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Dilli Wale Pindi Chole

LunchMain CourseIndianVegan

Nothing can beat the taste of Pindi Chole from Delhi. But you can’t book a ticket and go there every time you crave it. But you can surely bring the exact same taste at home. Yes. And for that black color of chole, you don’t need to have cast-iron kadhai or pan. You just need a few ingredients and a technique to get that perfect color, texture, and taste.

STORY TIME

My Punjabi husband, Jatin, is a big fan of Pindi Chole and bhature. And he doesn’t want to eat that anywhere else except for Delhi. When we were in Pune, Maharashtra, he missed that so much. And I tried to make it at home, but he always said, “It is not the same”. He used to have it 2-3 times whenever we visited Delhi from Pune.

I tried so many times to master this recipe but something was missing. But I didn’t give up. Here in Germany, we have an induction stove and we can’t use a cast iron pan on it. So, that was out of scope now. Everybody says that you need to have a cast iron pan to get that dark color. But now I can say that with my recipe, you don’t need that at all. I figured out the right proportion of ingredients and the right method of cooking to get that same color and texture. I made it exactly like Jatin used to eat in Delhi. And now he feels extremely happy whenever I make it for him. He says that now he doesn’t crave his Dilli wale Pindi Chole. I have yet to master the recipe of bhature but let’s just leave that for a while. He is happy, I am super happy.

Mission Accomplished!

If you don’t have much time, watch the video instead.

TIPS TO MAKE IT RIGHT

Everybody wants to make a dark-colored Pindi Chole because that is how it is. Earlier, I used to think that to get that dark color, we need to make it in a cast-iron kadhai or pan. The cast-iron pan/kadhai makes the food slightly darker in color. But, what if we don’t have it? Can’t we make dark-colored chole without it?

Yes. You Can.

You just need to have the right balance of certain ingredients and know the right technique to make it. Read along to know what I am talking about.

1 – INGREDIENTS

I practiced a lot to find the right balance of spices. I made it using the store-bought chana masala too. But honestly, it doesn’t give that same taste. Then I tried to make the chana masala at home and freshly made spice mix is actually a game-changer in this recipe.

To get that dark color, you need to have these 4 ingredients – tea leaf, anardana powder, coriander powder, and imli paste. These ingredients not just add a nice dark color but also give a delicious taste to the curry. You can not skip any of these ingredients. Instead of anardana powder, you can add dried amla too.

2 – TECHNIQUE

Just adding the ingredients is not enough. Knowing the right technique to make it is also very important. It is important for the nice color and for the perfect texture of the curry.

To make Pindi Chole, DO NOT add chole (or chickpeas) along with the water in which it was cooked. Rather, strain the cooked chickpeas and add them to the tempering along with the prepared chana masala. Then cook it for a couple of minutes on medium-high flame. This will roast the cooked chickpeas and the added spice mix too, resulting in a much darker color.

Then keep adding the water in which chickpeas were cooked. DO NOT add the entire water at once. Add just 1 ladle at a time and cook till the water is all absorbed/evaporated. After a while, the chickpeas will become mushy and soft and you will start getting a nice thick gravy.

That’s it. Just follow these two steps and you will be able to make a restaurant-style Pindi Chole at home. It’s Easy. Right?

If you are a fan of Indian curries, you must try these recipes too – Punjabi Rajma Masala, Dhaba Style Dal Makhani.

HOW TO COOK CHICKPEAS/CHOLE?

Before cooking chickpeas, always soak them in water overnight or at least for 6 to 8 hours. This step is very important because it helps in the faster cooking of chickpeas. After they are soaked for hours, chickpeas absorb the water and become bigger in size. That is why always soak them in a bigger bowl with a water level at least 3 inches above the level of chickpeas.

To cook chickpeas, you will need either a pressure cooker or an Instant Pot.

Pressure Cooker:

Add chickpeas to the pressure cooker with enough water. Add some salt (and other spices as suggested in the recipe) and close the lid. Let them cook on high flame till the first whistle. After a whistle, lower the flame and cook for another 20 minutes. Let it depressurize on its own. Once depressurized, you will notice that the chickpeas are soft and tender.

Instant Pot:

This is one easy method to cook anything. You just need to add chickpeas, water, some salt, and other seasonings. Close the lid and choose the BEAN CHILI mode. It cooks in 30 minutes. Then, let it release the pressure on its own.

I would suggest not to use any pot or pan to cook chickpeas. They take a very long time to get soft and well cooked.

IS IT VEGAN?

Yes. It is vegan.

Generally, it is made with ghee or clarified butter but I made this recipe with cooking oil. Trust me. You won’t notice any difference in the taste. Rest all the ingredients used in the recipe are plant-based.

