Chholey Masala (Chickpea curry) – Reinvented
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There’s something to be said about re-evaluating yourself once in a while. Having a re-look at where you’re heading, what you’re doing, and how you’re doing it. In all the madness of our lives and the quest to move on to the supposed next step, we miss out on the crucial act of taking a step back and really having a hard look at what we’re really doing.
I’m going to stop with my out-of-character philosophical musings here and get right to the point. A week ago, I took a step back and took a hard look at my recipe for Chholey Masala or Chickpea curry (see… I can be corny too). While me and the hubby have been enjoying it like this for a while now, I felt like I needed to step it up a bit. The dish seemed to lack a little something that was there in roadside eateries where I sometimes had the Garbanzo bean curry with fresh poori’s back home. After some much needed recipe-rack searching and modification in the order of steps I followed earlier, the result was a Chickpea curry that came quite close to what I remember having back home.
The trick was to cook the beans and make the curry base separately. Also, I guiltily gave in and bought a ready spice mix for the dish, instead of using my own blend of fresh spices. I thought using the spice mix would be enough flavor in itself but surprisingly, I had to add all my regular spices such as Chili powder, Turmeric powder and Coriander-Cumin powder as well. Read on to learn more.
You will need:
- 1 cup Garbanzo or Chickpea beans, soaked overnight in a large bowl. OR you could use a can of cooked Garbanzo beans
- A pressure cooker if using raw beans
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1 tbsp Cumin seeds
- 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 medium size Roma tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp Ginger & Garlic paste
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tsp Chholey Masala spice mix – available at any Indian grocery store. Any brand is good.
- 1 tsp Red Chili powder
- A pinch of turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp Cumin- Coriander powder (Available as a blend)
- 1 tsp Amchur powder (dried, powdered mango powder)
- 1/2 tsp Chaat Masala (available as a blend in Indian grocery stores)
- 1/4 tsp Garam Masala (available as a blend in Indian grocery stores)
- 1/2 tsp Salt (Chaat Masala has some salt in it so go easy on the regular salt)
- Chopped Coriander or Cilantro leaves and lemon wedges for garnishing
- If using raw beans – In a pressure cooker, cook the soaked beans with about 4 cups of water (do not throw away the water you soaked the beans in), with 2 dried Bay leaves for 3 whistles on medium heat. Then, lower the heat to low and cook for another 15 minutes
- In a separate cooking pot, heat the oil on medium heat. Put in the cumin seeds when hot. When the seeds begin to crackle, add the onion and cook till they are soft and light brown in color
- Then add the Ginger Garlic paste, mix well and cook for another 30 seconds. Then add the chopped tomatoes, mix again, and allow to cook down on medium heat
- When the tomatoes are soft and the whole mixture is mushy, add all the dry spices in, except for the Garam Masala
- When the oil separates from this mixture, add the cooked chickpeas with the water it cooked in. If using canned beans, add a cup of water along with the cooked, drained beans.
- Mix well and allow to simmer on medium to high heat. When the water content of the mixture reduces to a third, add in the Garam Masala, salt, and chopped coriander leaves
How have you reinvented yourself lately? Share your kitchen reinvention stories here!