In traditional households, homemakers boil the soaked kabuli chana with a teaspoon of tea leaves to achieve the impressive dark colour of the Chhole. Imli (tamarind) also adds colour to the dish, apart from lending tanginess to the dish.
White chickpeas (Kabuli chana), washed and soaked overnight (1 cup chana soaked in about 2 cups of water)
Ginger (Adrak), sliced thinly (1 inch piece)
Garlic (Lahsun), chopped (10 pods)
Green chilli (Hari mirch), slit vertically (1)
Tea leaves (Chai patti) (1 tsp)
Onion, chopped (2)
Tomato, chopped (2)
Dhaniya Coriander Powder (1 tsp)
Haldi Turmeric Powder (½ tsp)
Garam Masala (1 tsp)
Pomegranate (Anardana) seeds (1 tsp)
Jeera Powder (1 tsp)
Dry mango powder (Amchur) (1 tsp)
Lal Mirch Chilli Powder (½ tsp)
Imli (tamarind), soaked in water (1 tbsp)
Salt (to taste)
Ghee (2 tbsp)
Drain the soaked chana and wash under cold running water.
Place in a pressure cooker with enough water to cover the chana. Season with salt.
Add the chai patti, tied tightly in a muslin cloth, and pressure cook through 3 whistles on high flame. Lower the flame and continue to cook for another 3 whistles.
Take off the flame and let the steam release on its own.
Heat ghee in a kadhai and sauté the onion and lahsun till it turns golden brown.
Add the dhaniya, lal mirch, and haldi powder and cook for another minute.
Lower the flame and add the jeera powder, anardana, amchur, and garam masala.
Cook for 2 minutes and then add tomatoes. Keep stirring till the tomatoes turn pulpy and the ghee starts to separate from the mixture.
Add the chana to the gravy and mix well.
Pour about half a cup of hot water into the gravy and simmer the chana till the gravy thickens and the flavours blend in.
Just before serving, squeeze the soaked imli to extract the pulp and add the pulp to the dish for that extra tanginess.
Serve the chana hot, garnished with slit hari mirch and adrak slivers, along with bhature or parathas.