There’s one such dish in which Punjabis have done Monopoly! Actually there are many dishes. But, this is one dish which is definite Punjabi Monopoly. Yeah! And that is, Chole. That means, Punjabi Chole, Amritsari Chole, Pindi Chole Which ever it is, the Monopoly is of Punjabis. Rolling.. And.. Action! Chana (chickpeas) is the life of Punjabis Right? But, Like many other things, the sad truth is that even chana (chickpeas) is not Indian. Yeah? Because, Originally it is said, in Mesopotamia or somewhere in the Arabian dessert was where chana (chickpeas) originally originated. Even today, 7500 years old remains of chickpeas are found in Middle East not in India. But, chickpeas came to India in such a way that today 64% production of the chickpeas in the world is done in India. 64% of the world chickpeas are produced in India which is 7.1 million tonne. The rest of the world, does only 36% production of chickpeas. So for something that is not ours, and yet we have owned chickpeas are brilliant example. You know, we used to wait as kids every Sunday. Today is Sunday, either there will be Rajma Chawal (Kidney bean curry and rice) or Chole Chawal (Chickpea and rice) This combination is always divine for every Punjabi, specially on a Sunday. But, the whole definition of chole, it changes when you go to Amritsar. Because the Amritsari Chole are class apart. When the Kulcha (Indian Bread) is served with Amritsari Chole.. Come on, let’s make Amritsari Chole. Like how they would do it in Amritsar. Atleast, the recipe that I have learnt in Amritsar. I’ll make that. And it works everytime. First, we’ll take these soaked chickpeas. Atleast soaked overnight. So these overnight soaked chickpeas need to be boiled. While boiling, we’ll add water. After adding water i’ll make a potli (small spice pouch) The most under rated ingredient in any food is, water. We forget the fact that the flavour of the water impacts the flavour of the food alot And it’s not just food But, whether you’re making Whiskey, Wine Anything that you’re making in that primary quantity is of water. And if there’s no flavour in your water then the food will not have flavour. The people in Amritsar, understood this thing early in time. Which is why, even today they say that the Chole made in Amritsari water are only Amritsari Chole. And, for me that is something to remember. I recently met a very old person, who has a Biryani shop. So when they open a new shop, they go and drink water over there first. If they like the water, only then the open the shop there. They say if there’s no taste in water then there won’t be taste in food. Till then, I’ll do the preparation for the Gravy. Okay? Very nice! From the aroma I feel that the chickpeas are ready. Already cooked well. Now let’s remove this. This needs to be kept in its water only. The water will also be used and most importantly if we keep the chickpeas out they become hard. Then you don’t get the creamy effect in the gravy. So let’s begin making the Masala. (Indian Spice mix) One minute, yeah.. this let me turn this machine on. Ginger, Garlic, let’s smash this. Smash it just coarse, not too fine. Now after this, ghee, and for the sharpness, little mustard oil. Amazing! Just wait for it to smoke. And after that, this ginger garlic, onion, this needs to be sauteed well, yeah. If the onion tomato masala doesn’t turn out good then the Punjabi food cannot be made good. I always add a little bit of turmeric, yeah. Just for the name sake. Why? The shine that comes in the color due to the yellow, because of that. Very little, yeah. Taste of turmeric shouldn’t come. Lots of coriander powder, Red chilli powder. Now the spices and onions magic should be created together. Nice! Little water, very little water. The onions have turned soft. Lets lower the flame, now do one thing, wait. Nice! You can see the color is now changing, first it was white, from white it turned red now it’s becoming reddish brown. Right? Spices for aroma also, slight amount of caraway seeds. So in the spices for aroma, both types of cardamom, some cloves, some cinnamon, caraway seeds. Very little nutmeg. That’s my recipe. Now some chickpea water. Never throw away the water from chickpeas. Lovely! Now, look at this. The look has changed completely. Yeah, now see the oil has come up. Now it’s time to add the chickpeas. Wow, look at it. So, slit green chilli, yeah! Here it goes! The combination of chickpeas and pomegranate seeds is very peculiar. And this chickpea and pomegranate seed combination establishes the fact that, we learnt how to make chickpeas along the silk road. Because, pomegranate and chickpeas, are both used alot in Middle East. Even today. Fresh pomegranate, chickpeas is used alot. And this combination of pomegranate and chickpeas came to us sowly from the silk road. And in the North West frontier we caught hold of this combination, froze it in Pakistan and made it ours in Amritsar. So pomegranate seeds for the sourness. And pomegranate seeds need to be added now, If you add it later, you won’t enjoy the taste as much. The moment it starts to boil add pomegranate seeds. Now we have to let this simmer. Now the mothers trick to mash these So alot of people, just keep going at it. So because of that all the chickpeas end up breaking. We don’t have to break all the chickpeas. Just at the bottom, slightly chickpeas need to be mashed a little. Not from up to down, just the bottom you have to mash the chickpeas approximately, 1/3 Now see, you can see both in this whole chickpeas and mashed chickpeas You don’t have to cook “Khichdi” (lentil and rice preparation). You have to cook “Chole” (chickpeas) Okay? That’s it. Promise, you’ve to wait for only 5 minutes. Even I’m not able to, but we’ll have to wait for 5 minutes. And Done! On top of this, some ginger julienne onions and my favourite ingredient coriander, ofcourse! And here we go! Again the trick is very simple. Keep it Punjabi. There shouldn’t be lack of coriander. Don’t forget to add pomegranate seeds. Most importantly, cook the onions with the spices well. That’s it. That’s all it takes to cook a good Amritsari Chole. Now enjoy!