Let’s start at the very beginning…a very good place to start :-)

Welcome to my kitchen kapers!

 

Ever since I first read Elise Bauer’s Simply Recipes, and linked to various Indian food blogs through her blog roll, I have been hooked on reading food blogs.

 

Like many Indians who move to the US, I started cooking when I came here to study. Unlike many, though I had never done anything beyond toasting bread (with disastrous results, I may add J) before my adventures in the US.

 

My mother did try to teach me, believe me. I just would not learnJ.

 

I think one of the main challenges I faced was that my mother expected me to remember (Oh Mom!! Where’s the room when my brain is filled with assorted other things) the spices that should go into each dish as well as the steps required, when there was no way in this planet that I would. Even today, I cook while referring to a book, my computer or assorted notes. No need for a memory when you can buy a RAM J

 

Not having the necessary patience, my Mom gave up and finally just gave me a few recipes (right before I left for the US) that I quickly handwrote in a little note book that I still have and refer to while cooking those dishes.

 

I thought I would inaugurate my blog with one such recipe that I still have in that tattered notebook, although I have modified it a bit to make it more convenient and relevant to the US.

 

Chole/ Chane (UP Style)

(Serves 4)

 

Ingredients:

·        1 can chickpeas/ garbanzo beans (You could buy them dry, soak them for 8 hours and pressure cook them with enough water to cover and some salt, as my Mom does in India…but that is way too much work for me)

·        1 medium sized red onion (finely chopped)

·        1 tbsp ginger paste (or 1 inch grated ginger)

·        1 small (the tiniest can) tomato sauce (can substitute tomato paste, can of diced tomatoes or 1 real tomato chopped fine)

·        3 tsp of chopped cilantro (for garnish)

·        1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil (any oil with minimal taste)

·        ½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)

·        2 tsp chole masala (available in any Indian grocery store or in the Asian section of regular grocery stores)

·        ½ tsp chilli powder

·        ½ tsp dried mango powder (amchur) (can be substituted with the juice of 1 lemon)

·        1 tsp garam masala (available in any Indian grocery store or in the Asian section of regular grocery stores. Some people make their own if they have a spice grinder)

·        Salt to taste

 

Steps:

1.      Heat the oil in a sauce pan for a minute or two.

2.      Add the onion and the ginger. Stir fry till the mixture turns golden brown.

3.      Add the cumin, chole masala and chili powder. Stir to cook the spices for about a minute.

4.      Next, drain the chickpeas and add them to the pan.

5.      Finally, add the tomatoes, salt and about 1.5 cups of water.

6.      Cook on medium to high heat until it boils. Then reduce heat to medium, cover and let it cook for 5 minutes.

7.      Finally, add the dried mango powder (amchur) and garam masala and mix it in, before switching off the stove.

8.      Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with rotis, rice, nan or any bread.

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