1/2tablespooncrushed kasuri methialso known as dried fenugreek leaves
Soak the chickpeas overnight in enough water to cover them. In the morning, drain the water.
In a pressure cooker add the soaked and drained chickpeas, 2 tea bags, bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon stick, salt and 4 to 5 cups water. Pressure cook at high flame till you get 1-2 whistles. After that lower the flame to medium and let the chickpeas cook for another 10-12 minutes.
In a wok, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Once hot, add cloves and grated onions. Fry the onions till the raw smell goes away and they are light golden brown in color.
Add ginger-garlic paste and cook for 3-4 minutes till the smell of ginger-garlic goes away.
Now add the tomato puree , stir and let it cook for 12-15 minutes on medium-low flame. Cover the pan to prevent the splash all around.
Add the chole masala, red chilli powder, paprika powder, cumin powder, salt and mix for a 1-2 minutes.
Add the chickpeas next and stir will all the chickpeas are coated with the spices, around 2 minutes.
Add water (which was used for boiling the chickpeas), cover the pan and let it simmer at medium-low flame for around 30 minutes. The gravy will thicken after 30 minutes so add water accordingly.
To temper, heat 1 tbsp of ghee in a pan and the ginger julienne to it.
Fry till the juliennes are golden brown in color but do not burn them. Add to the chole curry, mix and switch off the flame.
Sprinkle some garam masala, kasuri methi and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Serve with roti, paratha or plain rice.
Skip the ghee in the tempering to make this vegan.
To cut short the process of soaking chickpeas overnight, use canned chickpeas which are easily available at grocery stores. The canned ones can be prepared immediately and do not need to be soaked overnight.
Adjust the amount of red chili powder in the recipe to taste.
Patience is something you will need while cooking chole or any such Indian curry. Of course, I can make it in a quicker way by adding everything in the pressure cooker. But if you let the tomatoes and onions cook really well and then simmer the chickpeas with the spices for a longer time, the taste would be much much better.
I like to keep the chole masala gravy on the thicker side, for a thinner gravy add more water.
Chole masala actually tastes the best 1 day after you make it because the spices are then better incorporated into the chickpeas.
Chole freeze well. Let the curry come down to room temperature, store in an airtight container and freeze.