2 days before the party I soaked 2 cups chickpeas in 5 cups water.
Chickpeas double in size and with tomato gravy it would be enough for 10 kids and 5 adults.
After 24 hours, I pressure cook soaked chickpeas with salt, 3 black tea bags (for chickpeas to turn brown) and 5-6 dried amla.
This is what it would look when cooked. Discard tea bags and dried amla (as they float on the top.)
Chickpeas should be soft to touch when cooked.
Chop 2 large onions.
Heat 4 tbsp. oil.
Saute finely chopped onions on low heat till they turn soft and pink.
Meanwhile, cut tomatoes in fourths and puree them well.
Add pureed tomatoes to softened onions.
Add salt. Cover and cook till the gravy turns bright red in color.
White or light froth is the sign of raw tomatoes. When cooked, they turn bright red.
Add Chole/ chana masala 4-5 tbsp.
Since I was making this chole for kids, I did not add additional red chilli powder or green chillies. You could add red chilli powder if you want.
Simmer well till the spices cook. When the spices cook, the oil starts floating on top of the gravy. Great sign to say that the gravy is done.
Meanwhile dry roast dry pomegranate seeds. Coarsely grind them.
Add cooked chickpeas with 1 cup of water.
Add ground pomegranate seeds.
Simmer and let the chickpeas absorb they great flavors.
The final tempering;
Heat 1 tbsp. pure ghee/clarified butter.
Add 1 tbsp. carom seeds/ajwain (great for digestion, since chickpeas are hard to digest)
Fry julienne ginger (again good for flavor and digestion)
Pour over simmer chole/chickpea curry.
Undated new photos of Chole pictures under natural light.
I realized yellow kitchen light gives food different color and natural light is perfect for photography.
'Padharo Mare Gher' which means 'Welcome home' beautifully scripted by my artist friend Anusha was finally put on golden yellow handmade paper and framed. This was the wall piece at the entrance of my house with diyas around it.
I thought it would be difficult to make and fry batura/ puffed bread for so many of us fresh during the party. I tried frozen baturas to be heated in the oven and also the rolled out frozen puri that I could fry. Was not very happy with both of those. And as you know me, I ended up making fresh, homemade dough, rolled out the baturas and served hot, puffed ones to everyone. 10 minutes before the kids arrived, I rolled the baturas and layered them with a paper towel to avoid drying up. Then, frying was easy!
Everyone loved it!
Enjoy Garma Garam Chole Bature!!