Kadhai Chole

Kadhai Chole
Kadhai Chole is a very famous Punjabi Recipe and is commonly available all around the world. Kadhai Chole are cooked on many occasions in Punjab and is a dish that is commomly available in all the functions.
Kadhai Chole is tangy and spiced chickpeas curry made in a kadai. The key to get any good chickpea curry, is that the chickpeas should be cooked really well. You should not feel even a slight bite when eating them. They should be soft and melt in the mouth. You can also add canned chickpeas to make this curry.
Usually kadhai chole is dry. This recipe is a gravy version. Like all chole recipes, kadai chole goes well with bhaturas or pooris. Second best is kulcha, naan or tandoori rotis or rotis. And third best is steamed rice or jeera rice. Of course you can also have it with bread and they taste good here too.
Recipe Type: Main Course
Cuisine: Punjabi, North Indian
Preperation Time:  9 Hours 
Cooking Time:  30 mins 
Total Time:  9 Hours 30 mins
Serving: 4
(measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml)
For Cooking Chickpeas:
¾ cup chickpeas/chole soaked overnight in enough water
2 cups water for pressure cooking
2 to 3 pieces of dried amla or 1 black tea bag
1 inch cinnamon/dal chini
2 to 3 cloves/lavang
1 black cardamom/badi elaichi
1 small to medium tej patta/indian bay leaf (optional)
Other Ingredients:
1 large onion, ½ cup tightly packed finely chopped onions
1 extra large tomato or two medium tomatoes, ¾ cup finely chopped tomatoes
3 to 4 green chilies, slit
1 tsp ginger paste, about ½ inch ginger, crushed in mortar-pestle
1 tsp garlic paste, about 6 to 7 inch garlic, crushed in mortar-pestle
½ tsp turmeric powder/haldi
1 tsp red chili powder/lal mirch powder
1 tsp garam masala powder or chole masala or punjabi garam masala powder
1 tsp amchur powder or dried pomegranate seeds powder
¼ tsp carom seeds/ajwain
2 to 2.5 tbsp oil
black salt or rock salt or regular salt as required
For Garnish:
2 to 3 tsp chopped coriander leaves
1 small onion, sliced or chopped
1 small tomato, sliced or chopped
1 lime or lemon, quartered
First rinse the dried chickpeas for a couple of times in water. Then soak the chickpeas in enough water overnight or for 8 to 9 hours.
Drain the water. Rinse the chickpeas again and then add them to a pressure cooker. add whole spices - cinnamon, black cardamom, tej patta and cloves. i have also added dried amla to get the dark color in the chickpeas. instead of dried amla, you can add 1 black tea bag. you can also just cook the chickpeas plain with water. adding a pinch of baking soda also helps in making the chickpeas soft. pour water.
Pressure cook the chickpeas for 18 to 20 whistles, till they are cooked completely. the chana should be cooked well and softened. the chole should be soft when you mash it with a spoon. the chana should not give you a bite when you eat it. if you do not have a pressure cooker, then cook the chickpeas in a pot with plenty of water. cooking chickpeas in a pot will take a lot of time though.
Remove the amla pieces which would have softened by now or the tea bag from the stock. you can also remove the whole spices from the stock, but i keep them. keep the cooked chickpeas along with the stock aside.
Heat oil in a kadai, preferably iron kadai. Add slit whole green chilies and fry them.
Drain the fried green chilies on kitchen paper towels.
In the same oil, add ajwain/carom seeds. Saute for a few seconds till the carom seeds are fragrant.
Add finely chopped onions. Stir and saute till the onions turn translucent or light brown.
Add ginger-garlic paste. Saute till their raw aroma goes away.
Add turmeric powder, red chili powder and garam masala powder. Instead of garam masala powder, you can also add chole masala or punjabi garam masala powder.
Stir the spice powders with the sauteed onions and then add finely chopped tomatoes.
Stir the whole masala mixture very well.
Saute till the tomatoes soften and the oil starts to leave the sides of the masala.
Now add the chickpeas along with the stock.
Stir and then add salt and dry mango powder.
Stir very well again and simmer the kadai chole on low to medium flame. You can also mash a few chickpeas with the back of the spoon to thicken the gravy.
Simmer till the gravy has thickened. check the taste and add more salt, red chili powder, garam masala powder or amchur powder if required.
Lastly add the fried green chilies.
Serve kadai chole hot garnished with coriander leaves along with bhatura or pooris. As a side accompaniment serve this spiced chickpea curry with sliced onions, tomatoes and lime or lemon. you can also add some fried potato cubes to the kadai chole.
1. If you don't have amchur then use
a) Lemon juice in the end
b) Or you can powder the dry pomegranate seeds/anardana and add it while sauteing the masala as replacement for amchur.
2. If cooking chole in the pan or pot then:
You have to take enough water in the pot while cooking the chickpeas. It takes a lot of time though. For 1.5 to 2 cups of soaked & drained chickpeas, you can take about 5-6 cups of water. adding a pinch of baking soda in the water along with salt, also helps in the cooking process and the chickpeas become really soft when cooked. you can add about 1 tsp of salt. a little less salt is also alright. i usually add less salt. cover the pot and cook. if the water starts to become frothy, then remove the lid and cook for some minutes. remove the scum if there is any while cooking the chickpeas.
3. You can also use canned chick peas and add them once the tomatoes along with the spice powders are sauteed.
4. The chickpeas curry can be made more spicy by adding more red chili powder, Garam Masala Powder and Green Chilies.

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