Monday, August 08, 2005

Request from another Personal Chef

We have a pretty active message board over at the USPCA, with a great bunch of chefs who post hints and request help on a regular basis. A fellow chef asked for help coming up with a special side dish for a picky client today:

"My client called this morning to change her menu around for tomorrow. She would like a garbanzo side dish....preferably something Indian but with no cumin, cinnamon, coconut or cloves. HA! She and her husband had two great sides this weekend at a restaurant and would like something similar. The above is the best description I got from her. Any thoughts?"

I immediately thought of a dish I do, which sounds like what the client ate. It's called Chhole, so I shared the recipe with the chef. (She'll have to leave the cumin out, which will change the flavor profile and make it not so authentically Indian, but this is a PERSONAL service, so we make everything to our client's tastes.)

It's such a tasty and easy recipe, I'll share it here with you too!

Punjabi Chhole
A spicy Punjabi Chick Pea Stew

1/4 cup(s) olive oil, extra virgin
1/4 cup(s) ginger, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup(s) cilantro, chopped
1 28 oz. can(s) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 green chile, chopped (optional)
2 bay leaves
3 garlic cloves, paste
1 tablespoon(s) turmeric
3 tablespoon(s) coriander, ground
1 tablespoon(s) cumin
2 tablespoon(s) red chili
1 tablespoon(s) allspice
Garnishes: tomato slices, onion rings, lemon slices, chopped cilantro, green chiles

Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.
Add cumin seeds and bay leaves. Fry briefly.
Add ginger, garlic, 1/4 cup chopped onions, 1 tomato, green chile, and let simmer for 1 minute.
Add turmeric, coriander, cumin chili powder, and allspice and cook on medium until oil separates from masala.
Add chick peas and stir constantly for 2-3 minutes.
Finally, mix in remaining chopped onion and tomatoes, stir evenly until desired texture and remove from heat.
Garnish with cilantro or other suggested garnishes, and serve.

add 1/4 cup water for extra sauce

Serving Suggestions: Serve over steamed basmati rice, or with bhaturas, puri, or chapati.

Source: adapted by Mark Tafoya from a recipe posted by Lata Anand at


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