The holy city of Punjab, Amritsar is also a holy haven for food lovers. Legendary for their street food and wide range of offerings, Amritsar serves up lassi and sweets with the same aplomb as fish tikka and keema kulchas. But the star of the show, the piece de resistance, has always and will forever be Amritsari Chole.

Served up with their famous kulchas for breakfast, lunch and dinner, nothing beats the natural creaminess of a perfect Chole with the crunch of a flaky kulcha. And we’re not the only ones who think so, because when Chef Ranveer Brar took to social media to share his take on the dish, he was equally enamoured. 

Also Read: Amritsari Fish: Do You Know How The Starter Came Into Being?

Though there are lots of shortcuts and hacks around to make chole in minutes, this recipe takes its time, utilises only fresh ingredients over store-bought masalas and ensures that many layers of flavour come together in harmony for the perfect chole.

Ingredients:

For Pressure Cooking Chole

  • 500 gms Chickpeas, soaked (overnight)
  • 1 inch Ginger, peeled & sliced
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • Bouquet garni
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as required

For Bouquet Garni

  • 1-inch Cinnamon stick
  • 2 Bay leaf
  • 2-3 dry Red chilies
  • 2 Black Cardamom
  • 2-3 Cloves
  • 12-15 Black peppercorns
  • 1-2 tsp Tea leaves

Ginger Garlic Paste

  • ½ inch Ginger, peeled & roughly sliced
  • 3-4  Garlic cloves
  • 2-3 Green chilli
  • Salt to taste

Chole Masala

  • 2 ½ tbsp Coriander seeds
  • 1 ½ tsp Cumin seeds
  • 3-4 Black cardamom
  • 15-20 Black peppercorns
  • Salt to taste
  • 3-4 dry Kashmiri red chili
  • ½ tsp Asafoetida
  • 1 tsp degi Red chili powder
  • 1 tsp dry Mango powder
  • ½ tsp Carom seeds

Amritsari Chole

  • 4-5 tbsp Oil
  • ¼ tsp Cumin seeds
  • Prepared Ginger Garlic Paste
  • 4-5 medium size Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp prepared Chole Masala
  • 3 medium size fresh Tomato puree
  • ¼ cup Cooked Chole water
  • Pressure Cooked Chole
  • 1 tbsp Prepared Chole Masala
  • 1 tbsp Ghee
  • 1 tbsp Coriander leaves, chopped

Tadka

  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 2-3 Green chilli
  • 1 inch Ginger, Julienned, peeled
  • A pinch of degi red chili powder

Image Credits: bliss_is_food/Instagram

 

Method: 

For Cooking Chole

  • In a Pressure cooker, add chole, ginger, garlic cloves, bouquet garni, salt to taste, and water double the quantity of chole.
  • Cook it for 3-4 whistles and keep it aside for further use.

For Bouquet Garni

  • In a muslin cloth, add cinnamon stick, bay leaf, dry red chillies, black cardamom, cloves, black peppercorn, and tea leaves and make a potli of it.
  • Keep it aside for further use. 

For Ginger Garlic Paste 

  • In a mortar pestle, add ginger, garlic, green chillies, and salt to taste and make a coarse paste.
  • Keep it aside for further use.

For Chole Masala 

  • In a pan, add coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black cardamom, black peppercorn, salt to taste, dry red chillies and dry roast everything well.
  • Add asafoetida, degi red chilli powder, dry mango powder, and carom seeds and roast it for a minute.
  • Transfer it to a grinder jar and grind it into a fine powder.
  • Keep it aside for further use.

For Tempering 

  • In a pan, add oil, green chillies, ginger, degi red chili powder and saute for a minute.
  • Keep it aside for further use.

For Amritsari Chole 

  • In a cast iron kadai or a handi, add oil, once it’s hot, add cumin seeds, ginger garlic paste, and onion, and saute until golden brown in colour.
  • Add chole masala and cook for a minute then add tomato puree and cook for a while or until it gets dark brown in colour.
  • Add cooked chole with chole water and simmer it for 5-7 minutes.
  • Add some more chole masala, ghee and mash the ¼ quantity of chole.
  • To finish the chole add fresh coriander leaves and mix well.
  • Transfer it in a serving dish and garnish it with prepared tempering and a coriander sprig.  
  • Serve hot with kulcha.