What is Chikkad Chole and why is it named so?
Chikkad Chole – a Punjabi style chickpea curry made with basic spices is named so because of the texture and consistency and colour of the gravy which resemble thick and sticky murky waters. Chikkad is synonymous with kichad (muck) and perhaps that is why it also tastes best when turned into a semi mushy consistency and served with roti, naan or bature.
I first came across this recipe on Chavvi Mittal’s tele series ‘Maid in Heaven’ on Facebook where the character she plays asks for the recipe from her aunt. The dish intrigued me and I wanted to make it. The actress eventually shared the recipe on her blog. I tried this recipe a couple of years ago, during the pandemic to be precise, when most of the world was consuming content online and from the kitchen 🙂 Well, I did both – watched stuff online and tried to recreate dishes from various shows I watched. Eventually we moved back to India and then I lost track of all the dishes I had tried. I am trying to get back to those recipes and tweaking them a bit if necessary before sharing them with you.
What is ‘Anardana’?
It is essentially a powder made out of drying pomegranate seeds, the addition of which can really elevate the flavour of a dish. The first time I tried this dish I did not use it but I did during the subsequent trials and I do believe that it can make a difference.
If you live in India, your local grocer should stock it, if abroad, you can find it in your nearest, well stocked Indian store. To be honest, unless it is a store that has a lot of North Indian clientele, they may not stock it. If nothing works, there’s always Amazon. In India amazon.in stocks a whole variety, so get yours quickly!
- 1-1/2 cups black garbanzo or white (Kabuli) chana (chickpeas), soaked overnight
- 2 tea bags
- 4 pieces of dried amla Indian Gooseberry
- salt to taste
For the masala blend
- 1 black cardamom badi elaichi
- 3 cloves
- 1 inch stick of cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ajwain bishop’s weed
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder
- 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper powder
- 1 teaspoon kasuri methi dried fenugreek leaves
- 1 teaspoon amchur dry mango powder
- 1 teaspoon anardana dry pomegranate seed powder
- 1 teaspoon kala namak black salt
- 2 medium onions finely chopped
- 3 medium tomatoes ground to paste
- 1-2 green chillies slit
- 1 inch ginger cut julienne (thin strips) plus extra for garnishing
- 1/4 teaspoon just a sprinkling of garam masala (optional)
- Oil for frying
- Drain the water from the soaked chickpeas and refresh with water. Transfer to a pressure cooker. Add the tea bags, salt, dried amla and enough water to cover the chickpeas. Cover & pressure cook for 5-6 whistles. Then turn off the heat and let the pressure release naturally. Open, mix and keep aside.
- Heat a skillet/tawa and dry roast the black cardamom, cloves, cinnamon & ajwain for a few seconds. Remove from heat and let it cook. Then either grind to a powder. Mix this along with the rest of the ingredients mentioned under ‘For the masala blend’. Keep aside
- In a wok/kadai, heat the oil and fry the chopped onions till translucent. Add the ground tomato paste and fry on a medium heat till the oil begins to separate.
- Add the cooked chickpeas only (not the stock), green chillies and ginger. Make a well in the centre and add the prepared masala blend
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil or ghee and pour this over the masala blend. This will ensure that the spices are all cooked.
- Now mix everything and add the reserved stock and simmer for 2-3 minutes until the gravy thickens to the desired consistency. You can add the additional garam masala if desired.
- Serve hot garnished with ginger juliennes with some pooris or chapathis or rice.
The nutritional values are only indicative.
Leave a Reply