Cholay (Curried Chickpeas)
August 20, 2010
So, we are in the midst of Ramadan and I would just like to wish any Muslim readers a blessed Ramadan! All kinds of good eats are made during this month, makes me wonder why we don’t eat this food year-round but I guess that is what makes holidays so special: the atmosphere, the traditions, the food.
Yesterday I decided to make Cholay and it turned out especially good. I love making this dish because it is so easy. The whole thing is just chicpeas cooked with all kinds of good spices and you make everything in one pot which is my kind of cooking. Everybody makes Cholay differently and has their own variation of spices but nobody makes cholay like my mom. And… nobody will take her recipes and jazz them up except for me :) So here is my adapted version of “mummi’s cholay.”
Cholay Recipe serves 8-10 (you can easily reduce the recipe in half)
- 2 28oz cans of chickpeas, drained
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced
- 1 red onion, chopped (half reserved for garnish)
- 2 red potatoes, peeled and diced
- a few tablespoons of olive oil to cook everything
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (more or less to your taste)
- 1/2 a teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon of ginger and garlic paste
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chaat masala (and extra for garnish)
- 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
- the juice of half a lemon
- 1/3 cup of water
- a handful of cilantro, chopped
Heat olive oil in a sauté pan or wok and fry half of the red onion until golden. Add tomatoes and cook until it becomes like a paste.
To the tomato and onions add ginger and garlic paste, chili powder, turmeric and salt…fry it well until you get a dark red color.
To the mixture, add diced potatoes and cook for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally. This will cook the potatoes about half way. Then add 2 cans of chic peas and stir until incorporated well with everything.
You will need to cook this for a while. Cover the pot with the lid and let everything cook, the potatoes are not fully cooked so this will take time; about 15 minutes. Give everything a big stir every now and then but keep the lid on.
Add the water, tamarind paste, lemon juice, cumin, chaat masala and last the cilantro– mix well! Check to see if the potatoes are done, if not keep cooking, if they are then turn off the heat.
How I served it: Pour it into a big platter, garnish with the other half of the red onion, a dollop of plain yogurt, and lots of chaat masala.