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Chana masala (Chole)

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45m 1h 15m 4-Domestic God(dess) 115
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Added by offmessage on 13 May 2017 (0 descendants)

Description (Some HTML is OK)

Inspired by a recent trip to the amazing Bundobust I had to see if I could recreate their Chole Bhature. This is just the Chole, I'll leave you to work out the flatbreads youselves! There are some faffy things in this one - you need a wet/dry grinder (incredibly useful for lots of indian cooking) and some relatively weird ingredients (amchur and dried fenugreek leaves). It's definitely definitely worth it though.


Makes 2 servings

  • Stage one - the base:
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 inch thumb ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 finger chilli
  • 1 tsp mild chilli powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • Stage two - adding the chickpeas:
  • 1 380g tin/carton ready to eat chickpeas
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1" stick of cinnamon
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 ½ tsp garam massala
  • 1 tsp amchur (dried unripe mango) powder
  • ¼ tsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • Utensils
  • Wet/dry grinder or a food processor capable of making a fine paste

Preparation (Some HTML is OK)

First pre heat the oven to 140C.

Finely slice the first onion. In a lidded oven proof pan heat the oil over a low to medium heat. Once it's hot put the sliced onions into the pan and give them a good stir for a minute or two. The put the lid on the pan and put the pan in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. While you're waiting finely chop the tomato and sprinkle the teaspoon of salt over it. Then peel and grate the ginger and garlic, and chop the chilli.

After the time is up pull the pan out of the oven and put it back over a low heat. First add the garlic, ginger and chilli and give it a good stir for a minute or two - at this point the onions will start to brown quite quickly, so keep stirring! After the minute or two is up add the tomatoes (and any juice that the salt has extracted) to the pan and give everything a good stir. After another minute or two add the teaspoon of mild chilli powder and the half teaspoon of turmeric. Give everything one final stir, then put the lid back on and put it back in the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes.

When the time is up pull the pan out of the oven and leave to cool for a while, before putting the contents of the pan into your wet/dry grinder and turning it into a smooth paste.

Put this to one side until you are ready for the next stage.

If you paused before stage 2, pre heat the oven to 140C again. Dice the second onion. Put a lidded oven proof pan on the hob on a medium heat, and add the oil to the pan. When the oil is hot put the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and bayleaf into the oil and fry gently for a couple of minutes, until the cloves puff up a little. Then add the onions to the pan and stir occasionally for a minute or two. Put the lid on the pan and put the pan in the oven for 10 minutes.

When the 10 minutes is up pull the pan out of the oven and put it back on the hob over a medium heat. Add the paste that you made during stage 1 and stir well. Then add the garam massala and stir well again.

Drain the chickpeas, and either keep the water or refill the can/carton with cold water from the tap. Add the drained chickpeas to the pan and stir well. Then slowly add the water until the gravy has the consistency you want. I find that the perfect amount is all the water from the original carton, but you may find that a little thick and need a bit more.

Bring everything back up to a gentle simmer. You can now put the lid back on the pan and put it in the oven for anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour - the longer you leave it the softer the chickpeas get, but even at an hour they will still have a little bite.

When you're ready to serve put the pan back on the hob, stir in the amchur (dried mango powder) and dried fenugreek leaves, heat for a minute or two more and then serve with flatbreads.

The amchur and dried fenugreek leaves are both a bit fiddly to get, but they really make this dish - you should seek them out from your local asian supermarket.

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