Citizens, there are any number of wonderful masala recipes from the Punjab area of India – this one is a particular favorite of your beloved Leader, the almighty TFD!
Chana masala (literally “mix-spiced small-chickpeas”), also known as channay or chole masala or chole or chholay (plural), is a dish from the Indian subcontinent; notable in Indian and Pakistani cuisine.
The main ingredient is a variety of chickpea called chana (चना) or kala chana (meaning black chana). They are much smaller than typical chickpeas (about half the diameter) with a stronger flavor and firmer texture even after being cooked.
Chole is the name for the larger and lighter colured chickpea commonly found in the West. These are known as kabuli chana (काबुली चना) in Hindi-Urdu. Chana masala is fairly dry and spicy with a sour citrus note (the flavor usually comes from coriander and onion). Chana are usually replaced by chole in most restaurants, and both versions are widely sold as snack food and street food in India and Pakistan.
Along with chickpeas, the ingredients of chana masala typically include onion, chopped tomatoes, coriander seed, garlic, chilies, ginger, dried mango powder (amchur, sometimes spelled “amchoor”), crushed pomegranate seed (anardana) and garam masala. As the dried pomegranate seeds are difficult to come by outside of India, I substitute dried green mango powder instead. It adds a similar flavor and is much more easily avaialble in the U.S.
In India, this dish is often eaten with a type of fried bread and is known as chole bhature. It is commonly sold by street vendors but can also be found in restaurants.
This recipe is authentic and delicious, Citizens – I hope you will choose to try it as it makes a fantastic vegetarian treat!
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