Chole is an Indian dish popularly known as ‘chickpea curry’. In Indian cuisine it is also known as chole masala due to the various kinds of spices used. This dish is quite popular in North Indian Punjabi cuisine, but other Indian regions also make chole with distinctive styles. It is a nice option for vegans and vegetarians. The color and taste of the dish depends upon the recipe used.
The recipe for this dish usually varies between regions. The dish either has a typical yellow color of curry or has dark black color. Like the color of the dish, the size of chole also varies. In some places, small pea size chickpeas are available whereas some regions have big size chana. The raw chickpeas are also called ‘kabuli chana’, they are lighter in color and mainly used to make chole. Any chana recipe is typically prepared with Bengal gram or ‘kale chane’.
Chole chawal, chane bhatoore and chana chaat are the popular Indian recipes.
History and Origin of Chole Recipe
Chole have been introduced in Indian cuisine with the introduction of kabuli chana to the Indian subcontinent. Before that Bengal gram was the main legume used in cooking Indian recipes. This dish is basically originated in North India. Punjabis are the first one to introduce kabuli chana into cooking. The nutritional value of chickpea has also led the popularity of the dish among the various Indian cuisines.
Ingredients Prescribed by Chole Recipe
Kabuli chana or black grams are the main components for chole. Both dry and wet ingredients play a vital role in the making of this famous dish. Typically, chole masala is the dish that is immensely like by the people all over the world. It is a semi-dry dish with some of the most fragrant Indian spices. Dry ingredients including coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric and pepper are the main components of chole. Few recipes calls for refined oil or some are prepared in desi ghee. Cumin and asafetida is the main flavoring ingredients used to make this dish.
Usually, chole has a tang that is provided by either amchoor powder or with anardana powder. Sometimes, tamarind pulp is also included to offer a zesty flavor to the dish. While chole masala is a semi-dry dish, some recipes are prepared with the thin gravy, however the ingredients used are the same.
There is one unique ingredient used to give a dark black color to the dish. Tea leaves are added to the chana while boiling. This provides a color to the chana or a special black masala can also be used for the black tint.
Garnish of the dish is quite important. Ginger juliennes, chopped coriander leaves and slit green chilies are used as garnish for this flavorful dish. Semi-dry chana dish is typically garnished with onion rings and sliced tomatoes.
Method of Preparation of Chole Masala
One of the popular recipes for chole is chole masala and it is prepared by boiling either kabuli chana or black gram. It is recommended to soak chana overnight prior to boiling. Little soda-bi-carbonate can be included while soaking. Soaked chana should be pressure cooked until soft. Other ingredients including all dry and wet ingredients should be stir-fried in oil or ghee to prepare a semi-dry masala for the chole. Subsequently, chana are added to the masala and stir-fried for proper coating.
In case thin gravy is required, the water can be added to adjust the thickness of the gravy. Chana should be simmered in order to get the flavor of the masala. While serving garnish the dish and present it piping hot.
Serving and Eating of Chole Masala
Chole is a main dish served in Indian cuisine. It is essentially served with a variety of Indian breads such as bhatoore, poori, kachori and kulcha. Except kulcha all breads are fried. Kulcha is a healthy option as it is baked.
Sliced onion and pickle are the best accompaniments served with chole. Chana with gravy is usually served with rice and boiled chana are used to make chaat (an Indian spicy snack). Almost all the chole recipes are used to make favorite street food for the people on the go.
Health and Nutrition Facts Related to Chole Recipe
Chole is indeed a healthy dish that can be consumed without any guilt. Too much oil is obviously not beneficial for health, hence oil should be used in moderation. This dish served with fried breads is regarded unhealthy, but chole kulcha is a nice option. Weight watchers also have boiled chole in form of chat. It is certainly a healthy dish with no-calories. Being a legume, chana can also be sprouted to make an innovative dish.