Monday, November 03, 2008

It Rained In My Pindi Chana

Pindi Chana/ Chole, Gobi ki sabzi, Ajwain Ka Paratha,
Jeera Rice and Aam ka Achar

"I'm coming back to Blr tommorow" said Alok. His son Aditya's Mundan was done in Nagpur in the presence of both sets of grandparents. Varsha was going to have an extended time with her parents. Alok was to join us for dinner this Sunday evening.

After Aditya's arrival we have had hardly any meals together. He rules all the plans. Varsha still avoids spicy stuff and is still on bland food. Yesterday was Aditya's birthday. He turned one. It was funny I called up and wished his father!

I had a very boring weekend. I have not traveled since my last trip to the North East. The only time we went out after many months is when Dheer uncle visited us. I need a break now.

So since Alok was going to join us for dinner I made this Punjabi meal rather enthusiastically accompanied by some interesting conversation about the current scenario in IT and an update on Aditya's Mundan ceremony.

Coming back to the title of the post. In our joint family we had this rule that food was to be treated with respect and to be eaten without a word of criticism. So we kids used sarcasm instead. The day the dal or bhaaji was thin we would ask Mom and Aunts, "Did it rain today?" This would irk the ladies of the house but it invariably was followed by peals of laughter of 8 hyperactive children and one Dal khao just loved it watery. Hee hee. Peace.

I remembered this family joke today as I started out to make Pindi Chana using Ashwini's recipe about which I read on Pel's just today. The comments section told me more. Pahle aap, Pehle aap mein bus choot gayi. Both Ashwini and Pel did not send it to my Chole Mela last year! Had I not searched today I would missed this lovely recipe.

I must tell you what happened though. It did rain in my Pindi Chana. How? Why? Because after I bhunoed the masala like Anita does I expected it to tame a bit but it didn't. Thus it rained in my Pindi Chana I would not be able to stomach that much heat. Next time I'm going to reduce the black pepper I know.

Traditionally Pindi Chana is dry mine was a muddy one literally with the black color that I did achieve!! YaY!! So what would you call it Pindi Chana or Chana Masala or plain Chhole?

Yet another thing I did was to avoid the discarding of the whole spices used in the recipe I simply reduced the amount required and bhunoed and ground it to a coarse paste.

Here are the changes I made.


1 cup chickpeas (kabuli chana), soaked overnight
1 teaspoon tea leaves
1 1/2 tbsp pomegranate seeds (anardana) (skipped)
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 black cardamoms (badi elaichi)
1 small sticks of cinnamon
2 cloves
1 1/2 tbsp coriander powder
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp mango powder (amchur)
2 green chillies
1/2 inch piece of ginger
1 tbsp oil + 1 tbsp ghee
salt to taste

my addition inspired by Anita
1 cup fine chopped onions

I first bolied the Chana in the pressure cooker for 40 mins about 5 whistles.

While the pressure cooker was cooling.

I heat the wok. Yes I like to make it in a wok. Heat oil. Fried the onions till brown. Added all the spices and bhunoed till dark brown. Let is cool but while still warm ground to a coarse paste(next time I'll grind it fine).

After opening the cooker just added the fried and ground masala to the chana along with salt and let it boil for good 15 mins. Till on the side of the cooker I could see a ring of starch. Put off the heat. Let it sit till I rolled out the parathas and pressure cooked the Jeera Rice.

How to make Jeera Rice?

Simple. Wash 1 cup rice. Put it in the cooker. Add 1 tablespoon of Ghee. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of Cumin seeds. Put 1.5 cups of water. Close the lid of the cooker. Put the weight. Allow just 1 whistle on a sim. Put off the heat. Let it cool completely. Open and give it a mix gently with a spatula.

How to make Ajwain Paratha?

Add 1 teaspoon Carom seeds to your regular Chapati dough. Roll out paratha a little thick OR roll out the size of a puri grease topside fold and then roll it out bigger. I made like the later.

Say Balle Balle with that!!

Alok did you like the meal? You didn't eat much. Varsha will ask you for sure.

Updated : 15th Nov 08

YaY !!! I got the chole right this time

Don't they look divine. I made Chole-Puri for packed lunch during the week can you imagine that!!


  1. Oh i am craving for Chole so much now....since last few weeks i had made so many recipes with chole,but i still long for typical punjabi style chole!

  2. Oh yes, 1.5 t of ground black pepper might be a trifle too much to handle (in 1 C of dry chhole)! But you got them to be black alright!

  3. I use a wok too! I like your version- the onions would add a nice sweetness. But lately I've been pestering my Punjabi friend from Rawalpindi for her recipe...but she has never written it down! So...she has just told me what to use, but not the amounts of each! I think she likes to keep it a secret. :-(

    Ajwain ka paratha are a favorite of mine- the seeds add such a lovely flavour when roasted. I have become quite hungry from reading your blog, so now I must go to cook something! ;-)

  4. Wow a friend straight from Rawalpindi bribe her Pel. You must share the recipe if you are able to extract it from her! :)

    The roasting of ajwain sound a great trick will try next time. We usually have 1/2 teaspoon of roasted ajwain as medicine for bloating but while cooking have been using it straight.

    So what you planning to cook now?

  5. I have also made Pel's version twice tasted so good.


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