India is a vast country with a diverse culture and varied cuisine. Among its plethora of cuisines, there’s something about Punjabi food that makes us all drool over it. Speaking of delectable and aromatic Punjabi cuisine, there is one vegetarian dish which is absolutely mouthwatering – Pindi Chole.
Straight out of the heart of Punjab, Pindi Chole is a popular variation of the versatile chole/Chickpea Curry. It is different from the regular preparation in terms of color as well as texture. Its dark color is the result of tea leaves. The leaves are added while cooking the chickpeas that give the dish a rich & earthy color and unique flavor. Pindi Chole got its name after the town where it originated – Rawalpindi ( Pakistan) – in the days before the India-Pakistan partition.
Full of proteins, Pindi chana tastes great with naan, bhatura and kulche. Like I enjoyed mine with Amritsari Aloo Kulcha for my weekend meal.
Pindi Chole (No Onion, No Tomato Chickpea)
If you are using dried chickpeas, soak them overnight and next day morning boil them in a pressure cooker till 5 whistles or till cooked with a black teabag or seal the loose tea leaves in a muslin cloth.
If you have canned boiled chickpeas, then wash and drain them well and boil them on a very low flame for 15 minutes with a tea bag. This will ensure that the chickpeas get the color of the black tea.
In a pan, add oil and once hot add the carom seeds/ajwain. Add the other ground spices - cumin powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder, kala namak, amchur powder, garam masala on a low to medium flame and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Now add the boiled chickpeas and mix everything well. Add a little water (use the chickpea boiling water) if it gets too dry. Check for salt (remember kala namak has salt thus be careful while adding more salt). Add the julienned ginger and green chilli strips. And bring everything to a boil and later let it simmer for 5 minutes. Serve this hot with chopped coriander leaves garnished on top.