Think Punjabi food and all decadent dishes crowd the mind. From ghee-laden sarso da saag to dal makhani, there are dishes galore that could give any feast an indulgent makeover. But Punjabi food is not just about the grease. Beyond butter and ghee, there is a rich interplay of flavours that makes you want to sit up and notice. Spices like masala chana play an integral role in Punjabi delicacies. ‘Masala’ in Hindi refers to ‘spices’, you can now imagine the importance of spices in the dish. Chane are white chickpeas that are cooked before they are tossed in a pool of select ‘masalas’ like garam masala, red chilli powder, dhaniya powder, amchur (raw mango powder), hing, ginger, kasoori methi, cumin powder, cardamom, bay leaf, fennel powder, and anardaana powder. To give a more crispy edge to the chole, it is mixed with masala aloo as well, making the whole fare a tad more wholesome and yummy. For the masala aloo, all you need to do is heat oil in a pan add turmeric powder, chili powder and ginger julienne. Toss the tomatoes, potatoes, green chilies and pour over the channas.
This recipe is ideal for a lavish breakfast, lunch or dinner. You can pair it with piping hot poori or rice. To intensify the colour of the sabzi, the recipe also uses an old and trusted hack of adding tea leaves. Yes, tea leaves help give masala chana a rich, dark colour. It is not advisable to add tea directly to the gravy. Make a potli (pouch) of tea, bayleaves, black cardamom, boil the potli with chanas. Discard the potli after a while.
The recipe also uses some soda. It helps make chole more softer to bite into. You can rule out the soda if you want to. Excess soda could lead to gas formation in tummy, so make sure you are careful with the amount you add.
Here is the step-by-step recipe of masala chana.
Try making it at home and let us know how you liked it in the comments section below! If you cannot fathom so much heat, you can cut back on green chillies. As we said, this masala chana could be the show-stopper of any spread, so don’t forget to tell us about the innovative ways in which you used it to surprise your family.
About Sushmita SenguptaSharing a strong penchant for food, Sushmita loves all things good, cheesy and greasy. Her other favourite pastime activities other than discussing food includes, reading, watching movies and binge-watching TV shows.