Memories jog down fast when you least expect them to, openings gates to long forgot days, happily spent with no care or want. I haste to capture them all in one move, lest I forget! But I guess its bound to happen. The mind is so full of memories, that at times I wonder how one is able to keep pace with it.
For the better part of my life, I tried recording them in dairies, but life takes a different path each year, that I have never been able to keep up with my writing. I guess this blog has been my best option in trying to record certain daily things or those fond memories. But it's so funny yet strange, that almost all of them are related to food!
One such beautiful memory weaves around a Punjabi Chhole, that I ate years back! It was a cold winter Christmas time, it was colder because we were on a vacation in Bombay. It was my first trip to Bombay and I loved every minute of it. We went there to attend the wedding ceremony of Dad's colleague's son. The trip and those 4 days will remain forever fresh in my memory. I need no dairy to itch them down.
From the moment I stepped down the train that early morning in Pune, to the time I got on the train back to Madras, it's all still so fresh in memory. The drama that unfolded in a typical Punjabi wedding, was too good to be missed for anything. Their culture, their customs, and to top everything, their food, god I simply loved every single part of it. There I was, about to get down the train, I can still feel the cold breeze that hit me sharp.
It was 4 in the morning and it felt strange because for me to feel cold, it must have been a really cold morning. You don't get to have such cold days in Madras. We spent four wonderful days, enjoying every single moment. The account of that beautiful wedding among other things will make many posts. I will limit myself to that memory of Punjabi Chhole that stands out the most!
We started for Shiridi Sai Baba temple early in the morning and after a good darshan, started back. The journey back led us through rural rustic villages, paving way into deep dry landscapes. For all it was cold, the midday was so very hot. We were panting with breathlessness, though all we was doing, was just jostling along the car. The journey seemed endless, and we were exhausted just traveling.
We had to stop for a break and what better place than a Punjabi dhaba! Ah, that scene unfolds now in my mind and I am transported back to that day in one hot afternoon, all set to devour a roti dipping longingly into that katori full of Punjabi Chhole! It was a black gravy with shy channa peeping out all over it. No where else have I tasted a dish so earthly! It tasted of its land and the soil. Later I found that most authentic punjabi Chholes are mostly black in colour and its mostly due to the roasting of the wholes spices.
I got back with loads of memories of that one meal, happy to keep me going for many years. I have since tried recreating that Punjabi chhole, had asked many punju friends. Then I came across an old torn cookbook, which had some authentic recipes written down it. I have since bookmarked many to try. Though this Punjabi Chhole, topped the list. When I finally got down to making it, it was worth all the wait. Yes, one bite on the chhole, and I was magically taken back to that afternoon.
I have always been making chholes, I must have tried many versions. The change in this was, that I roasted it to almost to blackness and the addition of Black Cardamom. This is the first time I am using Black Cardamom. Green cardamom is very common in my kitchen. So using this black cardamom, changed a lot of things. As usual, when I searched a bit on black Cardamom, I was happy knowing so many details about this spice.
Nice memories srivalli.I always feel chhole and channa masala looks same.But after seeing yours
its totally different.Good one to share
ANJALI J. says
Chhole is one of my fav. It definately looks authentic.. mouthwatering.. yum!
Punjabi chole looks so tasty. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
Wow..Looks yum..perfect color for the punjabi chole..Thanks for sharing
that's one perfect chhole, srivalli! Looks yummy! Love the puris at the side too. They look so fluffy.
HI EVEN ILIKE DHABA FOOD,..AND REALLY MISS INDIAN ROADSIDE DHABAS IN SINGAPORE 🙁
Divya Vikram says
looks spicy n yumm!
First off I am sorry bit I had to withdraw from MEC this month. I am in the process of moving and looking for jobs so I have been lacking on time but I promise once I get settled I will definitely partake in your event. And finally, the Chhole looks amazing!!
Punjabi dhaba is the best place to visit while travelling.
Your chole got the perfect colour Srivalli.
