Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Chickpeas Chhole with Organic Spices!!

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)
  1. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan,then add the chopped ginger and fry for a minute.
  2. Add the chopped onions and salt and fry till they are golden brown.
  3. Add the tomato puree and 1/2 the packet of Arora Creations Punjabi Chhole Spice Blend,stir for about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Then add the chickpeas and about 1 cup of water and keep stirring for 5-6 minutes,until desired texture and remove from heat.
  5. 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).
Now,I'm just hoping I can find the brand locally(finger's crossed). Thank you Mr.Dhiraj Arora (and Mr.Michael Hurst) for sending me the sample kit and introducing me to a whole new world of spices.
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?


lisaiscooking said...

Your chhole looks delicious! Regarding buying locally made or from the source spices, it depends on the item and if I know how the quality compares from one to the other. I like to support local items, but some ingredients just aren't available from a local producer.

Christo Gonzales said...

what a great looking chhole - I am so picky when it comes to chiles that I ONLY get them from New Mexico...

chow and chatter said...

I want some looks awesome, I don't mind using either if It tastes good he he, just need some pooris

Yasmeen said...

Organic spices?Now,this is something unheard of,I think I'm gonna order some samples too.I buy all my spices from desi store for all its potency:)

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

Hey take all the compliment you get - why not! Your chole looks perfect! Yum!

Jenn said...

Looks delicious!!

I'm not really that picky. If it blends well with the ingredients i'm using for a certain dish then I'll buy it. I do like locally mad things too. Gotta help the little guy out.

Gita Jaishankar said...

Wow organi spices...thats sounds very interesting...the choloe looks delcious too :) Can you please tell me where is it available?

Heather S-G said...

Awesome spices!!! After your review, I may have to search them out...they sound great :D I try to use local...but there's plenty not grown around here...so from the source is definitely the next best thing for me.

Pooja said...

Wow that was new to me! Wonder where I could get it! After reading thru your post I'm so very tempted! Chole masala looks perfect and reminds me of Punjabi Dhaba! How I miss those!
Reg the brands I dont have a preference and am content to use any provided they taste good!

Unknown said...

Choley looks too good. CAn have it anytime!

Ria Mathew said...

Ur chole looks perfect! And about buying the spices, I would prefer tried and tested brands.

Parita said...

Chole looks perfect..organice spice now i got to explore that...

sangeeta said...

my fav...yum.
organic spices are not that uncommon........in india we get it at any fabindia outlets or navdanya...
by organic india you get even organic vanilla beans.

chef and her kitchen said...

First time here,,,Nice blog...I had chole for lunch and i m reading this post..looks yummy..
Do visit my blog when u get time.

Angie's Recipes said...

Chhole...never had a chance to try it before....maybe it's time.
Do they taste different? I mean organic........
In supermarket I saw Bio Wine....I am not sure about it either.

Anonymous said...

Delicious looking chhole and these spices sound great! For spices, I definitely prefer the ones from the originating countries as the taste is a lot more authentic, I think.

Gina; The Candid RD said...

I think you should still do a post on fiber, and include that link! I am sure I didn't go into much detail about some important things, plus it's good to have two perspectives! I think fiber is something that people can't get enough info on, really.

Pavithra Elangovan said...

Thats looking delish.... lovely organic display

Sweta (My Indian Dietitian) said...

Lisa,Jenn,Girlichef-that's a good way of supporting local items!
DB-now I know what to get you if I ever go to New Mexico!
Reb-it tastes even better with bhatura's ;)
Yasmeen,Parita:you'll love it.
Pooja,Gita:you can check out their website.
Divya:me too.
Ria:that's what I've been doing all these years.
Sangeeta:thanks for the info.
Pratibha:will do(you've been here before)
Angie:I don't think there is any difference in taste of the spices per se,but the ratio and combination is very close to the authentic dish.
Natasha:exactly the reason why I pick out my spices from the Indian store.
Gina:I guess you're right.Will do a post on fibre soon.Thanx :)
Pavithra: :)

Anonymous said...

my anytime fav

Muneeba said...

Nothing like a serving of perfectly spiced hot chhole (with puris maybe?!) to kick off the weekend in my house! Great choice :)

Michele said...

this looks so good! thanks for sharing!