Amritsari Chole, also known as Amritsari Chana Masala, is a popular vegetarian dish that hails from the city of Amritsar in Punjab, India. It is a beloved staple in Punjabi cuisine, known for its rich and robust flavors that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. This dish is made with chickpeas cooked in a flavorful spice blend, resulting in a deliciously tangy and spicy gravy that pairs perfectly with naan, roti, or rice. In this article, we will delve into the history, ingredients, and steps to prepare an authentic Amritsari Chole recipe that will transport you to the streets of Punjab.
History of Amritsari Chole: Amritsari Chole has a fascinating history that dates back to the heart of Punjab, India. Punjab is known for its vibrant culture, warm hospitality, and of course, its delectable cuisine. Amritsar, the spiritual and culinary hub of Punjab, is famous for its street food scene, and Amritsari Chole is one of the most iconic dishes that originated from there.
The dish has humble beginnings, tracing back to the traditional Punjabi households where it was lovingly prepared in clay pots on wood-fired stoves. Over time, Amritsari Chole gained popularity and made its way to street food stalls and restaurants, both in India and abroad. Today, it is relished by food lovers around the world, who seek to experience the authentic flavors of Punjab.
The key to an authentic Amritsari Chole lies in the carefully selected spices and ingredients that create its unique flavor profile. Here are the ingredients you will need:
Now that you have gathered all the ingredients, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of making authentic Amritsari Chole:
Step 1: Soak the Chickpeas If you are using dried chickpeas, rinse them thoroughly and then soak them in enough water for at least 8 hours or overnight. This will help soften the chickpeas and reduce the cooking time. If you are using canned chickpeas, you can skip this step.
Step 2: Cook the Chickpeas Drain the soaked chickpeas and transfer them to a pressure cooker or a large pot. Add enough water to cover the chickpeas by about an inch. Add a pinch of salt and pressure cook for 4-5 whistles or cook in a large pot until the chickpeas are tender and easily mashable. Drain and set aside.
Step 3: Prepare the Spice Blend In a small bowl, mix together turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, dry mango powder (amchur), and garam masala. This will be the spice blend that gives the Amritsari Chole its distinct flavor.
Step 4: Heat the Cooking Oil In a large pan or kadai, heat the cooking oil over medium heat. Add cumin seeds, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, black cardamom, and cloves. Sauté for a minute until fragrant.
Step 5: Add Onions, Ginger, and Garlic Add the finely chopped onions to the pan and sauté until they turn golden brown. Add the grated ginger and minced garlic, and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the raw smell disappears.
Step 6: Add Tomatoes and Green Chilies Add the pureed tomatoes and slit green chilies to the pan. Cook until the tomatoes are soft and oil starts to separate from the masala.
Step 7: Add Spice Blend and Chickpeas Add the prepared spice blend to the pan and sauté for a minute. Then add the cooked chickpeas and mix well with the masala. Add salt to taste and adjust the spice level according to your preference.
Step 8: Simmer and Cook Lower the heat to low-medium and let the Amritsari Chole simmer for 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together and the chickpeas to absorb the spices. Stir occasionally to prevent the masala from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Step 9: Garnish and Serve Once the Amritsari Chole is cooked to perfection, turn off the heat and garnish with fresh coriander leaves. Serve hot with naan, roti, or rice, and enjoy the authentic flavors of Punjab!
Amritsari Chole is a classic Punjabi dish that is loved for its bold and robust flavors. With its humble origins in the streets of Amritsar, this dish has become a beloved staple in Punjabi cuisine and beyond. By following the authentic recipe outlined above, you can recreate the authentic flavors of Amritsari Chole in your own kitchen and savor the taste of Punjab’s culinary heritage. So, gather your ingredients, fire up your stove, and get ready to indulge in this delicious and hearty dish that will surely satisfy your taste buds and leave you craving for more!
Q 1: What are the key ingredients needed to make Amritsari Chole?
Answer: The key ingredients for making Amritsari Chole are chickpeas (chole), spices like turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, dry mango powder (amchur), and garam masala, cooking oil, cumin seeds, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, black cardamom, cloves, onions, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, green chilies, salt, and fresh coriander leaves for garnish.
Q 2: How long does it take to cook chickpeas for Amritsari Chole?
Answer: Chickpeas for Amritsari Chole can be cooked in a pressure cooker for 4-5 whistles or in a large pot until they are tender and easily mashable. This typically takes around 20-25 minutes in a pressure cooker, and 1-1.5 hours in a pot, depending on the type and freshness of chickpeas.
Q 3: Can I use canned chickpeas for making Amritsari Chole?
Answer: Yes, you can use canned chickpeas as a time-saving option for making Amritsari Chole. Simply rinse and drain the canned chickpeas before using them in the recipe. However, using dried chickpeas and cooking them from scratch will result in a better texture and flavor.
Q 4: What makes Amritsari Chole unique in flavor?
Answer: The unique flavor of Amritsari Chole comes from the combination of spices used in the recipe, such as turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, dry mango powder (amchur), and garam masala. The use of whole spices like cumin seeds, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, black cardamom, and cloves also adds depth and aroma to the dish.
Q 5: What can I serve with Amritsari Chole?
Answer: Amritsari Chole is typically served with naan, roti, or rice. It can also be enjoyed with bhature (deep-fried bread) or kulcha (stuffed bread) for a more indulgent meal. Additionally, a side of yogurt, pickles, or sliced onions adds a refreshing contrast to the rich and flavorful Amritsari Chole.