Every house has it’s own version of making the Chana (Chick Peas/ garbanzo). I make this in various versions which I will post gradually. This is a very popular dish of the North India. In a Punjabi house hold, it’s a commoner and is made at least twice in a month.
As I have mentioned in my previous posts also, I have grown in a very regional atmosphere, so I have tasted this Chana made by lots of Punjabi aunties. I remember there was this Sardarni Singh aunty , she used get us the Chana/Chholey when ever she visited us, and me and my brother would attack on it the minute she left. Gluttons we were… I will post her version of Chana some other time.
When ever it was cooked at my mom’s place my father used to call them “Sholay”. Sholay in Hindi means ‘long stretches of flames as seen during volcanic eruptions’! He always would say it’s easy to digest Puran which is a sweet dish made out of bengal gram/ Chana dal, as it has sugar but not the masala version. And then both of them would have a big argument on that. But for me and my brother whether one makes Puran or Chana Masala we did not bother, we were the eaters ready to eat. And now my both kidos love them like wise.
Someone else had left a comment that her husband calls these “Bofors” . I really liked the name.
So here’s the first version with a delectable taste which my family enjoys eating thoroughly.
350 gms dry Chick Peas
To grind together
4 onions largely chopped
5-6 large garlic pods
2 inch piece ginger
3 tomatoes chopped roughly
The dry spices
2 bay leaves
4 whole green cardamom
4-5 tbsp coriander pwd
2 tbsp cumin pwd
1 tbsp degi mirch
1 tbsp lal mirch/ red chili pwd
1 tsp turmeric pwd
1 1/2 tbsp amchoor pwd/ dry mango pwd
3/4 tsp garam masala ( mine is very strong)
2 tsp rock salt
a generous pinch of Nutmeg
1/4 tsp soda bi carb
salt to taste
a mixture of ghee and oil for cooking
Soak the chick peas overnight / 8 hrs. Mix in 1/4 tsp soda bi carb. This helps the chick peas to become soft. Pressure cook for 5 whistles and then reduce the flame and cook for another 10-15 mins.
Heat the clarified butter (ghee) and oil in the ratio of 3:1. Throw in the bay leaves and cardamom.
Put the onion-tomato mince and sauté till the oil separates. Add all spices and salt except the nutmeg.
Add the boiled chick peas/ Chana and put water to adjust a gravy like consistency. Bring the curry to a boil and then simmer and cook for another 10 mins. Just before removing add the nutmeg and mix.
Garnish with ginger juliennes and cilantro.
Serve with Jeera rice/ Puri/ Bhatura/ Naan.
I personally like it with rice along with some raw onions.
Cooking in clarified butter gives the Chana a delectable taste. A must try for which I will personally vouch , and nutmeg adds a mild fragrant flavor to the curry.