Red and Green Palak Chhole

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. This season, in keeping with the festive theme, I made a spicy palak chhole, chickpeas cooked in a sweet and spicy tomato gravy with fresh spinach. My dad was hungry and I cooked up this recipe based on what we had in our pantry–a few cans of garbanzo beans, tomato puree and spinach. High in protein and iron from the spinach, this dish was a big hit with the fam. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 cans garbanzo beans, rinsed well
  • 1 cup of tomato puree
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 cinnamon stick, 3-4 cloves, 3 cardamom  pods and a few pepper corns
  • red chili powder
  • Dried  red chillies
  • 2 dried red chillies
  • salt to taste
  • cilantro
  • kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • Half a bag of fresh baby spinach, chopped

Directions

  1. Add a little bit of vegetable oil to a pot, I used a cast iron skillet which gets very hot, but leaves the food very flavorful. Add the dry spices to the oil (cinnamon, cardamom, peppercorn, clove) and allow it to heat.
  2. Add onions and 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste and 2 dried red chillies and saute until translucent.
  3. Add 1 red pepper, sliced.
  4. Add tomato puree and another tsp of oil and cook well. I also add 1 tsp of ghee, or clarified butter for flavor. Tomatoes are not in season, so tomato puree gives a nice gravy, but can get a bit acidic. To reduce the acidity, add a tsp or so of sugar and optionally a squirt of tomato ketchup.
  5. Cook this gravy well, stirring occasionally and adding water when needed so it does not burn. Add 1 to2 tsp of red chilli powder and salt.
  6. Once  the gravy is well cooked, add 2 cups of water and chickpeas and simmer on low for about 20 minutes. The longer you cook beans, the more flavorful they become. You can add  1 pinch of kasoori methi for seasoning at this point.
  7. When this has thickened, add in the finely chopped fresh spinach. Stir and remove from flame. Garnish with chopped cilantro,  and serve with basmati rice!

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