For most of my life, sundays meant appa was home for the entire day. It meant we would have a more elaborate-than-usual lunch together as a family, take a happy siesta and wake up to find amma has already prepared tea and kick-knacks to go with it. Sometimes we headed to the beach, but otherwise, it was mostly the 4 pm movie-switching and all the good food.
Our sundays these days, arent very different. An elaborate brunch/lunch is almost always a norm. Its mostly tried and tested recipes since I try to prepare for monday’s lunch and dinner as well. And soon I am sick of all the cooking and wash it off with a kadak masaledaar chai ( my sole cup of indulgence one-per-week ) for evening.
Today I decided to beat all the scare about the coldest-night since 2004 and all the weather.com statistics by doing the puri chola – chola like the chola kingdom.. thats how I have always called it and the name stuck… So here is how my chola comes undone.. Its a foolproof recipe, so try it without amiss –
Kabuli channa ( white chick peas ) – 2 cups soaked and cooked OR 2 Cans
Onions – 1 large, 1 small
Tomatoes – 2 medium
garlic pods – 2
ginger – 1″ cube
bay leaves – 2 to 3
red chilly powder – to taste
chole masala (optional ) OR amchur powder with coriander powder
fresh finely cut cilantro – a handful
lemon wedge OR walnut size tamarind soaked in hot water
It is a slightly laborious recipe. So dont try it if you are working against time!
- * Fry the cut small onion in a spoonful of oil. As it turns golden brown, plop in the cut medium tomatoes.
- * To the tomato-onion medley add garlic and ginger and let cook.
- * As soon as the tomatoes are mashed and pulpy sprinkle a spoonful for kasoori methi and set this mixture aside.
NOTE : kasoori methi gives a wonderful aroma. So definitely try not to avoid it.
As the to-be-gravy cools down —
- * Cut the large onion finely. Set aside 1/3rd of it for serving.
- * In the kadai, add oil and let a tsp of jeera and bay leaves splutter. You may add curry leaves to the tadka but that is optional.
- * Fry the 2/3rd finley cut onions on a low flame.
While the onion sautees —
- * Beat the onion-tomato mixture to a semi-smooth pulp without adding any water. You can add green chillies to this if you wish to reduce the amount of chilly powder.
- * Pour the gravy on the sauteed onions and let cook.
- * To this frothing gravy add chilly powder and chole masala.
- * If using tamarind, you may add the soaked tamarind juice now.
NOTE: do not add lemon juice instead. Boiling lemon juice gives the end product a bitter taste. If using lemon add it after the chole cools down.
When the gravy thickens —
- * Add chole to it. Add water as necessary, just enough to sink the chole.
- * Let simmer to a light boil for atleast 15 min.
- * Add salt to taste.
5 Min before taking it off the stove –
- * Mash atleast 1/3rd of chick peas using the ladle. The chole must look like a mixture of whole and mashed chole at the end of it.
NOTE: The mashed chick peas become part of the gravy and give an added taste.
5 min before serving –
To the 1/3 finely cut onions, squeeze a whole lemon wedge and sprinkle salt. This helps keep the piquant onion taste under control.
Serve chole with hot fried puris and a side plate adorned with spoon of onion, finely cut cilantro and a mildly fried green chilly!