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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Chole Masala

Remove feathers, lower crossbow, adorn sari, center bindi, put on Concert for Bangladesh record.
I'm going to spicy hot chana tonight...And since I can never stick to the recipe which is somebody's family recipe, it's becoming chana daal.  That is the only thing I changed out of my own will (the other change was lemon juice for amchoor, but only because I had no choice).  Otherwise it is 100% Punjabi tradition.
Who would like some nice tangy Gujurati Dohkla as a starter?
It came out perfectly in taste, but not as fluffy as it should have been in texture.  However, I will not give up on you Dohkla.  More on that another day.
Now for the Chole Daal Masala.
Serves 6
Dry roast spices:
4-5 Cardamom pods
1 inch Cinammon
5-6 Peppercorns
3 cloves
1 bay leaf
1.5 tsp cumin seeds
1.5 tsp coriander seeds
1.5 tsp fennel seeds
2 dried red chilies (I used Oiseau)
1.5 cups dried chickpeas (chana) soaked overnight and cooked until tender, and undressed
3-4 cups reserved chana cooking water
1/2 cup lentils (daal)
1 large onion, chopped
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
3/4 inch ginger, grated
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp amchoor (or sub lemon juice)
some EVOO
salt to taste
basmati rice for serving 
chopped cilantro
green onions
squeeze of lemon
1.  Dry roast the spices until fragrant.  Do not burn them!

Transfer to mortar and grind.  Oh yes.

mmm smells like love...
2.  Heat EVOO in a heavy bottomed pan or wok.  Add onions and cook until translucent.
3.  Add ginger.  Smell that raw ginger smell.  When you can't smell it anymore, add the tomatoes and cook, stirring a few minutes.
4.  Add the ground spices as well as the garam masala and chili powder and distribute evenly.
5.  Add the chana and cooking water to level.  Bring to a boil,then simmer.
6.  Add the daal and more of the cooking water depending on how juicy you want it.  Simmer approximately 15 minutes.
7.  Add the amchoor if you have it.  You are lucky if you do.
Serve over basmati rice and garnish with cilantro and green onions with a dash of lemon.
Mmm.  I could wake up to this...
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