I was thrilled to bits on finding a sample kit of the Arora Creations Authentic Indian Spice Blend of Organic Spices in my mail box two weeks ago.I was quite intrigued when I first heard about it-Organic Indian Spice mix???
To date I've only bought masalas from the Indian store which are all made in India (yup,had always opted for the tried and tested route).To be honest, I was quite skeptical when I decided to use the first packet-the Chhole (pronounced as: Cho-ley) masala, and so I did exactly what was mentioned on the packet(I didn't want to be accused of a having a bias for Indian made stuff!!). The only three changes I did was a)to puree the tomatoes instead of adding chopped tomatoes and b) adding 2 green chillies(we love our chhole spicy) and c)reducing the quantity of oil to my regular "one teaspoon"!
The result-a chhole which reminded of the authentic stuff that you get in the "authentic" Punjabi restaurants back in India!!I got the biggest compliment from hubby and his friends too.Hubby thinks it's the best chhole I've EVER made-HUGE COMPLIMENT (for the Arora Creations Masala actually).Now I can't wait to try out the rest of the masalas for some more compliments ;-)
Here's the recipe with the changes:
- Oil:1 teaspoon
- Ginger:1/4th cup (finely chopped)
- Onion:1/2 cup(finely chopped)
- Chickpeas: 3 cups boiled/30oz canned(drained and rinsed)
- Tomatoes: 2 nos.(pureed)
- Cilantro: 1/4th cup(chopped)
- Green chillies: 1-2 nos. slit(optional)
- Heat the oil in a non-stick pan,then add the chopped ginger and fry for a minute.
- Add the chopped onions and salt and fry till they are golden brown.
- Add the tomato puree and 1/2 the packet of Arora Creations Punjabi Chhole Spice Blend,stir for about 3-4 minutes.
- Then add the chickpeas and about 1 cup of water and keep stirring for 5-6 minutes,until desired texture and remove from heat.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with chapatis/naan/rice.
- If you are expecting a reddish colour chhole-then forget it,this masala has absolutely no added colour (which is what I love!)
- Mash a tablespoon of the chickpeas and add to the gravy(this is a tip from my MIL who says this adds to the flavour).
Question: For ethnic dishes, do you prefer buying local brands of spices/mixes/pastes or do you feel that the brands originating from the respective regions are better?