I have been making rase ke chole (chana in gravy) for a number of years now. I recently tried to make pindi chana, which is spicy chana masala with much less gravy; in fact, the gravy has a thick saucy consistency. It goes best with bhature or poori.
I had invited some guests over for lunch a while back, and I made Pindi Chole following Nita Mehta’s recipe from her book “Learn to Cook with Nita Mehta”. I had not tried this recipe before (a big mistake, especially when you’re calling people over; Lesson Learned – always make tried and tested dishes). For this lunch party, I was making twice the quantity of chana from what was listed in Nita’s recipe, so I doubled all the ingredients. The result was not so good; it ended up being too spicy, which I tried to curb by adding a bit of sugar….blah, I was not happy with the outcome.
This weekend I tried the same recipe again, to see if I could make it right by following the recipe to the T. I had never used Anardana powder in chole, though it is always listed as one of the ingredients in both pindi chole and rase ke chole recipes. But this time I was prepared. I had bought it immediately after the lunch debacle.
I really did follow the recipe very literally this time. Like, literally every word, every minute that it asked me to fry the onions and then the tomatoes. Also, I did not boil chana for 30 minutes like I usually do, but just 15 minutes as the recipe said. And voila! This time the dish did turn out well! The look, the consistency, and the taste. So I am guessing the missing ingredient all these years in my chole preparation had been the Anardana powder.