This is a creamy gluten free lentil gravy and is a celebrated recipe made in every punjabi household. Though butter is what gives this a beautiful flavour, vegans reading this, you can still make this without butter or fresh cream. Replace or skip and I bet this will still be so so flavourful. Black lentils are a rich source of Phosphorus which works very well with Calcium to build our bones. The high fibre content is good for the heart and diabetes and also aids in lowering cholesterol. This is a very easy recipe and tastes best with steamed basmati rice or naan with an extra dash of butter or ghee! This is also known as Maa ki Dal (Mom’s Dal) or Kali Dal (Black Dal). This is one of those recipes that tastes even better when eaten the next day!
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You can make this 2 ways. One is the dry version and the other is covered in thick gravy. The Pindi Cholle looks drier and darker in colour than the gravy version. I’ve given the spice powder recipe below, which you can prepare in advance and use whenever you plan to make Cholle. Alternatively you can use this Spice Powder to make Potato sabji or Kala Chana sabji too.
1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder 1 Tsp Amchur Powder ¼ Tsp Hing ¼ Tsp Black Salt
Dry roast the ingredients marked in Orange for a few minutes. Let it cool.
Grind them in a blender into a smooth powder.
Add the rest of the ingredients.
You can make this in bulk and store the Spice Powder for later use.
To make Pindi Cholle or Cholle thick gravy, follow the steps below.
INGREDIENTS: 2 Cups Soaked Chickpeas / Kabuli Chana overnight 2 Potatoes, peeled & chopped (Optional) 1 Teabag / 1 Tsp Anardana (Pomegranate Seeds) 1 Bay Leaf Salt to taste Water for cooking the Chickpeas Spice Powder (Recipe Above) 1 Tbsp Ghee/Oil 1 Tbsp Ginger Garlic Green Chilli Paste 2 Green Chillis, slit 2 Onions, finely chopped 2 Tomatoes, finely chopped ¼ Tsp Turmeric Powder ½ Tsp Red Chili Powder
In a Pressure Cooker, add the soaked Chickpeas.
You can also add peeled & chopped Potatoes to this.
Add enough water, around 5 cups.
Tea bag/Anardana. If you don’t have both, you can pack some Tea Powder/Leaves in a muslin cloth and drop it in the cooker with the Chana. This will give a dark colour to the Cholle once cooked.
Add Bay Leaf & Salt.
Close the lid with the whistle on and cook on high flame for 1-2 whistles.
Reduce the flame to medium-low and give 2 more whistles.
Switch off flame and allow it it too cool down before opening the lid.
If the Cholle doesn’t get pressed easily between your index finger and thumb, add 1/2 cup water if not enough and give 2 more whistles.
Drain & keep aside the cooked Cholle.
Reserve the excess water from the pressure cooker for later use.
In a pan, add some Ghee/Oil.
Add the Ginger Garlic Green Chilli Paste
Add the slit Green Chillis.
To make dry Pindi Cholle you can stop here and add the Spice Powder along with boiled Chickpeas and salt at this stage, mix well & cook until everything comes together, garnish with fried slit Green Chilli & Ginger and serve. To make a thick gravy, follow the rest of the procedure below.
Add finely chopped Onion. Sauté till it turns light brown.
Add finely chopped Tomatoes.
Add salt and cook till the Tomatoes seem mushy.
Add the Turmeric Powder & Red Chilli Powder.
Add the Spice Powder and Sauté for a few minutes.
Now add in the boiled Chickpeas. Mix well.
Add the water reserved from the pressure cooker depending on how thick or watery you want the consistency to be.
Mash some cooked Chickpeas with the back of your spatula to thicken the gravy.
Add Salt if required. Mix and cook well until the chickpeas look well coated and absorbed with the masala.
Garnish with Coriander Leaves & Fried Slit Ginger & Green Chillis.
Cholle is ready to be served with Bhature, Roti, Rice or Samosas.
You can combine this with Achaari Pyaaz. (Recipe below)
Ingredients : For Dough : Maida / All Purpose Flour – 2.5 Cups Refined Oil : 3 Tbsp Ajwain / Carom Seeds – 1 tsp Salt : As per taste Water : Very little, around 3/4th cup, to make stiff dough
Ingredients : For Potato Filling / Aloo Masala: Potatoes – Around 8-9 (boiled & cooled) Green Peas & Peanuts (Optional) Mint Leaves – One handful Coriander Leaves – One handful Ginger – 2 inches Green Chillis- 2 Oil – 2 tsp Cumin Powder – 1 tsp Kasoori Methi – 1 tbsp Red Chili powder – 1 tsp Amchur powder – 2 tsp Black pepper Powder- 1/2 tsp Black Salt – 1/2 tsp Saunf / Fennel Seeds – 1/4 tsp Coriander Powder – 1 tbsp Salt – As to taste Garam Masala – 1/4 tsp
Preparation: – Preferably boil potatoes and keep in the fridge the previous night. If making same day, cool down potatoes completely before using. – Grind ingredients marked in Green in a mixture with a little water just the way you make a chutney. – Mix all ingredients marked in Orange in a separate bowl.
Method: Part 1 – In a big mixing bowl, take flour. – Add salt, ajwain and oil. – Mix everything well until when you grab the mixture it starts clumping together. – Now add water little at a time. I used about 3/4th cup of water. Make sure the dough is stiff an not soft. – Once your dough comes together, cover with a damp cloth for at-least 1 hour. 2 hours is ideal.
Method: Part 2 – In the meantime heat some oil in a kadhai. – Lower the flame and add the spice powder from the bowl. Mix well for a few seconds. Don’t burn. – Add the prepared green chutney. Mix well. Switch off flame. – Add the boiled, peeled & cooled roughly mashed potatoes. Add salt if required. Blend in together and keep aside.
Method: Part 3 – After 1 or 2 hours of resting time, kneed and smoothen out the dough to make it pliable. – Divide the dough into equal parts. I could make 7. – Keep them covered with a damp cloth at all times. – Roll out one portion in an oblong shape. – Divide into 2 parts with the help of a knife. – You will now have 2 triangle like parts. – Take one and extend from all sides. – Apply water to half side of the part you cut with knife . That half will denote the height of your samosa. Watch the pictures & video to know how to make the covering of the samosa. – Fill the Potato masala generously. Each samosa took me around 2 minutes to make. – Let the samosas rest for 30-45 minutes before frying. It should look dry and feel rough when ready. By the time I finished making 14 samosas, my first batch was ready to fry. – It’s time to fry them out. Fill around half kadhai with oil. Keep flame on low. – When the oil is just warm (Dip your finger to check. You shouldn’t feel the burn), drop in your first batch of samosas. I added 5 at first. – Fry in low heat until golden brown. Flip them every few minutes to fry them evenly on all sides. Take them out. Fry the rest in batches. – The samosas will be really hot. So let them rest for 20-30 mins. Serve them warm. – Serve with Chutney, Ketchup, Spiced Yogurt or even Cholle!