with a good balance.
Never go overboard with a lot of masalas. Keep it simple and your chole will sing to you.
In my house it is mostly eaten with chawal / rice but I do sometimes make the luchi to go with it.
The Bhatora is made less regularly.
If you are planning on making a meal of Chole Bhatore, I would suggest you make the Chole a day before.
The flavours soak up well when it is at least a day old.
You don't need much prep work if, like me, you tend to store soaked and boiled legumes in the fridge for quick use.
You can check this post for tips.
To cook the chole, soak them for at least 5 to 6 hours.
I soak them at night before going to bed. And boil them the next morning.
Also, you will need to know your Kabuli chana .... i.e. the way the Chickpeas that you are using behave.
Some variety cook quickly; some take time.
You will know in a couple of tries.
I never add cooking soda or baking powder to hasten cooking.
It is better if they take a little more time in the pressure cooker ... I wait for at least 6 to 8 whistles on low heat ).
You can add a tea bag to the chola when pressure cooking it.
That will give it a rich, dark colour .... ( You can check the colour here . )
I sometimes do; most times don't. Makes no difference to the flavours.
To make the Chole :
Kabuli chana / Chickpeas - 2 big cups, soaked and cooked well with a little salt
Onions - 2 big , chopped in medium sizes
Ginger - sliced
Ginger + garlic + green chilli paste - 2 tbsp ( I used 2 cubes of my frozen ones )
Black cardamom / Elaichi - 2, crushed
Black peppercorns / Kali mirch - 1 tsp, crushed
Haldi / Turmeric powder - 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder / Mirchi powder - 1 tbsp
Chole masala - 1 tbsp or more if you like
Kitchen King masala - 1 tbsp (I use Everest ) - optional
Kasoori methi - 1 tsp, crushed well
Amchur / Dry mango powder - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Sugar - to taste
Cooking oil - 2 tbsp
Water - as needed for gravy
How to :
In a deep, heavy bottomed pan, heat oil.
Add the crushed pepper + cardamom.
Add the onions and fry on low heat till they are pink and soft ... not brown.
Add the ginger garlic paste and fry well.
Add the turmeric and red chilli powder and fry on high heat for a while .... keep adding a little water at a time so that the masala does not burn.
When masala is well cooked and soft, raise heat and add the boiled chickpeas and mix well.
Slowly add the water of the boiled chickpeas little by little, stirring continiously.
Lower heat and adjust salt + sugar.
Add the Chole masala powder , cover and simmer for 10 mins.
Remove cover and adjust water.
Add the amchur powder and sliced ginger and cover, simmer for 15 more minutes.
Remember to keep stirring once in a while.
Remove cover and lightly crush some chole with the back of your spatula.
Add the crushed Kasoori methi and simmer for some more time.
Remember to adjust water all the while.
The key to getting the real flavours is the simmering time.
The more it cooks in the masalas, the better the flavours soak up.
Chickpeas tend to soak up water ... so take care to adjust the consistency of the gravy.
Serve hot with hot rice, Luchi or Bhatore.
Here is the photo of our plate that I posted on Instagram that day.
There is Aloo ki Launji , Mirchi ke tipore and onions in vinegar on the side.
The Aloo ki launji is in the next post.
To make the Bhatore :
Maida / All purpose flour - 2 cups
Sooji / Semolina flour - fine variety, 1 tbsp
Cooking soda - a pinch
Sour curd - enough to knead the flour
Salt - a little
Cooking oil - 1 tbsp + enough to deep fry
How to :
Knead everything to make a smooth, tight dough.
Cover tightly and keep aside for around 3 to 4 hours.
Make big sized balls and roll into thick luchis / pooris.
Deep fry in hot oil.