Chole with palak

Chole with palak(Chikpeas with spinach)

You know, while this receipe name would suggest a way too common an Indian Dish, you really would be surprised to know that I actually found the origins of this receipe from a lebanese cookbook which mentioned that chikpeas with spinach cooked with tomatoes is a very lebanese dish and claimed its originality, albeit the spices (masalas) of course…Isn’t it strange? I mean for my Indian friends, chikpeas with tomatoes( Chole) actually is a very common dish across North India and is served as an accompiment with either rice /roties/ parathas and can be served either in breakfast, lunch or dinner..In fact there is an indeminable list of receipes for Chole with just a few variations in the mix of masalas used.Pindi chole, kadai chole, punjabi chole,chana masala just to name a few..all of them refers to the same dish connoting the same taste with just additions and deletions of few basic elements of spices . I also cook Chole in different ways many a times, with and without tea leaves, or asafodia and while in general the boiled chikpeas are mixed with the gravy at a later stage, I also adhere to a quick fire way of adding the spices and the Chikpeas together and putting them in the pressure cooker.Will try and post these variations at a later stage.

But, add chopped spinach(palak) to  this Chole, and it transforms itself into a wonderful rendition of the original dish by adding an extra variant. Hence I was perplexed reading about this receiepe in a lebanese cook book.Nevertheless, mixing with the Indian spices, it turned out quite a feat , a little away from the regular Punjabi chole. A tad more healthier(coz of the spinach), with a slightly differnt texture,the palak and the tomatoes intermixed to form a wonderful taste coupled with the health benefits of the spinach.

Ingredients:

Chikpeas(chole/Kabuli Chana)-1 cup soaked overnight
oil-2 tbsp(or as per your wish)
Tomatoes-1
Chopped spinach-1/2 cup(you could add more or less as you desire)
Onion-1
Cloves-4-5
Cinamon stick-1 big
Ginger garlic paste-1 tsp
Punjabi chole masala-2 tsp
turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
red chilli powder-1tsp
red dry chilly-1
green chilli-1 chopped
coriander leaves-few for garnishing
coriander (dhaniya) powder- 1 1/2 tsp
Cumin(jeera Powder)-1 1/2 tsp
Asafodeia(hing)-a pinch
Cumin seeds-1 tsp
Tomato puree-4 tbsp
tomato sauce- 2 tbsp
dry mango(aamchur) powder-1/2 tsp
garam masala powder-1 tsp
salt as per taste

Method:
Boild the chikpeas with chopped onions, jeera, cloves,cinamon, asafodia and salt. Let it boil for 10-15 mins and switch off the flame. See that they are not overcooked.Strain and keep aside.Do not throw the water that which was used for boiling.It can be used in the gravy

In a pan, add asafodia, jeera seeds, dry and green chillies and let them splutter. Add the onions and ginger garlic pate and fry for sometime.Add the chopped spinach and fry till its water reduces. Now add the tomatoes and keep frying while mashing the mixture.The tomatoes and onions should be mashed slightly so that they blend well..Add tomato puree and let it cook.Add all the masalas, except the garam masala , fry for a while and add the chikpeas.Adjust salt and fry.At this stage you can add the garam masala.Add watre(that was kept aside) and let it boil.You could add tomato sauce here as wee.Its upto you how much gravy you wish for.Ideally it shold be a thick gravy, some peiple like it dry as well. I added very little water as i wanted a little dry.

Swich off the flame and garnish with coriander leaves.

A lipsmacking dish to go as an acompiment with your roties, bread, parathas or rice.The palak adds that extra nutrient to this dish ,not to forget the new invented taste of the mix.

A nice satiating meal in true sense.Why not savour this for your next meal ???

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