Loved the chhole recipe! Whenever i make chole i make sure the gravy is dark in color...tastes amazing. Will try out your recipe sometime.
Memories....a lifelong treasure!
Delicious..iam hungry now 🙂 ....
Swati Raman Garg says
urs chole looks perfecto sri... and loved ur post... i too love mumbai and any dhaba food is a delight
Can I drool over here for sometime its soooo good. color looks perfect. this some recipe I'been looking for.
Sri, some memories are really to be cherished...that is a lovely plate of food 🙂
U have shared ur memories beautifully in such a way that it made me go bak to my old memories. Nice chole. I love chick peas. So any dish made of that is lovely for me.
NIce read valli! A tempting plate of puris and chole there....
Red Chillies says
Chole is a favorite at our house, and I am so glad I found this authentic version.
Ramya's Mane Adige says
Adding black elaichi sounds like an interesting tip!! will tryit sometime, tx!! 🙂
ONe of the best places to be while on a trip to North would be their weddings. The place is jus too lively to uplift any sore hearts. I mostly loved their buffets! I grew up seeing them ..imagine my surpise when the first time to my southie wedding - was forced in front of a huge plaintain leaf with lots of rice and sambar...oh well that was my childhood torn between my birth place and foster one..but all said and done, now sitting here so far away for either of them makes me feel so forlorn 🙂
Good one Sri.
Looks yummy Srivalli! The colour looks really delicious and on the spot.
Oh yes!! Few memories are so wonderful that we want to relive them again don't we Valli?
Love the recipe!!
Such a lovely entry! Thanks for participating in WHB!
Sounds so interesting, and this is the first time I've heard of black cardamom.
kamala, Thank you..actually its same, just different masalas used!
Anjali, thank you...
Kumudha, you are most welcome!
Rupa, glad you liked it..thank you
satya, how I wish we had one authentic dhaba out here!..thank you!
Tee, sure sure..do try and let me know...yes what are we without them!
Uma, glad you liked it...thank you
priyanka, yeah they are such wonderful place to eat right!
Divya, yes it was spicy!
shriya, thank you...do try and let me know!
sunita, thank you...glad you liked it
Nithu, glad it did...they are something that keeps us going na...thanks..
AnuZi thats ok...I can understand your position..must be so hard to tackle everything!...anytime you are most welcome!
Swati, thank you...glad you like them
Rachel, yeah my most fav one!
RC, thank you..do try and you will love it
Ramya, thank you...it gave a nice change
Dhivya, thats so sweet...I can understand how you must be missing those things...but then you make such wonderful dishes, you shouldn't be missing any of them!
Homecooked, thank you thank you..glad you liked it!
Padmaja, yes wish it were so..
Anh, thank you...glad you hosted this
Kalyn, my pleasure...it was really a great change from the usual!
My Space My Thoughts! says
just made this. I guess, I will have to roast the masalas a little more to get the blackish texture (was worried of burning them). anywhoo.. it tasted awesome!!
Thanks for the recipe!.
delicious... but can u pls tell if anardana mandatory?? will the taste be the same even if i dont add it?
My Space My Thoughts
Thanks for the feedback, yes the masala has to be little more brown to get that blackish colour
Gita, thank you. I would say you should get hold of it if you can. Anardana surely makes all the difference. Though otherwise too the gravy tastes good. Even if you get more anardana, refrigerate the spice so that you can store it for longer.
Your recipe is very similar to Anita's Punjabi chhole recipe. What is the name of your cookbook? Who is the author and who is it published by?
Manisha, it was a cookbook that came along with my mom's hawkin's pressure cooker. It has some lovely recipes..not sure of the authors as it came along with the cooker...I remember reading Anita's recipe and her quote of your statement..thats a lovely recipe too right.
Wow, that's some recipe! It is very similar to Anita's. I hope you'll be sharing some of the other recipes from this book?
Yes Pel, it is some recipe, and yes I have already shared of the best recipe that we make at home. Its called Murgh Mussallam from the same cookbook. You can read the post for yourself...
maybe after reading this post you will understand!