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Monday, July 18, 2011

Punjabi Chole

Punjabi chole cooked with tea leaves, gives a dark color to the chole. Usually it's served along with poori or batura or roti. I have used mustard oil to cook chole, but if one doesn't prefer mustard oil, then use ghee or any other vegetable oil.


To cook Chana

500 gram - Kabuli chana, soaked overnight
2 tsp - Tea leaves
Salt to taste

Other ingredients

1/2 tsp - red chili powder
1 tsp - Coriander powder
1/2 tsp - Black salt
2 - Bay leaves
1/2 tsp - Jeera/ cumin seeds

Masala -1 { grind to a paste }

2 big - Onion, chopped
2 big - Tomato, chopped
6 to 8 flakes - Garlic
1.5'' - Ginger
2 to 3 - Green chili
4 to 5 sprigs - Coriander leaves

Garam masala - Roast & powder

1.5 tsp - Jeera /cumin seeds
4 - Cloves
2 to 3 sticks - Cinnamon
2 - Black cardamom
1/2 tsp - Black peppercorns

Masala -2 { to powder }

1 tbsp to 1.5 tbsp -Powdered pomegranate seeds
1 big pinch - Kasoori methi leaves


1 ) Soak chana over night in enough water. Wash and drain well. Then transfer the chana to a pressure cooker. Pour enough water to cover the chana, tea leaves wrapped and tied in muslin cloth and salt to taste. Pressure cook for 20 minutes or till the chana is soft. Open the cooker, once cool and discard the muslin cloth.

2 ) Prepare the masala's - First prepare the dry masala's. In a pan dry roast the ingredients listed for garam masala on low heat till the spices release a good aroma and the jeera is well roasted. Powder the spices in a blender and set aside. Then powder the second masala mix and set aside. Then grind to a smooth paste all the ingredients listed for masala -1 and set as side.

3 ) In a big kadai, heat 2 to 3 tbsp mustard oil to a smoking greenish color. Once the mustard oil is smoking hot, turn off the stove and cool the oil a bit. Once cool add jeera, bay leaves and fry for a second. Keep the heat low, then add masala -1 mixture to the oil, stir and cook the masala till oil separates. To prevent splashing of the masala all over when frying, cover with a lid and cook. Stir in between.

4 ) Once the oil separates, add, red chili powder, coriander powder, black salt, and the prepared garam masala powder. Stir and fry for a few seconds. Then add the cooked chana and water. Cover and cook for 5 to 10 minutes on low heat. Adjust salt to taste.

5 ) Now open the lid and add powdered masala -2 mix, stir and cook for few more minutes. Turn off the stove and garnish with coriander leaves and serve with onion rings, green chili, lemon wedges.

Serve hot with batura/ poori or roti.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Kadachakka Varutharacha Curry - Breadfruit Masala Curry

There is one fine kadachakka tree in the backyard of the tharavadu veedu in kerala. Playing around the trees and climbing it was a favorite thing to do as a kid. I am not sure if the tree still remains, but then the dishes made with the kadachakka were delicious. Varuthu aracha masala curry made with kadachakka tastes like a meat curry and goes so well with rice.


3 cups - Breadfruit/ kadachakka, chopped
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
1 medium - Tomato, chopped
2 - Green chili, slit in center
1'' piece - ginger, finely chopped
2 sprigs - Curry leaves
Salt to taste

To roast & grind

3/4 cup - Freshly grated coconut
2 big - shallots, chopped
4 big flake - Garlic
2 small - Cinnamon sticks
2 to 3 - Cloves
1 - Star anise
1/2 tsp - Perumjeera/Fennel seeds
2 tbsp - Coriander powder
3/4 tsp - Red chili powder
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder


1/2 tsp - Mustard seeds
4 to 5 big - Shallots, chopped
2 sprigs - Curry leaves
Coconut oil


1 ) Cook kadachakka pieces in a pressure cooker along with, turmeric powder, tomato, green chili, ginger, curry leaves and salt taste. Add 2 cups of water to cook the vegetable. Bring the pressure cooker to full pressure and cook for one whistle. Turn off the stove and open the cooker when the pressure is fully released.

2 ) Mean while in a pan roast - Coconut, cinnamon, clove, star anise, fennel seeds, shallots and garlic on low heat. Add little coconut oil when roasting. When the coconut turns golden in color, add coriander powder, turmeric power, red chili powder and lightly roast for few for seconds. Turn off the stove and cool.

3 ) Grind the roasted ingredients to a smooth paste with enough water in a blender/ grinder. Add this ground paste to the cooked kadachakka. Add enough water for the gravy. Bring to a boil, simmer. Adjust salt to taste.

4 ) To a pan add coconut oil, splutter the mustard seeds, then add shallots and curry leaves. Fry till the shallots are light brown in color. Pour this seasoning on top of the kadachakka curry.

Serve with rice. Makes a yummy meal with rice and pappad.