Chikkar Cholay

Chikpeas that look like mud – spicy deliciousness that goes perfectly with fried bread (street food special). Below (clockwise) is a plate with a Bhatura (fried naan bread) chikkar cholay (muddy chickpeas) tandoori onions, pickled green chilli and finally brown-sugar pickled carrots and cauliflower

Chikkar Cholay – are a product of patience and love

3 cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in plenty of water with half a tsp of baking soda. Rinse and drain the water out the following day and into a pot or a slowcooker with 5-6 cups of water, couple of bay leaves, half a tsp clove powder and 2 black teabags.

Boil the chickpeas in a covered pot for 3-4 hours (I cook on an induction so the timings would be different on gas stoves) or until they are soft and almost cooked through but not mushy, they should still have some substance and the water would be almost dried up.

2 medium size onions

2 inch piece ginger

6-7 green chillies (adjust to taste)

Blitz them together to make a chopped paste.

Heat oil and saute a tablespoon of cumin seeds till they sizzle. Add the onion chilli ginger paste and saute till they have softened and add a couple of table spoons of water until they have cooked through. You don’t want to add too much oil, as water helps cook them down just as well. Add 2 tbsp tomato paste and 1/2 cup of tomato puree and keep cooking it down. Once the oil starts separating, add some more water followed by spices (saves them from burning);

1 tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp roasted cumin powder

2-3 tbsp coriander powder

2-3 tbsp chana masala

1 tbsp amchoor powder (mango powder)

Salt and 1 tbsp black pepper

Combine this well and add to the boiled chickpeas, and they transform almost immediately. I stirred in a handful of chopped coriander leaves at this point.

Then heat 2 tbsp ghee in a frying pan, add some thin garlic slices, ginger juliennes, kashmiri red chilli powder and a little fresh tomato puree. Add this to the chickpeas along with a sprinkling of 2 tsp of garam masala.

Stir well and enjoy. You can add water if you want more gravy, adjust water to the thickness you want. We like them thick and muddy, which we enjoy with fried bhaturas or pooris but if we were to have these with rice, we would thin down the gravy and adjust the seasoning accordingly.

I have never frozen them – they don’t last that long! Enjoy them the next day for breakfast with fresh paranthas or even in a toasted sandwich.

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