Saturday, June 11, 2011

Channa Masala - version 2 from an old cookbook

I have this cookbook from my mother-in-law. I do not even remember when the brand Preet Pressure cookers existed. My mother in law had one pressure cooker which, for a long time, I assumed, was the later model of Prestige 12 litres cooker. All I recall is a very sturdy saucepan that she was very fond of and used to tell me that she has been having that ever since they moved to their own house in Ciombatore which means since the year 1967. (She had been using it until my last visit to her home.)

Years ago, when I stayed with them until I secured a transfer in my job, I chanced upon this book inside one of the table cupboards in my husband's room. The book is titled "The Preet way to cook" 101 recipes from India and elsewhere. It is an instruction manual combined with a cookbook, and with my sister-in-law's name labelled in it. I asked to have it and she had no objections in giving the same to me.
It does have recipes from all over India, some vegetarian and some non vegetarian. I have tried few of those vegetarian recipes. This one is a simple version of the Punjabi chole. I made it for dinner last night and thought that I shall share the same. Though I have not followed the recipe to the letter, I can safely say that this recipe has been adapted from that book.

I have altered the recipe to suit my taste and availability of the masala ingredients in my pantry. Also I have made it for just two people.

1/2 cup Kabuli Channa (garbanzo beans)
2 small onions
2 large tomatoes
1 small piece of ginger
4 pods of garlic
1/2 teaspoon pomegranate seeds
2 teaspoons garam masala powder
2 teaspoons red chilli powder (1 teaspoon chilli powder and 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon crushed jaggery (optional)
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons oil

For tempering and garnish:
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 large green chilli
Few sliced onions
Few sliced tomatoes

Wash and soak the chick peas overnight.
Drain the water and add 1/4 cup of fresh water to the chick peas.
Pressure cook the chick peas until very soft.
Remove from the cooked peas about 1 and 1/2 tablespoon and keep aside.
Add salt to the rest of the chick peas. Retain the cooked water also.
Chop the onions, peel the garlic and ginger.
Drop the tomatoes in warm water and peel the skin gently.
Grind the onions, pomegranate seeds, garlic and ginger to a paste adding to them the chilli powders and the turmeric powder. Grind this to a smooth paste adding little water only. Transfer to a bowl.
In the same blender jar, puree the tomatoes. add this puree to the cooked channa.
Take the reserved chick peas and blend to a smooth paste.
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the cumin seeds and the slit green chillis.
After a few minutes, add the blended masala paste. Cook this on a low fire until the raw taste is lost and the oil begins to separate. Now add the tomato paste and the chick peas. Add the garam masala.
Allow to simmer for at least 15 minutes to infuse the taste to the cooked chick peas.
Finally add the jaggery and chick peas paste to the simmering gravy. Allow this gravy to thicken.
When done, remove from the heat and add the garnish to the channa masala.
Serve hot with rotis, phulkas and such.


  1. That looks delicious ...adding pomegranate seeds is nice ....I once made a dish with pomegranate

  2. I also add pomogrenate seeds sometimes...looks yummm:)

  3. Delicious chole. Addition of pomegranate seeds in the masal is a new concept to me...

  4. Anytime fav with rotis..looks delicious

  5. Looks simply yummy and these old books are treasures. Nowadays, many copy from blogs and publish books. many magazines also have our posts. These books are to be preserved as I think it will be authentic.

  6. Absolutely love your presentation !!! :)


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