Saturday, August 25, 2012

Punjabi Chhole (Chickpeas)

My husband told me yesterday that we have some guests coming over for breakfast today.

I had just started thinking about the menu for the next day morning & my husband expresses his wish to eat some Chhole Puri. Voila! I get an idea & rush to the kitchen to soak the chickpeas to be used the next day.

There are many versions of cooking these chickpeas & this is one of the ways our Punjabi community in India cooks.

It is very tangy & spicy & usually served with Puri. Puri is a wholewheat flat bread, rolled in small circles & deep fried in oil to fluff it up. The dough made is a little harder (not too soft) than the usual dough & some oil is also put into the dough while folding it to make it crispy. Also, the adding of oil ensure that not too much oil is absorbed when frying it.

Though we don't cook this often at home as it consumes a lot of oil but if the temperature of the oil is maintained well & then if the extra oil is well absorbed by the kitchen towels before serving then it is not going to harm you at all.
In fact this is one of the most nutritious breakfast option. It keeps you full & ready for a long busy day.

Even the book by Rujuta Diwekar  of the fame "Women & the weight loss Tamasha" & Kareena Kapoor's dietitian says so.

Chickpeas are high in protein & high in dietary fiber.

The Chhole I made was enjoyed by all the guests & I was all smiles & grateful to my Punjabi friend who taught me this!

So here you go:
  • Chickpeas - about 100 gms
  • Onions - 3 (finely chopped)
  • Whole Spices/Garam Masala - as per taste
  • Whole Coriander Seeds/Dhaniya - 2 tsps
  • Whole Cumin Seeds - 2 tsps
  • Whole Dried Red Chillies - as per tolerance
  • Bay leaves - 2
  • Turmeric Powder 
  • Coriander Powder
  • Red Chilliw Powder
  • Salt - as per taste
  • Oil/Ghee - 1tbsp


Soak the chickpeas overnight. In the morning boil the chickpeas with some salt & ginger juliennes.

Now, in a wok add the ghee & when its heated add the whole spices & bay leaves. When it crackles add the finely chopped onions. Let it cook till it browns. 

Now add the boiled chickpeas to this & add some turmeric, dhaniya powder, red chilli powder & salt.

Now, to make the special masala:
Roast the Coriander seeds, Cumin seeds & Red chilli powder & grind them together.

Add this powder to the chhole & toss for a while. Add some water as per the consistency you require & cover the wok with a lid.

When about to get done, mash some chhole inside the wok to make the gravy thick.

Punjabi Chhole is ready!

  • You may add tomatoes or puree if required
  • You may roast the whole spices & grind with the special masala too
  • Serve with Puri/Roti/Parantha
  • Onion salad or some kachumbar will go very well with this

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Steamed Bananas (Nendran Pazham)

Yes! You can bake, steam, fry, grill & even boil your plantains/bananas.

Try them all! But what I am to share with you today makes for a great breakfast or snack.

It is very healthy too. Great carbohydrate source! Well, that is not all my Doctor brother says it is a storehouse of all kinds of essential nutrients like potassium, magnesium & dietary fiber.

Works best for people suffering with gastric ulcers & helps keep a healthy digestive tract. It is also known to prevent cancer.

So why not eat a banana everyday instead??? Might not be possible to eat everyday but what I am trying to say is that eating bananas will not make you fat but healthy.

This is a very South-Indian way of cooking your banana.

All you need is:

  • Some South-Indian plantain which is better called Nendran or Nendran Pazham
  • Water for steaming
  • Steaming Pot


This is the fastest breakfast I guess!

 The Nendrans you use should be ripened well. The outer skin should change color to brownish black. So this helps you use up the extra ripe bananas so you don't need to dump it thinking its gone bad. Just some black spots are enough actually.

Now pour some water in your steaming pot. I used an Idli cooker. If you don't have one then you could use any cooker & fill water to some 2 inches.When the water starts to boil, place a grill or any other metal container/utensil which would fit in & place the bananas on it. Do not peel the skin off when steaming.

Cover the lid & let it steam for about 8 minutes & tada! your steamed healthy plantains are ready to be served. Cut it lengthwise, into halves or whichever way you wish to & serve with or without some fresh cream or butter. I prefer to eat it without any accompaniment.

Let me know if you try this.


  • I have not tried it with any other variety of banana - If you do then let me know
  • You could serve this with a dollop of vanilla ice cream

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