Akbari Chhole

Why Akbari, not Jahangiri? Well the book has got Jahangiri Chhole, Sultana Chhole and more Mughals prefixed to chhole! Whatever the style - my husband gives it an ungainly epithet - 'bofors' (I know thats tasteless but you guessed why!!). A nutritionist friend of mine suggests that repeating the process of soaking and changing the water twice in between, and using fresh water for cooking pulses almost eliminates the gaseous content in any kind of pulses.

I generally make chhole by habit and not actually following a book or a recipe. But, I am blogging - and trying to get the measurements scrupulously correct. I had purchased this chaste Hindi recipe book some years back - it is a pleasure to read - complete with Lucknowi adab, and tehzeeb!! (For those not familiar with India - Lucknow is a city in Uttar Pradesh, famous for its Nawabi culture, people who mind their 'Ps' and 'Qs', and the beautiful rhythm and lilt in the Hindi spoken there) .

The book is titled "daalen aur kadian" (Pulses and kadhis/curd based gravies) , is authored by Sudha Mathur, and published by Pustak Mahal for those interested. The pictures aren't great but you cannot resist making a recipe when you read the way its been written!

This time the chhole was made self-consciously, each condiment being counted and thrown in precisely as the book said it should! I did not have paneer and was not in mood to go about making it - so that's missing - other wise I have more or less made an effort to stick to the recipe.

This is how it goes. Shall try and do justice to the way the book is written!

Ingredients: (Samagri)

Kabuli chana / Chickpeas - 1 and 1/2 cup
Chana dal / Bengal gram - 1 cup (I used only 1/2)
Soda-bi-carb - 1/4 tsp. (I did not use it)
Salt - to taste
Red chilli powder - 3/4 tsp.
Tea leaves - 2tbsp.
Dry ground Dhania / Coriander - 2tsp.
Onion - 1 big
Ginger - 1/2" (I am a little generous with this one - 1")
Garlic - 3-4 pods (I used 2)
Green cardamom - 4 (me 2)

Black cardamom - 3 (me 1)
Paneer / Cottage cheese - 100g. (Omitted)
Bay leaves - 3 to 4
Tomato - 1 big
Potato - 1 big
Green chillies - 3 - 4 (me 1)
Finely chopped coriander leaves - for garnish
Tamarind extract - 1/2 cup
Oil - 2tbsp.
Kala namak/black salt - 1tbsp.(me-1tsp.)

Tie the tea leaves in a clean muslin cloth. Put it along with the drained chhole, soda,salt, chana and fresh water and cook in a pressure cooker for 4 whistles. Reduce flame and cook further for 15minutes and put off fire.

Grind the onion,ginger and garlic into a fine paste.

Heat a tbsp. of oil and fry the whole spices. Add the paste and fry till pink.

Add the dry coriander powder, red chilli powder, roughly chopped tomatoes and some of the liquid from the boiled and cooled chhole.

Cook till the moisture evaporates. Add the boiled chhole and chana and cook on low heat.

Pour the tamarind extract and black salt and mix well. It should be a thick gravy.

Fry the potato wedges (I m/wd them), and paneer. Add to the chhole and mix. Garnish with green chillies and coriander. If you like it tangy, squeeze half a lime over it.

Serve with toasted bread, bhaturas, naans, kulchas or pulao.

Other recipes featuring Chhole/Kabuli Chane/Chickpeas on TONGUE TICKLERS......

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