Pindi chhole is one very famous dish in Punjabi households. We love to savor this with fluffy pooris which can make an ideal brunch. This is one recipe we love to make for our guests and also serve when we have a paath and langar at home. I'm sure there are a lot of ways to prepare pindi chhole but I learnt this recipe from my uncle who is an awesome, awesome cook. You can keep licking your fingers even if you eat simple aaloo-pyaaz subzi or dal-fry made by him !! He can bring soul to any kind of dish.
So this is why he was always eager to prepare the chhole subzi whenever we had langar at our home. He used to have us kids as assistants, each holding one spice in our hands and he would cook the subzi which used to fill the complete environment with the aroma of spices and mustard oil. The aroma would make everyone very hungry and the sharmas and agarwals of the neighborhood used to ask with a shock to my mother if we are serving non-veg in langar today (yes, it smelled so spicy and wonderful it did not feel something simple vegetarian is cooking) !!!
I asked him for the recipe in my later years and of course he gladly presented his version for the same. So I'm sharing his recipe for Pindi-chhole.
White chana (soaked overnight in water)
Mustard oil: 5 tsp.
Shahi jeera: 1 tsp.
Black cardamom: 1
Bay leaves: 2
Onion (chopped): 1
Garlic (chopped): 3 cloves
Tomato (chopped): 1
Green chilli (chopped): 1
Ginger (crushed): 1 inch
Salt to taste
Red chilli powder: 1 tsp.
Turmeric: 1/2 tsp.
Tamarind: 1 tsp.
Garam masala: 1 tsp.
- Boil the soaked white chana with enough water and salt and a little turmeric powder until they are cooked but not very soft and mushy. Let the cooker release the pressure by itself.
- Heat the mustard oil to smoking point and add the whole spices: shahi jeera, black cardamom, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns. Let splutter for a bit.
- Add the chopped onions and stir, let cook until transparent. Add the garlic and fry well for about 2 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, green chilli and ginger. Sprinkle salt and mix everything well and cook until the tomatoes are soft and mushy.
- Add the red chilli and turmeric powder and mix well. Add tamarind and garam masala and mix everything well.
- After about a minute, add only the chhole to the masala, leaving behind the water in which they are boiled in the pressure cooker, do not throw away the water.
- Mix well to coat all the chhole with the masala and fry for about 5 minutes in the dry stage. It will not be very dry as the tomato will release water but sprinkle little water if it feels too dry.
- Now transfer back all the ingredients to the cooker with the water in it. Mix everything well and keep on low flame. Let it boil and cook thoroughly and mix all the masala. This will take about 20 minutes.
- Remove from flame and cover. Remove cover after about 10 minutes. Garnish with onion rings and coriander (optional) and serve hot with pooris or jeera rice !!