Shahi Chole – White chick peas in a creamy cashew sauce

Background:

K loves chole. Except when I make it. So, over the years I have refrained from making this tasty side dish for fear that I might make a fool of myself yet again.

So, when amma was home yesterday I watched as she made it. Helped some with the prep and realized it was not all too difficult. So, here is the recipe just in case I forget it later.

Stuff you will need:

2 cups white chick peas soaked overnight
1 big onion – cut into big chunks
4-5 small tomatoes or 3-4 medium ones – cut into big chunks
1 cube ginger – peeled and cut into pieces
4 green chillies
Garlic pods – 3 pods (more depending on taste)
Cashews – 10-12 broken
Poppy seeds 1 tsp – dry roasted and powdered
Cinnamon – 1/2 stick
Cardamom – 4 pods peeled
Bay leaf – 1
Cloves – 2-3
Ghee/Oil – 2 tsp
Jeera (Cumin seeds)/Panch Puran – 1 tsp
Coriander – a handful, washed and cut

How to make it?

Dry roast spices (cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and poppy seeds) and powder them. Crush onions in a food processor and set aside. Crush tomatoes with green chillies and ginger and set aside. Make a fine paste of cashews with water and set aside. Pressure cook the chole with salt and turmeric, drain and set aside.

In a wok, add ghee. One heated add panch puran or jeera and the powdered spices. Once the spices are fried add  garlic and fry till brown. Add onion paste and fry well till raw smell goes away. Add tomato paste and cashew paste and mix well and let simmer till oil separates out. Add the drained chole and stir well. Lower heat and let simmer for 10 mins or till done. Garnish with cut coriander. Add a dash of lime if preferred tangier.

Serve with rotis or puri.

Serves four

Special notes:

I prefer to grind onions and tomatoes separately because I believe onions need to be fried longer. I have not tried grinding all together. I feel it might not make much of a difference. Also, instead of roasting and powdering spices, chole masala might do the trick. I do not know as I have not tried. Cashews add a creamy texture and a sweetness that enhances the heat from the chilies.

Maggi – not really 2 minutes but definitely tasty!

Background:

Weekends are usually times when I like to indulge in making breakfast of some kind. Not really healthy or quick. So, today I started out thinking I will make upma but quickly found I was out of every ingredient I could use to make upma. Scanning my pantry I found a pack of tomato maggi.

Growing up maggi was my comfort food of sorts. Not high nutritionally it definitely tingled my taste buds and was everything rice rasam sambar was not. Over the years I have graduated from making maggi as instructed on the pack to customizing it with veggies and other tasty add ons.

Stuff you will need:

1 pack Maggi noodles (Found in Indian grocers)
1 carrot – cubed
Green peas and  Corn – 1/2 cup together
Green beans – a handful french cut into 1″ bits
1/2 Green pepper – cut in 1″ bits
1/2 Red pepper – cut in 1″ bits
Onions – sliced and cut into 1/2″ bits
Green chillies – 1-2 slit and sliced
Coriander leaves – washed, minced  to garnish

How to make it?

Heat a little oil, temper a little bit of jeera, add onion, ginger and green chillies. Just as they brown add cut veggies. Saute them till they are half cooked, add a dash of salt, water and the taste maker. Once the mixture just starts to boil, add the pack of noodles and cook al dente.

Garnish with coriander and stir in a spoon of tomato ketchup. The end result is fabulously colorful and definitely yummy. Takes more than 2 mins though!

Serves two

Special Notes:

Any flavor of Maggi works but I love the Masala tastemaker best.