More Vegan recipes to try – Non-Fried Vada Pav, Banana Walnut Muffins, Mini Mango Cheesecake, Gobhi Manchurian.

HOW TO SERVE PINDI CHOLE?

The perfect partner of Pindi chole is soft and fluffy bhature. But you can also serve it with poori or paratha. One thing which enhances the taste, even more, is some fried, crispy, and seasoned potatoes. It tastes very good with Pindi Chole.

Also, serve it with some tangy coriander chutney and chopped onion on the side. If you like, add some salt and lemon juice to the onions.

That’s it, my dear friend. You are all ready to make Dilli wale Pindi Chole at home. It is perfect for lunch or brunch over the weekend. So, grab all the ingredients because you are ready to make a delicious happy meal for yourself.

If you like the recipe, please share the photo on Instagram and tag us too @marriedfriends. We love to see your recreation of our recipes.

Happy Cooking.

Love from us

Richa & Jatin

Recipe

Dilli Wale Pindi Chole

Get Dilli wala taste at home.

Servings

2

Prep Time

8 hour

Cook Time

1.5 hour

Rest Time

0 min

Ingredients

Chana Masala

  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 2 tsp Coriander Seeds
  • 10 Black Pepper
  • 2 Cloves
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 1 Black Cardamom
  • 2 Cardamom (green)
  • 2 Dry Red Chilli (whole)
  • 1 tsp Kasuri Methi
  • 1 tsp Anardana Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Fenugreek Seeds (methi)
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Dhania Powder

Pindi Chole

  • 1.5 cup Chickpea
  • 1-2 tbsp Tea Leaf
  • 5-6 Black Pepper
  • 2-3 Cloves
  • 1 Black Cardamom
  • 1-Inch Piece Cinnamon
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Cardamom (green)
  • 2 tsp Anardana Powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Asafoetida (hing) powdered
  • 2-3 Green Chilli chopped
  • 1-Inch Piece Ginger chopped
  • 2 tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 2 tsp Tamarind (Imli) Paste
  • 4 tbsp Water

Other

  • Water to soak chickpeas
  • 3.5 cup Water to boil chickpeas

Steps

Pressure Cook Chickpeas

  1. Soak chickpeas in water overnight or at least for 6 to 8 hours. Chickpeas will absorb the water and become bigger in size.
  2. Wash them 2 to 3 times.
  3. Add them to a pressure cooker or instant pot. Add water, black pepper, cloves, black cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, cardamom, anardana powder, and salt.
  4. Take a piece of cloth and add some tea leaves to it. Tie a knot. Place it in the pressure cooker.
    Instead of a piece of cloth, you can use a tea infuser too.
  5. Close the lid and let it cook for around 30 minutes till they are soft and tender.
    If using a pressure cooker, lower the flame after 1 whistle. If using an Instant Pot, cook it on Bean Mode. It cooks for 30 minutes.
  6. Once cooked, let them depressurize on their own. 
  7. Once it is all done, strain the chickpeas using a sieve. DO NOT discard the water. We will need it. 
    You can remove the big whole spices.

Chana Masala

  1. In a pan, dry roast - cumin seeds, coriander seeds, black pepper, cloves, star anise, black cardamom, green cardamom, dry red chili. Roast them together for a couple of minutes.
  2. When the pan cools down a little, add Kasuri methi and anardana powder. Mix well. 
    DO NOT add them while roasting or when the pan is hot. They burn very fast.
  3. Once everything cools down, add them to a mixer-grinder.
  4. In the mixer grinder, add red chili powder, fenugreek seeds (methi), dhania powder. Grind everything into a fine powder.
  5. Chana masala is ready. Keep it aside.

Tempering & Cooking

  1. Heat oil in a kadhai or pan. 
  2. Add asafoetida, green chili, and chopped ginger. Saute for a minute. keep the flame on medium.
  3. Add chickpeas and chana masala. Cook them on medium-high flame for 3 to 5 minutes. 
  4. In a bowl, add imli paste and 3 to 4 Tbsp of water. Mix well. Add this paste to the kadhai or pan. Mix for a few minutes.
  5. Take 1 ladle of water in which chickpea was pressure cooked. Add it in the kadhai. Mix for a few minutes till it is all absorbed/evaporated. 
    Keep the flame on medium-high.
  6. Once the water is all absorbed, add one more ladle of the water in which chickpeas were cooked. Keep mixing.
  7. You need to repeat the same step till chickpeas get soft, mushy and you get a nice gravy-like consistency. 
    It gets thicker on cooling so keep the consistency accordingly.
  8. Switch off the flame. Serve hot with poori, paratha, or bhature. Enjoy your Happy Meal :)
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