Amritsari Choley

Updated: May 29, 2020

Choley, as it is popularly known, is a classic North Indian recipe that every vegetarian across the world fancies. Not just a part of the vibrant Punjabi thali, this dish takes every single form from breakfast to street food. Traditionally, Chana Masala uses Kala Chana or black chana- with a bold flavour. And Choley uses the lighter version, also known as chickpeas. 

Chickpeas are native to the middle-east. People have been growing and consuming chickpeas even before they acquired the art of pottery. In Hindi, the lighter chickpeas are called Kabuli Chana, while the darker, smaller ones called Bengal Chana or Bengal gram are the desi varietal. Chickpeas are typically categorized based on the size of an individual chana. Kabuli Chana is usually bigger in size, ranging from 7-8 mm to 10-12mm. While Kala Chana is smaller, anywhere around 4 to 7mm.

In the West, however, the lighter ones are more popular and are commonly known as Garbanzo beans. Garbanzo is a Spanish word and it is not much of a surprise that chickpeas are widely used in Mediterranean cuisine as well.

This reminds me of a funny Ayurvedic saying- Ingredients like Chickpeas and Potatoes have travelled all over the world so much, maybe that's why they are high in Vata?! If you know it, you get it!

Step 1:Boil the chickpeas in 4 cups water, with the tea ball infused in completely. Add a pinch or two of salt once the water starts to boil. For quick, softer chickpeas, add a pinch of baking soda. Post boiling chickpeas, you may choose to save some water from boiling them.

Step 2:In a wok, heat some oil Add a piece of cinnamon and cumin seeds. Add pureed onions and cook until they are golden-brown in colour. Next, add tomatoes and ginger-garlic puree. Cover with a lid and cook until the tomatoes are completely disintegrated. Then add ginger julienne.

Step 3:Now add all the powdered spices- turmeric, chilli powder, cumin, coriander, dry mango powder, and pomegranate seed powder.

Step 4:Add boiled chickpeas and some water. Check for seasoning, and finish with kasuri methi(fenugreek leaves) and garam masala. Add some water to adjust the consistency, if required. 

Step 5:Serve hot with nan or steamedJeerarice.

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