The very first thing that will strike you when you read the name of the dish is that this is not what you have always heard. It must have been Chole-Bhature. But no, I have not prepared bhaturas so it is Puri 🙂
It is not that I have prepared chole (Chickpeas) for the first time. I have prepared it several times in the past, but there was always one problem that bothered me. My spices and curry used to be awesome and chickpeas too were always cooked to perfection. (Here by perfection I mean not so mushy and not so hard). But they never went along well. I always felt that there is something I am missing about this recipe. After doing some surfing on Internet I got to know the reason. So basically, this recipe today is not at all fancy or something that needs extra ordinary ingredients and efforts. It is very simple to prepare.
But before I move towards the recipe, I would like to share the problem and its solution. Like I said, my curry and chickpeas never mixed well. While eating it, I always felt that I am eating two different dishes at a time. The reason is, chickpeas are too dry even after cooking them. Holding moisture is not in it’s nature. So it does not hold flavors of the curry in it. After searching for the reason I found my mistake. I always thought that people add tea powder while boiling chickpeas for getting black color. So, I never added it. I was so wrong about it and people who are doing that for color are also wrong about it. We should add baking soda and tea powder while boiling chickpeas. The reason is baking soda alkalizes water and acidity of tea powder neutralizes it, which results in perfectly cooked and SOFT chickpeas. If you cut it and check it then you will find that it holds the moisture and then it will go well with any spices and curries.
- 1 cup chickpeas (Soaked in water overnight)
- 1 Tea bag
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 3-4 cloves
- 2-3 star anise
- ½ tablespoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- ½ tablespoon coriander powder
- ½ tablespoon Aamchur powder (Dry mango powder)
- 2 tablespoons garam masala
- 2 tablespoons of chopped ginger
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 3 tablespoon of oil
- 1 medium sized onion
- 2 tomatoes
- Salt as per taste
- Coriander (for garnishing)
- 2 cups of wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- salt as per taste
- In the pressure cooker, add chickpeas, tea bag, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, star anise and water. Do not add too much of water. And cook it upto two whistles. Else chickpeas will be mushy. Keep it aside till all steam goes away.
- Meanwhile, kneed the dough for puris. Dough should not be too soft. Add oil and salt in flour before adding water. I kneaded two cups of dough in 3/4th cup of water. Cover it with wrapping paper and keep it aside.
- Chop onion and tomatoes. Grind it with ginger and garlic to a fine paste. Do not add water while grinding. Water substance in tomato and onion will do the needful.
- Heat oil and add the paste to it. Turn on the stove to high flame. Keep stirring continuously to avoid burning that paste.
- Once all water is evaporated, add all the spices and mix it well. Keep the stove on medium flame and let that cook for five to seven minutes.
- Add chickpeas with whatever water remained in pressure cooker and mix well. Add salt. If you want thick curry, do not add more water. But if you want it to be thin then add half cup of water. I preferred to keep it thick, so didn’t add any water.
- Let it cook for two-three minutes. Garnish with coriander.
- Now for puris, first make small balls and roll them till the discs are 4-5 inches. If you are not good at rolling skills, then you can make big balls and roll them. With cookie cutter or any drinking glass having sharp edges, you can cut round discs. Deep fry them in very hot oil. Serve with chole.