Restaurant Style Chana Masala/ Amritsari Chole

Restaurant Style Chana Masala/ Amritsari Chole

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Chole, chana or chickpeas are a great source of healthy proteins, containing a good amount of fiber and iron and micronutrients like copper, magnesium, folate and vitamin B12. These are not only good on the nutrition front, but can outplay a number of dishes on the taste front, even in their simplest form. If you are on diet and don’t want to increase your calorie intake, just snack on roasted  or boiled chanas. It keeps you satiated for a long time. If you are not worried about calories, make a whole lot of flavorful dishes from them like Chana masala or Amritsari chole, pindi chole, chana palak, aloo chole etc.

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Chana masala is one of the most favorite delicacy relished not only in Punjab, but all over India. Be it any occasion like birthday, marriage, religious function  etc, chole are surely going to show their presence. Served with various types of Indian breads like puris, bhatura, naan, paratha, kulcha, they make a scrumptious meal. They become the best accompaniment of samosa and tikki also. In my home, chole served with bhaturas is a favorite sunday morning brunch.

Chanas take a lot of time to cook. So overnight soaking is required to decrease the cooking time. An important tip: If you forget to soak chanas or your kids start demanding for chana masala unexpectedly, you can soak them in hot water for two hours and cook as usual. If we add baking soda during boiling, chanas turn out to be the perfect melt-in-the-mouth type. I personally do not prefer to add baking soda as it affects the nutritional value of chanas. But, when I have to make it for some special occasion, then I do add baking soda. Even my son says in a joking way, “Mama, please make non nutritious, unhygienic food.”

Authentic dark black color of chana masala comes from pomegranate skin, amla or tea decoction. Either or all of these could be used.

To get the unique aroma in your chana masala, prefer to use freshly roasted and ground spices. They not only impart flavor to chana masala, but add to the black color also. If in a hurry, you can use readymade chana masala also.

The tangy punch in chana masala comes from mango powder, pomegranate seeds and curd. I prefer to use tamarind paste at the time of serving to make them tangier or I simply serve onion dipped in tamarind paste along with them, so that everyone can adjust the sourness according to their liking.

Now, without wasting your time, collect the ingredients and make this wonderful speciality of Punjab.

Step Wise Pictorial Description Of Amritsari Chole/Chana Masala

Wash and soak chanas overnight. They will soak water and will become almost double in size.

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Drain and wash them with fresh water. Add them to pressure cooker and add all the ingredients to be used for boiling of chole.

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Pressure cook upto 5-6 whistles. They will look like this.

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Chana masala 

For preparing chana masala, take all the whole ingredients. Heat a griddle or pan.

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Put the whole ingredients on it and dry roast all the spices till the color changes and a nice aroma is produced.

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Cool the spices and grind them to a powder. This masala also imparts dark color to chana.

For amritsari chole preparation

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan.

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Add chopped onion and saute till onions turn translucent.

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Add ginger garlic paste and saute further for 1 minute.

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Put ginger julienne, chopped green chilies and saute further

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Add tomato paste and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

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Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and salt. Stir it to mix the contents. I forgot to add  bay leaves in the beginning, so added here.

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Add ground chana masala and mix everything. Cook for another couple of minutes till masala starts leaving oil.

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Add well beaten curd and mix  well so that no lumps are formed. Mix in some kasuri methi.

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The masala looks like this. See the nice dark color.cm20

Add ½ cup of water and give it a boil. Mix in the boiled chole.

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Let them simmer on low flame for 4-5 minutes.

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Garnish with ginger julienne and sliced chillies.

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Serve hot with bhature, khatte aloo and onion dipped in imli.

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recipe of chana masala / amratsari chole


Prep Time: 8 hrs              Cooking Time: 40 min          Serves: 4-5


For Boiling Chole

Chana 1 cup, soaked overnight
Black cardamom
1
Cinnamon stick 1
Cloves

3-4
Dried amla2-3
Tea bags 2
Baking soda ½ teaspoon

For Chana Masala

Cumin seeds½ teaspoon

Coriander seeds1 tablespoon
Carrom seeds/ ajwain½ teaspoon
Cinnamon1 inch stick
Black cardamom2-3
Cloves2-3
Pomegranate seeds1 tablespoon
Fennel seeds1 teaspoon
Whole pepper8-10

For Making Amritsari Chole

Vegetable oil
2 tablespoons
Onion 1 medium, chopped finely
Ginger 1 inch, cut into Julienne
Green chili 2 -3
Tomato2, pureed
Ginger garlic paste 1 teaspoon
Red chili powder ½ teaspoon
Turmeric powder½ teaspoon
Coriander powder1 teaspoon
Kasuri methi
1 teaspoon
Curd 2 tablespoons

Method:

  1. Wash and soak chole overnight.
  2. Drain and wash chole with fresh water.
  3. Add them to pressure cooker and add all the ingredients to be used for boiling of chole.
  4. Pressure cook upto 5-6 whistles.
  5. For preparing chole  masala, heat a griddle or pan.
  6. Put all the ingredients under chana masala on it and dry roast all the spices till the color changes and a nice aroma is produced.
  7. Cool the spices and grind them to a powder. 
  8. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan.
  9. Add chopped onion, ginger garlic paste, ginger julienne, chopped green chilies and saute till onions turn translucent.
  10. Add tomato paste and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  11. Add the ground chole masala, RCP, turmeric powder, coriander powder, kasuri methi and well beaten curd.
  12. Mix everything and cook for another couple of minutes till masala starts leaving oil.
  13. Add ½ cup of water and give it a boil.
  14. Mix in the boiled chole.
  15. Let them simmer on low flame for 4-5 minutes.
  16. Garnish with ginger julienne and sliced chillies.
  17. Serve hot with bhature and khatte aloo.

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