Soak dried chickpeas overnight in 4 cups water. In the morning drain the water, and then rinse the chickpeas.Transfer the chickpeas to a pressure cooker and then add the whole spices- green cardamom, black peppercorn, bay leaves and cinnamon stick.Also add black tea bags, water (around 4 to 5 cups) and salt. Please note: the tea bags are for giving the chole a dark color. They do not impart any taste to the final product.
Pressure cook on high heat for 2 whistles. After that lower the flame to medium and let the chickpeas cook for another 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the cooker from heat and allow the pressure to release naturally.You should be able to press the chickpeas easily with your fingers once cooked. Set aside.If using Instant Pot cook for 30 minutes on high pressure with natural pressure release.
Start making the masala. Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the grated/pureed onions to it.
Cook the onions until the raw smell goes away completely, around 5-6 minutes. Then add the ginger-garlic paste and cook for 1 minute.
Add the pureed tomatoes and mix. Cover and cook the tomatoes for 15 minutes on medium heat, stir once or twice in between. This step is important, so do not rush cooking the tomatoes.
Once the tomatoes are cooked, add the chole masala, red chili powder, paprika powder, cumin powder and more salt. Mix and cook the spices for 1 minute.
Add the cooked chickpeas into the pan and stir. Cover and let the curry simmer for around 30 minutes on low-medium heat. Again, don't rush the step for best tasting chole. The curry will thicken considerably and that's what we want for the chaat.The curry is now done. Taste test and adjust salt etc. at this point. Let it simmer while you make the tempering.
For the tempering, heat ghee in a pan on medium heat. Once the ghee is hot, add the ginger julienne to it and fry until it starts turning golden brown in color. Transfer the fried julienne to the curry.
Add garam masala and mix. Finally add in the crushed kasuri methi.Once the chole is ready, gather all other ingredients and start plating the samosa chaat.
To Serve Samosa Chaat
To make a plate of samosa chaat, place 1 cup of prepared chole into the serving bowl. Top with dollops of yogurt.
Then roughly break 2 samosa and place them on top of yogurt. Top the samosa with more chole, cilantro chutney, sweet tamarind chutney.
And finally garnish the Samosa Chaat with chopped onion, sev, cilantro, pomegranate arils (if using). Sprinkle chaat masala and serve immediately!
This recipe of chole and 14 samosa can easily serve 10 people. More if you just add 1 samosa per plate of the chaat. Since I have used 2 samosa per plate, I served it more like a meal. To serve as an appetizer, you can definitely reduce the portion size.
To make this recipe vegan, skip ghee from tempering in the chole and use oil in place. Also use your favorite vegan yogurt in place of regular yogurt.