You all are going to love this for 4 reasons:
- It was one of the first Indian dishes I ever made, which means that it is EASY!
- It can be made in 30 minutes flat!
- It tastes delicious.
- It tastes even better on the second day. Or the third day. Or the fourth day. Well…if it lasts that long!
This is one of maybe three dishes that Frank requests on a regular basis. Sometimes he’ll even have us make this and he’ll NOT eat it on the first day just so there’s more to eat on day 2, when it has marinated in all the spices and juice for a while.
The biggest challenge for you, my readers, will probably be gathering all the spices. When we first started making Indian food, Frank and I went to our local Indian market and bought all the spices we would need in bulk. We haven’t had to replace most of them yet (that’s how much we bought!), except for the cumin and coriander. I could go through a couple pounds of each of those in a year, easy!
Anyway, so I’ve come up with the great solution to solve your spice needs. I WILL SELL YOU THE SPICES FOR ANY DISH YOU DESIRE. Pre-mixed, specific to each recipe. If you’d like to purchase the spice mix for Punjabi Chhole, click here.
So on with this great recipe!
“Punjabi Chhole” basically just means “Indian Chickpeas.” There are a zillion recipes for Punjabi Chhole, and there are other chickpea dishes, like Chana Masala, which are also delicious but totally different in taste and texture.
This one is our favorite.
First, dice 1 large ONION, 2-3 TOMATOES, and 1 GREEN PEPPER, plus 1/4 c. fresh GINGER minced. Reserve 1 tomato off to the side, and throw the rest of the ingredients into your skillet with 1/4 cup COCONUT OIL OR OLIVE OIL. Simmer for 5-8 minutes on medium heat. The goal is to create a nice juice from the tomatoes for the onion and pepper to simmer in. But ultimately you want the tomato juice to reduce down. You don’t want it to be “soupy” because if it’s too juicy and you add your spices, they won’t stick to your chickpeas.
In case you’re wondering what the yellow/orange is, it’s just a different type of tomato I got at the farmer’s market!
Next, add your spices. You’re going to need the following (OR YOU CAN PURCHASE A SPICE BLEND FROM ME):
- 2 tsp ground cumin (buy here)
- 2 tsp ground coriander (buy here)
- 2 tsp amchur powder, i.e. dried green mango powder (buy here)
- 1 tsp black salt – NOTE: Black salt is actually a pale pink color. (buy here)
- 1 tsp anardana (pomegranate) powder (buy here)
- 1 TBSP ginger powder (if you don’t have fresh ginger)
- 1-1/2 tsp mustard seeds, crushed (buy here)
- 1 tsp black pepper (buy here)
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves (buy here)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon (buy here)
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, medium heat (buy here)
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom (buy here)
Stir in all the spices. If the mixture seems too dry, add a touch more oil or tomato.
Next, add 4 CANS CHICKPEAS, drained and a bunch of chopped CILANTRO.
Simmer until this gets really juicy, adding in the 1 tomato you reserved from the beginning. Keep simmering until this last tomato is heated through. I usually let it simmer, covered, for 5 or so minutes to let everything meld together.
This is still not super cooked down yet, as you can see the chickpeas aren’t sitting in a rich juice yet. You really want those tomatoes to cook down so you can see the juice bubbling.
After you deem the dish to be ready, serve over hot rice or with naan. Sometimes, Frank and I will even eat it as a dip with organic tortilla chips. Yum! Are you salivating yet?