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South Asian Weddings

MIL's chole recipe

A while back, we were talking about recipes and wanting to cook more Indian food.  Well, this weekend I finally tackled my mother-in-law's amazing chole.  We had friends over for dinner and served this with basmati rice, tandoori-spiced grilled chicken (very easy Joy of Cooking recipe) and mango/mint cocktails.  Although it looks like there are a bazillion steps, this is not as hard as it looks and it tastes amazing.  I did a trial run before folks came over and it turned out OK, but it was really the best on the actual night we served it.  Definitely add the potatoes and definitely use fresh tomatoes (trial run with canned was not that great).  DC ladies, I got the Indian spices and the fresh curry leaves here: http://www.shopindianspices.com/Chickpea-Potato Deliciousness turmeric cumin Indian red chili powder small piece (about half size of your thumb) of ginger, chopped (do not grate; it'll burn in the oil) 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped 1 white/yellow onion, coarsely chopped 3 roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped 4 whole Indian green chilis (found in Indian store; they are about an inch or two long) 2-3 fresh curry leaves, chopped 2 cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained 2 heaping tablespoons of chole masala powder (found in Indian store) about 3/4 c. fresh cilantro, finely chopped 4-5 chopped cooked red potatoes tossed in a little turmeric and Indian chili powder finely chopped red onion for garnish *when I say "spoons," I mean the little spoons that come with the round metal spice containers used by Indian cooks.  They are about 1/2 teaspoon.   1. Heat skillet/pan with about 2 T. of oil (I used canola) over medium heat. When hot, add about 2 spoons of turmeric and a spoon of cumin.  It should sizzle.  Combine garlic and ginger with a mortar and pestle and turn it into a paste (I actually did not do this and it turned out fine).  Add garlic/ginger. Do not overcook.  After 1-2 minutes, take it out of the pan with a slotted spoon, set aside.   2. Add onion, tomatoes and whole green chilis to the pan.  Add more oil if necessary. Let onions and tomatoes cook for about 15 minutes, until onions are quite soft and tomatoes break down/their skins start to slip off.   3. Turn off pan and remove tomato/onion/chili mix and let it cool a little.  Clean pan.  This is a good time to prep the potatoes.  When you have combined your cooked potatoes with turmeric/chili powder, toss them into a skillet with a little oil and let them get a bit crispy.  Set aside for later.   4. Take cooled tomato/onion/chili mix and dump into blender or food processor, add about a half a cup of water and pulse until it looks like baby food; it should be a nice orange-y color.  (Tip: Depending on the size of your chilis, add them only one at a time to your tomato/onion mix in the food processor.  Some Indian chilis are bigger than others and my first attempt at making this was a disaster because I added all four chilis to the mix.)   5.  Add a little more oil to the pan and toss in a little more cumin, to taste.  Put the tomato/onion/chili mix into the pan and toss on about 3/4 cup of water.   Add rinsed, drained chickpeas and chole masala powder.  Stir often so it doesn't burn. Cook the mix on medium heat until the water reduces, about 5-10 minutes.  Use a potato masher or a fork to mash up some of the chickpeas.    6.  Once water is gone, add fresh curry leaves (don't skip these).  Allow to heat through for about 10 minutes. Add a handful of fresh cilantro and stir.  Taste mix to see if it needs more cumin or some chili powder or extra chana masala powder.   6.  Add cooked potatoes and stir them into the mix to heat through.    7.  Optional: add D2M's MIL's secret ingredient -- a tablespoon of Ragu spaghetti sauce.   8.  Allow everything to heat through.  Stir, taste, add more water/spices or a pat of butter if you want.  Serve with the rest of the fresh chopped cilantro and some finely chopped red onion.  

Re: MIL's chole recipe

  • edited December 2011
    I still love the secret ingredient!
  • edited December 2011
    Isn't it hillarious?  Apparently this was my husband's grandma's secret ingredient and it got passed down in the family.  BTW, masti, I guess I'd never really looked at your bio before and it's awesome!  If only I had seen this CP before: http://mastistyle.weebly.com/uploads/1/9/6/3/1963837/9229425_orig.jpgLooks super easy to DIY!
  • Meghana55Meghana55 member
    edited December 2011
    Thanks for the recipe!  I'll try and dig up some to post as well.  My mom also sometimes adds potatoes to her chole.  It definintely gives it a little something extra.  I'll have to try the Ragu!   How does one discover that Ragu would taste good in Indian cooking? haha
  • edited December 2011
    The potatoes are kind of a pain to do when you're doing so many other steps, but they are sooooo worth it because they are amazingly delicious when wrapped up in all that spicy chickpea goodness.  No idea on where the Ragu came from but hey, I'll take an easy shortcut!
  • edited December 2011
    D2M-now you have to pass it to your kiddos...
  • edited December 2011
    I always make chole and can never get it to be more "gravy-like" like in the restaurants.  Mine is kind of dry, comes out like a chickpea-stir-fry that I have to add tomato sauce to (which ruins the taste).  I never thought to make a puree of the onions, etc.!  Will definitely try this.We are south Indian so my mother is not good with help on the North Indian dishes.  I'm learning the blender is my friend!  In our house, it was only ever used for dosa/idly batter.
  • edited December 2011
    oof I need to step up in my wifey duties...you all are cooking up a storm in the kitchen while in our house, DH is the one making chole! I'll have to borrow the recipe and switch it up :)
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