Pindi chole

Pindi Chole Recipe
For the dry Roast
    jeera 1tbsp
    anardana 1tbsp
    Kashmiri red chili 2pcs
    Black peppercorn 8-10
    Ajwain 1 pinch
    Amchur 2 pinches
    Green cardamom 2 pcs
    Javitri 1″ piece

For the wet masala
    Onion 1 large (finely chopped)
    Tomato on the vine 2 medium (chopped)
    Ginger 2 “grated
    Garlic 2 pods
    Green chili 4
    Curd: 4 tbsp.
    Tamarind paste 2 tsp

For the Chole
    3.5 cups of chole soaked overnight
    In a muslin cloth place the following and tie it up
    Cloves (10 pcs), tea leaves (2 tbsp.) 1 2″ cinnamon stick, 1 black     cardamom
    Tomato vines 2-3 5″ pieces
    Tej patta 2 large
    2 large potatoes (boiled and chopped)

For Garnish
    Coriander leaves
For the Sizzle
     1 piece of coal,
     4 tbsp. of ghee

1> Take all the dry roast ingredients and roast them on medium heat on a pan. After roasting for 5 mins. or so, grind them to a powder and set aside

2> in a pressure cooker, add the Kabuli Chana, water, the muslin cloth potli, tej patta  and 2-3 tomato vines ( 5 inches in length or so) and pressure cook for 2 whistles. The idea is to leave the chole al-dente and not too mushy.
We use the tomato vines to impart more of the tomato flavours to our dish. Have seen this technique used by some Italian chefs on TV shows.
I boiled the potatoes separately with some salt and kept it aside.

3> in a separate pan, take 6 tbsp. of oil and heat it up. Add the onion, green chilies, garlic and grated ginger and fry till onions are translucent and begin to get a brown tinge (i.e., the beginnings of Maillard reaction). At this stage add the chopped tomatoes and cook them down till oil starts to separate. At this stage take a hand blender or pulverize the masala. (You could do this in a standard mixie too). Once, pulverized, add 3-4 tbsp. of water and cook the masala again till the water has evaporated. Next add the dry-ground masala and the curd and cook for about 4-5 mins. on medium heat. We want some of the masala to begin to stick (I use a stainless steel pan) but not let it burn. The idea here is to get the “bhunno” effect I guess.
Once the masala is ready, add the chole from the pressure cooker (after discarding the potli, tej patta and the tomato vines). Also add the boiled potatoes and 2 tsps. Of tamarind paste. Do not overdo the tamarind as you run the risk of sambarizing your chole if you go overboard. Use the darkened water from the pressure cooker to make it the dish a tad more watery than you want and cook it down to your desired consistency. I got it to be fairly thick. Do remember that it will get thicker when it cools down, so kindly adjust madi.
Turn the heat to medium low and cover.

4> Now for the burning coal part
Take 2 tbsp. (or more) of ghee in a small katori and float it on top of the chole. You could use a pan/lettuce/cabbage leaf for this but that runs the risk of spilling the coal on the food and you don’t want that.
Heat up a piece of coal till it is smoldering hot (almost whitish red). Pick up the coal with a tong and place it in the floating ghee katori and cover the whole dish. (The searing should it makes and its smell both are mesmerizing so be careful to cover the dish ASAP. Let it remain covered and on low heat for about 3 mins. Switch off the heat now and let the cover remain for another 10 mins. (This also lets the chole absorb some of the flavours).

5>Take the cover out and smell heaven for a few seconds. Now garnish with coriander leaves, a dollop of ghee and serve.


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